2nd Scala Organizers Summit Follow-up

TL; DR: On the 13th of February 2021 was held the 2nd Organiser Summit. 8 organizers of Scala conference and meetups gathered to discuss tools, community building and the “after-covid” for the Scala community and events.
Each of the attendees had the chance to experience with online events organisations and was faced with various challenges and successes.
The main goals of this Zoom call were such:

  • Discuss tools and their importance and part in community building.
  • Look back at and review the expectations we had back in March 2020.
  • Think about the after-covid, consider the possibility of hybrid conferences (both online and offline).

These past years have shown the globality of Scala community. Online events that happened this last year allowed people to participate with fewer financial and ecological costs. A new hybrid formula (yet to be experienced) could ensure our community’s diversity and allow its development.

Online conferences and community building

Each participant first introduced themselves and their experience with online conferences and community building. The discussion spontaneously went on with each participant underlining the strengths and weaknesses of the tools each used and still use. Here are the main tools that were mentioned:

Zoom (works well, worth using), Discord (good for community chat), Twitch (but conversations get lost. @oli-kitty encouraged people to check Spatial Chat. Briefly cited: Meetup.com, Youtube, Streamyard, Slack, Vimeo. Jan from Softwaremill kindly provided us with a link to his blogpost about tooling.

Discord and Slack remain the big winners in regard to community building. Justin’s conference, which used Discord, was met with great success and enthusiasm. Moreover, Discord has no limitations whatsoever, allowing organizers more freedom. On the other hand, Slack revealed itself to be popular in a more professional setting due to its everyday use by Scala professionals. However conversations get lost on Slack while they don’t with Discord.

Were our March 2020 expectations realistic?

In the 3rd part of our meeting, @oli-kitty led the discussion about goals and expectations discussed in the last Organisers Summit in March 2020.
Screenshot 2021-05-27 at 13.37.01

What outreach in 2020?

Rebecca from 47 degrees then asked other attendees if such online events led to an outreach or if only established members of the Scala community had been attending. It seems like there were indeed new “arrivals” in the community. However it is hard to say if they are new members or if they just weren’t able to make the trip before.
@Darja then put an emphasis on the potential of outreach, especially in a diversity context. Whether online or offline, Scala community is global. Online events also reduced the ecological cost.

Hybrid Events for “After-Covid”?

Having experienced online conferences, @jducoeur mentioned he was sceptical about the possibility of hybrid events. It does offer a wide accessibility but remains quite expensive. All agree that even when things go back to normal, there must be some kind of online conferences along with offline events (1-2 conferences/year). Mentimeter for interactive feedback.

We are looking to organizing the next summit, let us know which subject you would like to speak about.