I found last year’s PyMCon 2020 to be quite useful, even though it was online only. An in-person PyMCon next year would 3X more useful, either in Europe or here in North America. Are we finished enough with this virus that an in-person conference can be planned?
Thank you for the feedback on PyMCon 2020. I’ve got a short answer and long answer for you
The short answer for you is I agree, that in person events having a certain “magic” that online only doesn’t. To that end I’ll explore options for what we can do in person for 2022. We’ll certainly do our best
The long answer is we’ll have to balance not only the “old world” challenges, like budget, location, site visits, travel etc, with all of the “new world” concerns like COVID, travel restrictions, gathering restrictions etc. Others just have to do with conference intent. I’m really proud to say 100% of the proceeds went to NumFOCUS and the PyMC project which is awesome. With an in person conference I believe we would want to strive for a conference can similarly fund the project, versus draining its funds, but again at this point this is speculation. That being said I have some ideas such as a globally managed virtual conference, with satellite watch parties hosted by volunteers in each country.
Nonetheless we will figure out something, PyMCon 2020 was the first PyMCon but it certainly wont be the last.
Again thank you for the feedback, its really helpful in knowing what is useful for attendees. Keep it coming!
Sure hope there’s a word missing in there.
Two words missing! Thanks @cluhmann
The downside of in person is that the time and financial costs restrict the possible attendees. I think this accessibility issue should be taken seriously.
And some pro’s of an online conference is that the efforts required by organisers are way lower, with a higher proportion of time going into meaningful outcomes rather than logistics issues etc.
But that’s just like my opinion man
Just to elaborate a little… While there are certainly pro’s of an in-person conference there are also con’s. And there are quite a few pro’s of virtual conferences which we might initially overlook. There’s no point in writing an essay about it, but the core points I’d say in favour of partially or fully remote are:
- Carbon cost of long-haul flights. As informed citizens, we need to start taking this shit seriously.
- Accessibility - both in terms of time, financial cost and geography. In person only does not send a message that we are serious about fostering interest amongst junior folk, people from under-represented countries, or people with home or caring responsibilities, for example.
I just attended a talk about how scientists can play a role in global heating by @AnneEUrai. She had a great slide showing that there are a range of levels between fully in person and fully virtual. So it could make real sense to consider some hybrid model with potential for timezone-based watch parties and/or discussion groups.
Like I say, just my thoughts, very happy to hear what others think.