On PostGIS day last week, Thurs 17th Nov, we ran FOSS4G:UK Local 2022. We were trying out a new model, with the conference distributed over 9 different physical venues (and online). I chaired three amazing keynotes, which were streamed to all the venues and on the internet. We then had 38 local presentations across the nine venues, with most of them streamed and recorded.
Overall the day went really well, and we had some great feedback from participants and presenters. One great aspect was once the presentations were completed, they were available on YouTube more or less instantly.
We had 246 people attending in person, and I think reached about another 50 online. Anyone could watch the streams online so it’s tricky to know exactly, but the first keynote had about 100 views as it finished, so assuming some double counting (people in the rooms who were on the YouTube stream) I think we can say we reached about 300 people. This is much greater than our usual in person conferences so I’m pleased to say we managed to increase our reach and get more people involved in FOSS4G:UK.
Our multi venue streaming didn’t quite work out as planned initially – our first session had some technical problems so a number of the talks didn’t stream. But everyone was very forgiving, so thanks to all the good will in the community.
For the keynotes, we had a Jitsi meeting which each of the venues and presentors joined. We could then share cameras as usual in a video conferencing meeting, and it was great to see all of the venues share their cameras in the welcome section:
The Jitsi call was then streamed to YouTube. We then collated questions via the YouTube chat and the Matrix room we had running. Theoretically we people could have asked questions in the room (relayed via the Admin WhatsApp group we were running) but it was easier for people to type directly in the Matrix room or YouTube chat, even if they were physically in the room. See this post (coming soon, I will circulate to the OSGeo:UK mailing list when published) for some more technical details, and lessons learned.
We’re very much looking forward to the next one, and I hope you can be involved – join the OSGeo:UK mailing list to stay up to date.