Our Final Decision And How We Reached It
The DDD East Midlands team have decided that the most responsible thing to do is postpone the DDD East Midlands Conference until 2021. Though this has been a tough decision to make, the safety of our delegates is of the upmost importance.
Why we came to this decision
The team met every 4 weeks to assess the statistics around COVID-19 and what it would take to run a safe and successful conference. As two of our team are currently shielding, this also included the ability or organise the conference effectively.
It looks likely that some form of social distancing will still be in place by the time October comes around. Not only is the overhead of ensuring social distancing is adhered to a logistical challenge, but we think it will have a big effect on the feel of the conference itself.
DDD East Midlands is a chance for the community and local businesses to celebrate and showcase all that makes the local tech community great. There are a range of activities planned for the conference and a lot of this includes some range of closeness or contact with surfaces.
The health and safety of our delegates, and that they have a fantastic experience of the event is really important to us.
Why we’re not moving online.
Like many conferences and events this year, we did consider moving to a virtual event. We have decided not to do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, we want to showcase the tech and talent of the East Midlands, which is best done in location. Secondly, there are many online events at the moment which are offering great content which we think meet this need well already. Thirdly, it would be difficult to recreate the same atmosphere and experience as the in person event.
We understand there will be a lot of questions around this. Hopefully, the below will answer a few of them. As always, we are here to answer any others you may have. The contact us page has our details.
What day is DDD East Midlands 2021?
Saturday 2nd October 2021.
Can I carry over the ticket I have for 2020?
Yes. We will be closing off the ability to sign up for a ticket until next year, but any claimed tickets will be carried over to 2021.
Will you be pausing ticket sales.
Yes. Though tickets are being carried over, we will close off tickets for now while we plan for 2021.
What happens for speakers?
We are still hosting the online virtual workshop for the speakers selected for 2020, but we have decided we will re-start the talk submission and voting process in 2021.
There are a couple of reasons for this. A lot can change in a year, and we know that often speakers like to change their topics and talks in this time frame. Further to this we want to have an opportunity for more people to put forward their submissions. It is part of our mission to support and empower people to speak at events like ours, and we are going to continue to offer opportunities to take part.
What does this mean for sponsors?
Sponsors are being offered the opportunity to carry over their sponsorship to 2021 and to continue supporting the event. There are still more opportunities to sponsor the conference and we are taking this opportunity to reassess the sponsorship pack and come up with ideas for what we can do to make the 2021 event bigger and better than what we had planned for 2020.
What you’ll see from DDDEM in 2020.
The good news about postponement is that the team now have extra time to plan a great event. We will be revisiting what we are offering in the sponsorship, considering what more we can do to improve the accessibility of this event, and what we can offer all our attendees and sponsors.
We will also be looking into how we can encourage submissions from more people and reach out to any communities we haven’t been able to previously.
A virtual version of the Speakers Workshop, for selected speakers and special guests, will still be going ahead on the 11th July. We are truly grateful to those who submitted to the conference and we want to give something back to those who were selected to speak.
The Speakers Workshop, run by Dylan Beattie, is going to be an educational and fun afternoon. As well as being an enjoyable afternoon, it should set up all those attending with the skills to present some amazing talks at other events.
Though we won’t be hosting a Hacktoberfest corner, we will make attempts to support those looking to contribute to open source repositories during Hacktoberfest in October. Both the website and blog are open source. We will be raising issues on these repositories over the course of October for people to work on, for a range of skill sets.
Sponsorship for 2021
As mentioned, our current sponsors have been offered the opportunity to carry over their sponsorship to 2021. We will also be exploring how we can expand the opportunities available for sponsorship. In order to run the event, there is still an amount of money that needs to be raised. As a not-for-profit all the proceeds raised go straight into the event each year.
We want the event in 2021 to not only meet the standard of the first event, but exceed it. We would love to offer support to those who need it to attend the event, or expand the general offerings to attendees.
We will use some of this time to expand the range of audiences we reach and to continue to encourage people to try speaking. Throughout we will offer support to those wanting to try speaking at local events, and submitting to the conference next year.
Everyone has something valuable to say and educational content to share. There is a lot of talented and smart people throughout the East Midlands. We want to encourage them to take to the stage and further enrich the local communities tech scene.
From all the team, thank you for all the support you have shown the event, and to us. We have had a number of challenges in the last couple of years. We can’t wait to host a fantastic event in 2021 that you will all submit to, attend and enjoy.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of the team.