I’m old enough to remember when no-one was ever going back to the office
I wouldn’t be disappointed if they were. I stopped watching live keynotes several years ago so I could fast forward through the self-congratulations and any boring demos that might be presented.
But many companies have not taken advantage of virtual events nearly as much as Apple. Their virtual keynotes have been excellent and free of distractions that have been plaguing live presentations throughout history - "If you want to see the demos, shut off your laptops, . . .”
And from what I’ve read at least the virtual WWDC events have been well received by developers. Many miss the social aspect of the live event but it is no longer limited to a few thousand people that are rich enough to attend in person.
I don’t know if companies are done with in-person events (but I doubt it), but I am done with online events like this. Last month I went to my first in-person conference in nearly two years and I was nearly instantly reminded that the majority of the value of such events came from the chance encounters and discussions that happen outside of the sessions.
Unless one is an introvert.
I’m actually an introvert’s introvert I find in-person conferences rewarding but, very draining. However, I find online conferences soul sucking and terrible
I’m a mild introvert who does not enjoy networking—its draining to me as well. But, that said, in-person events are nearly always better than online. I’m teaching an online graduate course and I don’t like it. I much prefer being in the classroom with grad students. As an aside, I don’t think I’d enjoy teaching undergrads though.
Give me online every time. Why? Because I’m not going to spend thousands to network. As a business conference I can see value in it. Living outside of North America (and perhaps western Europe where cheap flights are a thing) it’s just a flat out no for a lot of people on cost alone, unless their business (if there is such a thing) can afford it.
Interestingly, I just checked flights from New Zealand to San Francisco for that week and was amazed they can be had (except on the exact dates that would be most convenient) for a reasonable sum; approximately USD$1500-$1800 return. If the world was all travelling like it was 1999, err 2019, and there actually was a conference on, I doubt it would be that low.
This is what I miss about in-person events. At my most recent corporate job, I met a bunch of great people in late 2019 at conference in Phoenix. It was a wonderful opportunity to develop and grow my network and offer my skills and knowledge to others. I’m pretty shy at first, so the immersion is really helpful to “bring me out of my shell”.
It helped that costs were covered by my employer!
I think virtual events can have tremendous value, and Apple is doing really well with them. I wonder if they’re ever going to add interactivity to them, like a Q&A type thing. I know they’re generally live to tap for the keynotes, so maybe the sessions could go this way.
Final slightly off topic thought… when can we expect an MPU live event? I’d love to attend!