Seems kinda irresponsible to be marketing an in person event right now…
Thank you for the feedback, but some points: the event is in Portugal, one of the countries that better handle the pandemic (for example, 91% of the population is fully vaccinated). Furthermore, since it’s the first edition in Europe, I’m not expecting many folks. If I had more than 40 attendees, it’d be unexpected.
Finally, there are two formats: in-person and online, as well as free streaming for both days. If someone doesn’t want to go to an in-person event, it’s all good.
I’ve basically suspended organizing my in-person conferences until the pandemic is “over” enough that I can safely plan for an event 18 months out. My small events shoot for break-even and my large events generate enough revenue to subsidize our meeting space and pay volunteers a small honorarium (think: new computer money, mostly). If a large event were to get derailed because of a flare-up in the pandemic, someone would be declaring bankruptcy.
I think an in-person event can be done relatively safely for participants but the uncertainty of travel and the financial risk to the organizers and speakers just seems too much to handle right now. I’ve seen some in-person conferences succeed in areas of low concern but those have been small cities for the most part. I went to a 150-person conference in Pittsburgh in September and found a lot of the pandemic, uh, “ornamentations,” for lack of a better term to describe things like masks that ended up making people hard enough to hear that you’d end up standing within a foot of each other and screaming until you’re hoarse and having to get rapid-tested at the door because no send-out test could get back within the 72-hour maximum window at the time.
TBH, I’m pretty burned out on online conferences, too. I’ve attended a lot of them and even pivoted Heartifacts to the virtual format in 2020. I’ve just not had the depth of experience or the focus to really enjoy virtual conferences to any degree similar to an in-person conference at scale. Folks tell me that they loved Heartifacts because it was small and intimate and breakout rooms felt like talking circles at the in-person first version a couple years prior.
Please do not impose your fear on others.
We are over 2 years in, most countries in Europe (rightfully) dropped all their mandates and it’s time to move on. The risks are comparable to a normal influenza infection, and the other tangible damages (suicides, depression, economic recession, childrens’ development) far outweigh those, in my opinion.
If you decide not to go outside, godspeed to you, but calling those who decide to live their lives again irresponsible is crass.
I want to agree with you, but I think it’s important to note that the risk is not per country but also per person.
Not everyone can afford to move on and everyone has to be understanding. For a long while.
PS: twice recovered, thrice vaccinated. have been to a conference last week.