Conference in the time of Covid

Had a lot of interest from people on how my first live conference was since covid and lockdown was.

Travel was actually easier than I thought, mainly due to low traveler volumes in the airports. Could be a challenge with more people.

The conference itself had a low in person attendance and a much larger number of remote people. There was good interaction between the groups using Slack, which actually gave more chances for questions than you normally get with a big audience. In the main hall there was an empty row between attendees and 2 seats between each person. You had much more space than normally.

In breaks you could sit down at tables and I was able to speak with product specialists, customers and other speakers easily enough, also probably easier than a live-only event.

People would wear masks as required, and only took them off to sit down, speak, or eat (again at a table), with a good degree of spacing at all times.

I think it is early to be doing more live events, and expect most to be pure virtual, and getting engagement between participants, hosts and speakers is a challenge to ensure events deliver a similar level of value as they have before.

As with any presentation, you need to bear in mind your audience and how they perceive the session. I made sure I included slides and images that covered the topic, as well as making it compelling to follow on audio. Keeping engagement to the room and to remote people is important and you need to balance it across your whole audience.