The past two years in the event industry have been a little bit uncertain, let’s just say it like that. Here at WeAreDevelopers, we have faced a lot of challenges over the last 24 months or so, and dare we say, we have gained a lot of experience we could have never imagined facing before. Since our hopes for the return of in-person events are slowly coming to a realization, we have decided to give you a brief overview of what exactly has changed in the event game. Here are 6 things to keep in mind for attending the events in the future.
1. “Safety first” is not just a saying anymore
This one goes without saying. Added to the usual safety recommendations that we all know very well, with the global pandemic we now have a new set of safety measures. These include activities such as maintaining a social distance, using the dedicated sanitizing stations, desktop and spot cleaning, using your own water bottles, and so on.
Furthermore and perhaps most importantly, when it comes to being safe while attending a developer conference in 2023, most of the safety-related tasks should be done before even arriving at the venue. This means PCR testing yourself and getting vaccinated against Covid-19 beforehand to ensure the most relaxed experience possible.
Even though most events currently will have mandatory tests and/or vaccines as a prerequisite to entry, it’s still a good idea to take the initiative and do it without being forced by the organizers. Not only does it help you, but it helps everyone else around you too – and that is called being socially responsible.
2. Hybrid events are a thing now
Despite all the challenges and difficulties, the global pandemic came with one extremely valuable lesson. That lesson is that most of the things, at least in the IT industry, can be done from home – including attending events. Of course, in-person events are still cooler and more immersive, that’s why we look forward to them so much but hear me out.
Being able to attend a dev conference and connect with people from the comfort of your own couch is definitely a game-changer. Although online events are not really a new thing and had been around for a while, they have been on the rise lately and we’re pleased to see hybrid events becoming standardized. After all, we’re programmers, we do like staying in our comfy sofas.
3. In-person events still hold a special place
On the other hand, the lack of physical contact, eye-to-eye chatter, events’ playgrounds exploration, and all of the things that make conferences such unique experiences has made us super impatient about the return of the real deal. We do love online events, but physical events just have a special place in our hearts and as we have seen over the last two years, we should not take them for granted anymore.
If you decide to attend an event, it is highly recommended to know why you’re coming and what you are looking for. Of course, you come to a programmer event to hear talks about your favorite programming languages, new frameworks, and future predictions, but you could do that by simply watching YouTube as well.
By attending in-person conferences you’re in for an experience, entertainment, and socializing (even though we don’t always feel like it). Conferences serve as alternative options for learning new things instead of attending boring online classes. Learning new things and having new experiences is always more fun with friends, we can all agree on that.
4. Community is more important than ever
What do you think is the main reason events and conferences happen? You already know the answer and it’s written in the headline above. All conferences have one common goal: to bring the community together. Conferences are all about meeting new people who share the same interests, belong to the same subculture, and like the same or at least similar things. It’s about getting together as a community, building a community, and cherishing it.
In the dev world, the word “community” has a special meaning, more special than in any other subculture. Think of Stack Overflow, GitHub, Reddit, or any other platform you visit for answers. A good dev conference should be a combination of all those things. Learning new things, asking questions, answering questions, meeting your heroes, meeting new people, real-world AMAs – all of that is what makes the life of a coder an interesting one.
5. Networking a.k.a. the most valuable takeaway
Continuing on the previous part, joining a community leads to networking and networking is one of the most valuable perks of attending a conference. Either if you’re looking for a new job opportunity, looking for people to start a project with, or if you just want to expand your network and meet new colleagues, attending a conference is the way to achieve any of these goals.
Moreover, networking while attending a conference is a great way to get your foot into the programming world in case you are just planning to start coding. In case you are only starting your journey into the world of code, attending a developer conference is an excellent way to learn new things, obtain some feedback on your progress, and help you with your career shift overall.
6. A backup plan is a must
Finally, remembering 2020 and 2021 as the years of canceled events, we can’t help but think that alternatives are a must for almost every scenario when it comes to event planning. Government restrictions, travel regulations, health barriers, and any other unexpected circumstance may force you into rethinking about coming to, or in our case organizing, an event.
Plan B is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Most of the postponements happen due to a higher power and things that are out of the organizer’s control. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep a backup plan in mind, be it deciding to keep an eye out for the hybrid edition of the event, having a flexible calendar in case of short-term postponements, or just finding a way to stay in touch with the organizer (hint: subscribing to newsletters).
To conclude, it’s safe to say that many things have changed over the last two years. The shift in the event industry will certainly cast a new light on the experience of going to conferences. Community gatherings are getting a new meaning, reminding us of how easily things can change and how easily we can be stopped from seeing each other. With their return, we will only appreciate the community and everyone involved event more.
Honestly, we can’t wait for our first physical edition of the World Congress in two years as you can probably tell how by reading this article. After a long wait, we are firing on all canons and this year it’s going to be the best one yet. Get ready, see you on June 14th and 15th in Berlin!