Interested in technology but can’t get out of town? No problem! 2020 will be the year of virtual conferences. A virtual conference is an interactive online event that brings people together with similar interests or knowledge so that they can learn from each other. When planned correctly, they can be very engaging, even when all human interactions occurring online. Technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, live streaming, and digital marketing are natural fits for virtual conferences. If you are interested in IT, tech, or other digital matters, here are five online conferences planned in 2020 for you to consider. Most of these events also provide in-person tickets but who needs it with the technology available these days?
Product Led Summit – January 20 – 31
Product Led Growth (PLG) is not just another business buzzword. PLG is a new-market strategy that relies on using a product as the trigger to acquire, convert, and retain customers. This involves customers experiencing the product in action, instead of reading about it in a whitepaper or on a spec sheet. If you are interested in building a company using this strategy, this online Summit is the place to start. The Summit features 50 SaaS experts sharing what it takes to build a product-led business. Topics include website strategy, customer experience, product management, product engagement, SaaS metrics, and more. All-Access Pass tickets are very affordable and will include all talks both live and on-demand. There is a free ticket option for live broadcasts only.
Customer Validation Conference — April 7 – 9
Presented by Centercode, the Customer Validation Conference is a free online event focused on the professional development of managers and directors who deliver successful products through both company and customer testing. Attendees can participate in a variety of presentations offered by industry professionals, peers, and experts. All presentations will be recorded and made available on demand for later viewing. 2020’s theme is focused on continuous product testing and ongoing customer engagement. Guests will take a deep dive into pre-release customer testing strategies and learn how immediate feedback can help drive actionable strategies for a product release — all while promoting agility. A free conference ticket includes access to conference presentations, a virtual Expo Hall, downloadable content, networking rooms, and more. Centercode is a leader in the industry, providing solutions that enable companies to launch successful products through effective Alpha, Beta, and Delta Testing.
F8 — Facebook Developers Conference – May 5 and 6
Facebook F8 is an annual conference planned for developers and entrepreneurs who build products and services used with Facebook. Their tag line is “A conference about technology and human connection”. There are not a lot of details available yet for the 2020 conference. The 2020 announcement promised “product demos, deep-dive sessions that showcase how technology can enable you to come together and create your best work, and opportunities for you to network with our global developer community and learn from each other.” In the past, most presentations and workshops were live-streamed for free on Facebook. You can sign up to receive email notifications when streams go live. The Facebook For Developers page also hosts a dedicated F8 event. The 2019 F8 emphasized both VR and AR technology. It also announced upgrades, products, and expansions to products like Messenger, WhatsApp, Dating, and Marketplace.
STAREAST Virtual Conference – May 6 and 7
This is one of the longest-running and most respected conferences on software testing and quality assurance in the United States. The event streams live from Orlando and will remain on demand for three months after the event. There are five keynotes, multiple tech presentations, and speaker interviews. Topics include Test Strategy, Planning, and Metrics; Performance Testing & Monitoring; Agile Testing; Big Data, Analytics, AI Machine Learning; and DevOps.
Google I/O – TBD 2020
Google’s annual developer event was last held in May 2019. The 2020 dates have not been set. The event is an immersive experience focused on exploring the next generation of tech. I/O features workshops, presentations, hands-on learning with Google experts, and the first look at Google’s latest developer products. Google plans I/O Extended virtual events to help developers from around the world take part in this event. In 2019, there were more than 500 of these extended viewing parties, either at an in-person event or online. Viewers can tune in to keynotes and other presentations through online streams
Virtual or online conferences are definitely on the rise. A recent survey conducted by the Professional Convention Management Association Education Foundation found that 67% of respondents expected to remotely participate in events in the next three years. The prevalence of live streaming, virtual reality, and other tech capabilities make it so easy for humans to meet and interact online. Not only should we be planning these events, but we should also be attending them.