SQLServerCentral Editorial

Virtual Events Are Here To Stay

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This week was the MVP Summit. As was the case for the last couple of years, the event was entirely virtual. We were shown a bunch of new and interesting things by Microsoft. We were able to talk to each other and to the engineers at Microsoft. I'm honored that I've been an MVP and able to take part in this (fingers crossed, I make the cut again this year) and I'm really appreciative to Microsoft for putting the event together.

However...

It was missing a lot of the things that you get with an in-person event. The hallway conversations, hugs, chances to compare notes and prepare discussion points, all that and more, are missing with a virtual event.

However, again, it doesn't matter. Even as we go back to in-person events (like, for example, PASS Data Community Summit, taking place in Seattle,  November 15-18, go here to register), we're going to continue to have all-virtual or partially virtual events (like PASS Summit).

Why?

Just as the lockdowns showed many organizations that they can do a lot of their work remotely, we've seen that virtual events open up the pool of those who can attend an event. Parents with young kids who couldn't travel, people with fewer means, contractors with deadlines, folks who are differently abled, and a million other reasons, kept people from attending in-person events. Yet, they can make all, or at least some, of a virtual event. It's this simple fact that's going to keep virtual events going, in whole or in part, into the future. Despite the fact that in-person is superior in a bunch of ways (it's hard to argue with millions of years of evolution and that impact on how humans communicate), we've opened the door to be more inclusive through virtual events.

We're seeing events like PASS Summit and SQLBits embrace this new approach. They are beginning the process of making this a more interconnected world. Hybrid events are becoming the new normal, and that's a great thing.

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