I seem to write these once every year or so.
Markup UK 2021 is over and I’m happy to report that it was a complete success. It was all virtual, of course – who does actual physical conferences these days – but it had the feeling of a physical conference. People were there, if you know what I mean. They were more than blips on a screen, they were actual people interacting and talking to each other.
Some of this is due to more clever software. We used Whova, which ties together the boring administrative stuff that you’d otherwise have to do manually using Zoom only, and it brings you all kinds of things that make a virtual conference feel a lot more like a physical one. For organisers, it’s great. Hopefully for attendees, too.
It cannot replace a physical conference, however. If anything I miss the physical ones more, because of the fairly close approximation of one that Whova brings. I’m not a social person but I miss being able to say hi and a few words on a chance encounter at the coffee table, and I miss the dinners after a full day of talks, and I miss addressing a roomful of people ready for the next talk.
I’m sure the presenters felt that way, too.
But the conference was a success, and right now I just wanted to write something about it. Hopefully I’ll feel like writing more within a year, this time.