I've collected some rough stats and attendance was up on previous VIWeeks by infinity% so well done us.
Seriously, we averaged in excess of 80 attendees per session and that was fantastic. The best was approaching 200!
And that is a huge relief as an organiser. It is the only thing you have no control over and it's rewarding to have an audience, so thanks for that.
So what were our expectations going in.
1) Pushing DSH Forward
We honestly just wanted to mark the occasion of NIWeek and keep the DSH ball rolling. NIWeek and the week before were pretty important to our plans for the year.
I'm really happy with how that went, I think we showed who we were in the various sessions and that was my ambition. As a bonus we had fun doing it.
2) Mark NIWeek in its absence
As well as business NIWeek serves a community need. A lot of LabVIEW programmers are solo or work in small teams, coming together and chatting with your peers really helps, just from a social perspective.
We actually got some feedback from people who were quite down about not going to NIWeek and that we helped fill some lockdown time. This was a huge reward for me.
And that was pretty much it! Everything else that happened has been a bonus.
3) An ad-hoc and anarchic organisation
The minimum you need for organising a virtual event is - a central webpage and connected presenters with computers. Through people rolling up their sleeves and getting shit done we ended up with a portal, wiki, videos, discord. On the side we were sharing presentation tips and doing tutorials. Born from nothing in less than 2 weeks. Absolutely stunning and inspiring and I'm so grateful to all who stepped up.
"it turned out into a loosely coupled highly cohesive event where every presenter decided what to do", I'm very much into this. Removing the unnecessary things that block progress and letting people organise themselves.
4) Made new friends
"Networking" is the crap business term, but I'd like to think I've made new pals. I thought this would be more difficult to do virtually, but I think it's worked very well. I now have a whole new set of people who think they can take the piss out of me!, they're rude.
5) Learning to do online sessions
Each session I do I become a bit more comfortable (some would say a bit too comfortable for the last one!)
During lockdown I have done 7 largish sessions and I think they've taught me a lot.