Are Virtual Conferences Better Than Real-World Conferences?

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    Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan argues that cancelling this year’s tech conferences could have a silver lining — by encouraging a movement toward virtual conferences: There are developers across the U.S. and around the world who get shut out when the conferences get sold out. Even more of them simply can’t afford the admission fee (last year’s WWDC was $1599) and travel expenses required to spend time in the Bay Area or Seattle. Apple uses a lottery system to pick registered developers at random, who then get the opportunity to buy a ticket for the event. “Not having a set of 5,000 people who paid to be there, and potentially millions of other people who don’t get access to things exclusive to those attending, such as labs and all of the networking, but instead having everyone on the same level can be a good thing,” says iOS developer Guilherme Rambo. Even before the coronavirus came along, the major developer conferences were developing more robust online elements. Far more people stream the keynotes than watch them in person. Many conference now stream the developer sessions as well. And an increasing body of sessions from the events is archived online… With all the cancellations this year, big tech companies like Apple may get some time to really think about the value of big events in the age of live streaming. Apple, for one, might think about ways of further virtualizing WWDC. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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