Remote Conferences; Bridging the Gap, Clearing the Odds

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Nonso Noel on

A few weeks back, I saw one of my esteemed mentors decry the psychological traumas he had experienced, following series and series of refusals at certain embassies.

little girl surprised
“A child concentrating hard at school” by Les Anderson on Unsplash

You would think he went for a contract he did not have the capacity for, but then, you would have been wrong. He needed to impart knowledge. He opted to do so across borders, but then, some realities were harsh.

Borders and geographical constraints can cause a lot of havoc. However, it can only do so, when the full discovery of a better way to impart knowledge across borders has not been made. Video conferencing technology has become handy at times like this. Hence, your traditional seminars, conferences, and talks can easily be achieved from anywhere, regardless of your role.

man on a couch with a computer
Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash
On a lighter note, these pillows are dope.

Maybe we should not be too ambitious. Maybe we could simply make this article about a one-sided ‘remoteness’, where the attendees are gathered in an offline venue, but then the speakers have a 100% flexibility to speak from anywhere.

For this kind of arrangement, the advantages are many, same as the disadvantages. Let’s start with the disadvantages. For a place not having a very fast internet, the video and audio quality might be abysmal. But that is about that!

For the advantages: a herd of developers or writers are gathered, waiting for a speaker to impart knowledge. So many things would have gone wrong if the speaker was to travel from one location to another. Think about the racism, the mishaps or the thefts. What about the man-hours lost in commuting from one place to the other?

All of these are greatly minimized to a lazy trudge from your bed or kitchen to your computer. Then, the speaker has 5 minutes to the conference, and they are washing their face and checking their teeth. Now he or she is out of time and rushes up with a neatly ironed shirt, on a light brown underpants. Of course, the camera is only built to see the face of the speaker. Convenience is the word!

Visa problems are a thing here in Africa. While a public ban has not been laid on some countries, a lot of resource persons find it difficult to get visa to speak in countries they have a large following, or not.

man putting his head in his hands, looking frustrated, sitting on a pier
Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

However, this conferencing arrangement might make your dream come true, if and only if you are able to get up from that cozy bed and turn on your computer in time. You could reach more audience than you expect.

Such an easy life.

For the attendees, it is a Win. Look at it this way; your favorite speakers are just a click away from you! That sounds alluring. There are plenty reasons why your favorite speakers might not make it to you in a totally offline conference, but then everything has been simplified and he or she is simply a button and a good internet-connection away. This offers more mentorship chances and enhances progress. In sum, it makes things easier for your favorite speakers.

a person's hands at a meeting
Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Are you a writer, a developer or a random conference crasher, then you should look out for the next online conference in town. You might just be surprised at the quality of speakers you would be hearing from.

Concatenate is a free conference for Nigerian developers, happening the 9th and 10th of August. The attendees will be in person and the speakers and MC will be both in person and remote from around the world. If you’re near Lagos, register here!