The social get-together is a great part of the conferences. You meet people from the community, who you may not have seen in years. You talk with everyone to learn what they do and you discuss various aspects of the Xojo development with your peers. Once you know people in person, you later react different to them on the forums.
Shuffling the group, so you sit next to different people seems to be important to get you to talk to more attendees. One way to do this is to provide more activity there. How about a walk through nature? Maybe something education about local nature, landscape or historic buildings on the way? Then end at the place for a snack or dinner. On the breaks, the ways and the meals, you will shop talk with your peers.
Everyone not interested in the social events may still get a recording from a session. For XDC 2023 we saw Marc and Dana constantly working on recording, cutting, encoding and uploading videos. Have them on YouTube while the conference is running, so people at home can watch them the same day.
How may a future conference be like?
It could be one to three days. Starting with the get together on the evening before. Then first day a presentation about what is new in Xojo. Changes in the last 2 or three releases and what is coming of the next one or two releases. Then maybe a talk about what is new in third parties. That is where Björn, Antony or myself may show off what we got new.
After lunch, we may split into groups depending on a topic and code together. Like a web group, a mobile group, a database group. In that group, one moderator will share screen and we code something together. No presentation, but live coding. Web has something new in the last releases? Great, let's implement it together. Android or iOS can use a new feature in the framework or do something via a declare. Great, let's show it and integrate it with a sample project. Same for databases, where you may learn something on the way. And this is a group effort, so please discuss and bring your ideas into the group.
After a break, let's shuffle. Have new groups like desktop app deployment, Linux platform support or custom controls. The list of topics could be longer and we could allow some voting on what topics to go with.
Two rounds of groups should be exhausting enough for a day, so let's go outside. Let's go for a walk, stop by some places to see something about history, landscape or nature. Then come to a restaurant for dinner. Try to sit next to someone you don't know much about.
A second day for a longer event could follow the same scheme. Two or three really interesting sessions in the morning to give you an introduction to something, group coding in the evening about the details. Maybe we show you a plugin feature in our initial presentation and you like to see how to implement it? The key would be to come away from the school class setup, but to a more group coding experience. And yes, every attendee would be asked to name a topic, they could be the moderator and show something.
Would you attend such an event?