Maybe It’s Time For Virtual XDC

For many years I’ve been a huge fan of the Xojo Developers Conference (XDC). It was the highlight of the year where I could see the many friends I’ve made with Xojo developers around the world. I was also able to meet a lot to prospective clients too. I enjoyed the one-on-one experience with friends, clients, and Xojo staff. I enjoyed learning a bit about what’s coming up in future versions of Xojo.

Yesterday we learned that XDC has been postponed again. This time from October 2021 to the end of March 2021. It will still be in London.

I loved everything about XDC. Except maybe the travel, the cost, and few attendees. I helped defray the costs for 10+ years by speaking at the conference on a variety of topics and as a consultant I could write off much of it because of meeting prospective clients. But at the end of the day the attendance of the conferences hasn’t changed much in the years I’ve been attending and a good chunk of the audience are people that I’ve already met. While I like the people I’ve met as a consultant I wanted to meet many more new people.

If we’ve learned anything in 2020 and 2021 is that maybe we don’t have to go to conference. Many (most?) developers conferences decided to go virtual. That idea seemed absurd a year ago, to be honest, but now? Not a bad idea for several reasons:

a) The pandemic is still happening and travel is restricted and/or hazardous.

b) Why limit the attendance to those that can afford it? Having a virtual conference means many more people could attend and no one has to leave their home. Sure, it’s not as much fun but it could be more productive.

c) It’s less expensive to have an event. I mean, sure, Apple does professional level presentations for their major announcements but after a full year of Zoom, WebEx, GotoMeeting, and so on I think most people are fully aware of what they’re getting with online video.

Anyway, those are my thoughts after thinking about it overnight. I’m sure I’ll attend another XDC in-person at some point in my life but it would have to be the right location and timing with everything going on in my life. A virtual conference would almost certainly let me attend.

What are your thoughts?