In this post I want to cover why I think online events are important right now. For full disclosure, I am an organizer of one of these conferences.
In fact, I am one the organizers of Data Community Weekender Europe which is taking place on Saturday 2nd May.
I want to make sure that is very clear right from the start because it will help show how strongly I feel about this topic. Plus, I want to make sure I am honest with all of you reading this.
Three years ago, I made the decision to not be involved with community events for a while. However, I am so convinced that the Data Platform community needs events like this at the moment that I have returned to be part of the team for this event.
I truly believe the Microsoft Data Platform community needs events like this at the moment for many reasons.
In reality, in-person events are not possible for a lot of people at the moment. So, in order for us all to keep in touch and learn new things we have to have a good alternative. In my mind, online events are the best solution right now.
Of course, we all know that online events not the same as in-person events. However, we have to face the fact that they will not take place for a while now. With this in mind, we have to make the best of the current situation.
A lot of virtual events are now appearing. With a lot of them doing things to make them unique.
For example, the sessions at the Data Platform Discovery Day events which are happening next week. Which will be showing introductory sessions and I think is a really good initiative.
You can find out more about that event in detail here.
Another example is Data Community Weekender Europe, which is the event I am one of the organizers for.
It’s being hosted by a team Europeans and we are showing 42 sessions from speakers all around the world. With a high variety of Data Platform related topics.
It takes place on Saturday 2nd May and you can see the schedule in detail here.
We are all working hard behind the scenes to make this event work for the Data Platform community because we all believe in it. We also have other people volunteering to do things behind the scenes as well, all in their own free time.
Anybody around the world can attend this event, which is live viewing only and will not be recorded. You can sign up for the event through our meetup page here.
As you all know, if the human brain gets too use to routine it can affect your mental health. Especially if everything is the same day in, day out. Having these events take place gives our brains the stimulation that they need.
In fact, the event organization team recognizes that mental health is important at the moment so much that we have selected a session about it.
If you look at our schedule here you will see that Tracy Boggiano is presenting about mental health at 15:30 Central European Standard Time (CEST).
One good thing that comes out of new online events appearing at the moment are fresh event formats. We get to see some fresh ideas for conference formats appear now.
For example, the EIGHTKB conference that is due to happen in June which is focusing on SQL Server internals.
In addition, Data Community Weekender Europe. Which is a collection of organizers and volunteers from cancelled or postponed events from around Europe.
Like I said before we are hosting 42 sessions. With a variety of topics such as SQL Server performance, automation, Power BI and Artificial Intelligence.
You can read a bit more about our event in detail here.
Some of you keeping count may have noticed that I have promoted two other events as well as my one I am an organizer for in this post.
I have done this to show my support for all online events that are taking place at the moment. Because I believe as a community we have to show unity during these times.
With this in mind, you are more than welcome to share links to other online Microsoft Data Platform events as a comment below.
Hosting these events is also good for the speakers because it keeps their presentation skills up to scratch.
For some of them it also means they can present new sessions in unique ways. Of course, for others it also means they get the opportunity to present online for the first time.
Before I finish this post I want to mention the Data Community Weekender Europe supporter badges. Because the organizer and speaker badges were such a big hit we have decided to do supporter badges as well.
Which you can see below.
Feel free to use this badge for any emails or posts promoting the event, and of course for your social media pictures.
We’re still waiting for the first person to use this supporter’s badge as part of their social media picture. So, if you do use it for yours make sure you quote the hashtag #DataWeekender .
For those wondering which URL to redirect your badge to in a blog post, I have redirected my organizer badge in this post to our event homepage here.
Of course, if you want to offer support in other ways volunteers for during the day are welcome. If you want to help you can contact myself or any of the other organizers listed here.
Hopefully my reasons about why I think online events are important right now come across as intended.
Like a lot of other people, I am looking forward to in-person events happening again and catching up with people in-person. Meanwhile, we should all take make the most of the online events that are on offer.
Of course, I am aware that others may have different views about this or may wish to promote other events. With this in mind, feel free to add a comment.