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The Struggle of online conferences in the time of COVID-19

June 05, 2021

The Struggle of online conferences in the time of COVID-19

This is a slide for DevRelCon Tokyo 2021.


June 05, 2021

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  1. The Struggle of online conferences in the time of COVID-19

    @kondoyuko from SHOEISHA Co.,Ltd. June 5, 2021 DevRelCon Tokyo 2021
  2. Yuko Kondo    kondoyuko About me Yuko Kondo @kondoyuko • working at

    SHOEISHA • chief editor of CodeZine • organizer of Developers Summit Illustration portrait
  3. Today’s Topic • What the Developers Summit is all about?

    • What we did to turn the Developers Summit into an online event? • What did I learn from running online conferences?
  4. Developers Summit • conference for software developers in Japan •

    since 2003 • 2day event in February • about 80 sessions in total • more than 4600 registrations • many sponsors for marketing and recruitment purposes • free of charge to participants
  5. Related Events Developers Summit Developers Boost KANSAI for developers under

    30 Developers Summit Summer Developers Summit FUKUOKA Developers Summit KANSAI Developers Boost for developers under 30
  6. The beginning of Developers Summit • At that time, there

    were only conferences by IT vendors • It began with the desire to promote knowledge and interaction among developers • It aimed to cover various technologies from a neutral standpoint. Developers Summit 2003 https://codezine.jp/devsumi/2003
  7. Features of Developers Summit • Wide variety of sessions •

    Providing opportunities for communication • Gorgeous venue
  8. Wide variety of sessions • covering a wide range of

    topics • Examples of theme – SHARE YOUR FUN! (Developers Summit 2019) – We are New Normal (Developers Summit 2021) • Examples of sessions – Software Testing for Software Developer – Effective Remote Working – Case studies of product development – Solving technical debt – DX in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government • We organized content committee made up of engineers from outside my company
  9. Providing opportunities for communication • Ask the Speaker – participants

    could ask questions directly to speakers after sessions • Booth – sponsors could communicate directly with participants • Reception party – speakers, sponsors, and participants could gather and interact These are places like a reunion, and to meet new people.
  10. Developers Summit 2020 • It was held successfully while taking

    measures against infectious diseases • The following week, technical conferences were cancelled one after another • Even at Developers Summit, we did the entire series online
  11. We hold the 1-day online event • Delivering session videos

    from our own website • Using the chat screen next to videos • The online event was well received by participants • It was difficult to provide the same experience for interaction session video
  12. My fears for Developers Summit 2021 • We were able

    to run the 1-day online event successfully • Developers Summit 2021 is a large-scale event with thousands of people attendies • I had some major concerns when planning the Developers Summit 2021
  13. First fear: Can we get outside help? • I thought

    it would be difficult to get the cooperation of the speakers and content committee members – because online events do not create the same sense of excitement as real venues • I was worried that if I couldn't provide the same level of experience online, some of them would leave.
  14. Second fear: Input was decreasing due to COVID-19 • Before

    the coronavirus disaster, I had been visiting the tech communities in person • With COVID-19, I couldn't do that at all. • I was worried about planning an event without much input
  15. Third fear: How to realize two-way interaction • Developers Summit

    is not only about inputting the latest trends, but also about promoting interaction – I felt that the chat stream was not enough • There was also a need from the sponsors to communicate directly with the participants • I wanted to realize “Ask the Speaker”, booths, and a reception party
  16. To create a mission statement • It is necessary to

    think about and communicate our philosophy in order to get people outside the company involved • I came up with the mission statement
  17. The mission statement of Developers Summit To make developers stars

    and accelerate the update of the world https://event.shoeisha.jp/devsumi
  18. Conducting Content Committee meeting online • I was able to

    get the cooperation of the content committee members as before • We held meetings in Zoom with all members • We had active discussions in various places in parallel, such as in person, in the chat box, and on the spreadsheet – We could more smoothly than ever before
  19. Offering interaction using an online tool • We used EventIn,

    a platform for online events, to realize Ask the Speaker, booths, and a reception party
  20. Ask the Speaker • It was difficult to find a

    way to accept one-on-one questions online • We used a moderator to conduct an interview • Participants wrote their questions in the chat, and the moderator asked them on their behalf
  21. Booth • Booths were set up by sponsors and the

    technical communities • We set up "core time" during lunch break and evening to encourage participation
  22. Reception party • I asked the speakers to give a

    15-second speech each • having the participants share their impressions of the event by separating into small groups • At the end of the party, all the participants chatted together
  23. the difficulty of guiding people • With online tools, we

    received a lot of feedback – "I don't know where to log in from" – "I don't know what to do in the tool” • It is important to announce when a new tool is to be used and to design how to use them
  24. the importance of continuing to challenge • We have held

    six conferences so far during COVID-19 • At first, we just delivered sessions, but we gradually took on a new challenge • The continuous challenge in smaller events will be utilized when taking on new challenges in larger events
  25. the greatness of speakers • Developers Summit 2021 was a

    great success – The number of registrations was 1.5 times more than last year • All the speakers gave their best and gave excellent presentations, even online • Speakers, sponsors, and attendees all enjoyed the Developers Summit – We were able to take on new challenges without hesitation
  26. Three things to dispel fears about online conferences • Creating

    a mission statement • Conducting content committee meetings online • Offering communication using an online tool
  27. Three lessons I learned from online conferences • How difficult

    it is to guide people in online • The importance of continuing to take on challenges • The greatness of speakers who give good talks