The conference ended last night. Even though it was online, it was brilliant. It’s organized by one guy, and I have absolutely no idea how he manages to hold such a large event completely on his own twice a year. He’s promising that the next time it will be held in Cartagena de las Indias, for sure sure sure. I don’t necessarily believe this but this particular conference I’ll attend even if it’s online.
This was the second time I’m in this conference, and when I saw the panel where the organizer put me, I felt discouraged. The other speakers are in a different field and seemed completely unconnected to my research. But the moment the first person in my panel began to speak, it’s like lights were turned on. The organizer didn’t group us by genre, country, or time period. He grouped us on the basis of the ideas we were developing. How he managed to do this for 200 speakers is a mystery but the result is that I never have such intense, productive conversations as at this conference.
Another thing is that in terms of technology everything was perfect. I’m speaking at a large institutional conference next week, and they have already messed up the technology part. In order to sign into your Zoom room, you need to download an app, enter it, register, request a link, and so on and so forth. It’s fascinating how one guy can organize a conference a million times better than a bunch of organizing committees. He even sends out goodie bags for the online conferences! It doesn’t feel like a conference without a goodie bag, which large institutional conferences don’t understand.