Looking both backwards and forwards

    It's now been a couple of months since CommCon Virtual 2021 and we thought it was time to look back at the brilliant sessions. To be frank, we didn't expect to be running a virtual event in 2021 - we're not making the same mistake in 2022; CommCon 2022 will be virtual but with changes to the format compared to 2020 and 2021. Some of you will be understandably disappointed with that news but ultimately we a) didn't have enough time to organise something for June 2022 and b) there's still too much risk and uncertainty around Covid for a small business to take on an event of CommCon's scale.

    Let's take a look back at CommCon 2021 before looking forward at 2022.

    CommCon Virtual 2021 was probably our best yet in terms of content and sponsor support. Without our sponsors CommCon Virtual doesn't happen - it's quite that simple. We don't charge for a ticket and we don't ask you to sign up so we can harvest your email to spam you later; everything is free without restriction and without intent to sell your details to others. You can find all of last year's content over on the 2021 website or you can go straight to our YouTube channel where you can find all the content in a youtube playlist.

    It's difficult to list favourites from last year's sessions because they're all interesting in their own right but I wanted to pull some specific sessions to people's attention. Dave Horton's views on open source licensing was a fascinating session on a topic that gets grumbled about fairly frequently but doesn't get discussed fairly (personal opinion)

    The session between Amandine Le Pape, Neil Brown and Matt Warman was a somewhat frustrating one and yet hugely insightful - it gives you a view into the mindset of small business that will be impacted by the UK's Online Safety Bill when it eventually does become a bill a well as the mindset of one of the people leading the charge for it. The Online Safety Bill has the potential of causing harm to UK businesses as it stands today and the session is very insightful as an introduction to the draft bill.

    A session which spoke to me deeply was from Ravi and Vanessa from Daily - it's a topic I tangle with every single week as a Real Time Communications consultant. Ravi and Vanessa talked about how to debug WebRTC and some tricks in how to do that better.

    Lastly, there's also my session about Broadcaster.VC where I explain how we actually put on CommCon 2021 - I think it's interesting and I'm OK with a little bit of self promotion here

    Every single CommCon 2021 session was insightful though  and I highly recommend you go and check them out today!

    CommCon Virtual 2022

    Now to CommCon Virtual 2022. Yes, it'll be Virtual again. I wish it wasn't but it will be - but if things continue as they are around Covid measures then 2023 should be in person again.

    Anyone living in the UK will know that all covid restrictions are being ended in England at least within the next couple of weeks so you might be asking yourself why I'm citing "there's just too much risk" as a reason. The long and short of it is that there's two reasons - a) even if I thought the "risks" were low, there just isn't enough time to put on an in person event to the high standards I deem for CommCon and b) the risk to a small business of another covid strain coming and the UK govt deciding to close down air travel from a particular country yet again just isn't worth it. It's safer for everyone, including CommCon Events Ltd's finances, to just play it safe for another year with a plan for another in person event in 2023.

    So CommCon Virtual 2022 will be virtual again, and back to its usual date of June/July 2022 (last year was an oddity for two reasons - the birth of my daughter in August and then the fact we weren't planning on putting on an event at all!) but we'll be doing things a little differently because people are quite clearly tired of attending virtual events where they give up hours and hours of their time to fit in with a schedule an event organiser has decided - even with CommCon where we tried to spread those sessions out across 12 hours, it's still difficult to get people to engage in real time. So we're changing it up this year where we'll be following a similar plan of how Alan Quayle has run TAD Summit Americas/Asia the past couple of years - fantastic content produced to the high CommCon standard you would expect but released over the course of 2 or 3 weeks with around 40 sessions.

    But what about real time engagement and community I hear some of you asking? That's what CommCon is all about surely?! Yes, I hear you. I see you. We'll still have our Matrix server where you'll be able to come in and engage with community members, speakers and sponsors - we just won't be expecting people to watch a session at a certain time (not that we ever really expected people to only watch at those times... all our content is available on demand on YouTube). Along with the Matrix community space remaining as it is today, we'll definitely be having a live "community" session sometime during those 2-3 weeks!

    Watch out for news on our CFP as that'll be happening soon!

    Oh and if you want to sponsor CommCon Virtual 2022 please get in touch at [email protected] - we'll have the same tiers as previous years - Platinum, Gold, Silver and Community - get in quick to get your preferred tier!



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