I was physically present for part of Kubecon last week and I’ve come to realize I don’t like calling conferences “virtual” and I prefer “remote” or “distributed.” Virtual can imply that there are not real people you are interacting with in chat or in video calls. I know chat bots are popular but I don’t look forward to attending conferences with them.
I had also forgotten what it was like to be in a large room with other people. I was thankful for all of the measures the conference had, but that didn’t stop me from over-thinking ever moment I touched a door handle or my mask slipped below my nose.
Once I returned home and participated in the conference remotely the entire experience and my involvement changed drastically. I fell right back into the partial work, partial participation trap that I don’t think will ever go away with remote conferences.