In-person-only conferences are so... bleh
Hopefully we never see them again
dbt Coalesce is going on, and I’m just observing things from the very comfortable distance of my own desk at home while seeing commentary scroll by on various social media. No godforsaken trip to the airport, no being surrounded by thousands of complete strangers that I don’t know how to handle, and most importantly, no post-conference disease (not COVID, the typical flu-like exhaustion thing). This sort of experience was almost unheard of a mere three years ago and that fact boggles my mind. The only thing that’s kinda missing is the industry gossip over drinks and being in on the latest buzzwords before the recordings are published.
By just about any definition of the word, I’m considered an extreme introvert. Socializing on the internet, or amongst a tiny group of <5 people is more than enough to fulfil the majority my psychological needs. Obviously I’d hate going to in-person conferences. But despite this, prior to the pandemic starting, I’d at least occasionally go to a conference. The main reason seems to be the same reason that I hear from many people — to meet or catch up with, friends in the industry. In-person networking isn’t as critical in this highly-connected age, but it certainly is valuable.
But the past two years of online-only or hybrid events really started putting into focus just how exhausting the whole conference system is relative to the value I seem to get out of it as a simple attendee. (The math is different if I’m either speaking or helping with the organization.)
The world has actually changed — largely for the better. I couldn’t be happier about our current reality.
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