Much like many of our contemporaries, AltConf has been watching carefully the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the world, and assessing how this potentially affects the many worldwide AltConf events.
Unfortunately, we’ve come to the conclusion that it would not be prudent or safe to put on any AltConf events in 2020. It’s been a tough call to make, but the safety of our team, our attendees, and the public as a whole is our most important priority.
As the virus continues to spread around the world, we need to all do what we can to reduce the spread and flatten the curve of exposure to give healthcare systems the best chance of fighting back. And to do this, one of the best weapons we have is to avoid public gatherings.
We’ve given a lot of thought to how we best react to this ongoing situation, including if we should pivot to a virtual only conference much like Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are planning.
AltConf has always been a great addition to the WWDC week, giving attendees the opportunity to come to San Jose or one of our satellites, meet other attendees, and experience the unique experience of WWDC without the need for a ticket. However it has never been our aim to compete directly with Apple on content, and so we are not going to provide a virtual conference so that attendees can focus on the great content coming out from Apple.
AltConf 2020 was going to be one of our biggest yet, but we’re happy to wait to bring some great stuff to the community in 2021. But of course, we’ve already been doing a lot of work behind the scenes in preparation for this year, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers and organisers that have worked so hard already.
Last year we introduced satellite events, and one of the exciting announcements we had in store for this year was that we were doubling the number of these events, from 4 to 8. As well as London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid, we were adding Lisbon, NYC, Tokyo and Sao Paulo. This massively supported our goal of giving everyone access to even a small part of the WWDC excitement, regardless of their ability or interest in travelling to San Jose.
And so thanks to Shabna and Jerome (London), Greg (Paris), Esteban and Matias (Berlin), Jorge (Madrid), Bruno (Lisbon), Matthew, Jillian, Michael and Daisy (NYC), Bruce (Tokyo), and Vinicius (Sao Paulo).
As the global situation continues to develop, we’ll keep monitoring it and if there is an opportunity to bring some of the satellites to their cities, in a safe way, we may jump on that short notice. But for now, that’s not the plan, and San Jose will definitely not be happening.
We’d also like to give a big thanks to our sponsors IBM and RevenueCat, who signed on pre announcement and while there isn’t a conference for them to sponsor now, we appreciate their vote of confidence earlier in the year.
We’ve got a really unique and brilliant team that helps us organise AltConf, and I’m really looking forward to working with all of them in 2021 to continue to bring some great events to the community.
Stay safe, and see you all on the WWDC live streams!