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Unleashed team shares insights from DrupalCon Global 2020

The digital dust that swirled around the creation and realization of the first completely virtual Drupal Con has settled. However, Drupal events are not slowing down. Our local community will see Baltimore DrupalCamp and GovCon in September, while Drupal has ten events still left on their calendar. If you are curious about attending, you are not alone.  We have pulled some of our Drupal experts together to reflect their Drupal Global experience and how Drupal's Virtual events are going in general.

Unleashed team members answering questions and sharing their experiences are:

  • Senior Solution Architect Chad Hester, a DrupalCon Global live speaker and sits on the planning board for DrupalCon 
  • Frontend Web Developer Jenna Shenk, a live speaker and is active with the Drupal Association 
  • Unleashed CEO Muhammad Hutasuhut, who attended DrupalCon for the first time

They each had their own unique experiences and personal insights on how this year's virtual event. Below are a few of their thoughts, but you can watch the full video to capture the lively discussion about DrupalCon Global 2020 and how it will impact DrupalCon for years to come. 

What was your favorite part of DrupalCon Global? 

Chad: The DrupalCon experience in person is very intense; intense from a social level, from an education level, and from how much you are physically doing in a single day. Then, you have to multiply that experience across multiple days. In general, the traditional DrupalCon experience is very exhausting. With the virtual version, DrupalCon becomes much more accessible. This year, people that would normally not have access to the event, because of the physical time demands or costly travel, had the opportunity to join and share their experiences. I would love to see more of these in that regard. The downside, of course, is loss of social community that comes with physical proximity. 

Jenna: I also loved how accessible the conference was. I enjoyed how easy it was to attend. I could handle client meetings and other daily commitments while still being able to attend all the different sessions and connect with other Drupal attendees. It was easy to manage to jump in and out of the conference vs traveling to this big daunting thing that will take the whole week. Planning for this year's DrupalCon was a lot less stressful.  

Muhammad: Reflecting on the comments from Chad and Jenna, I found this conference was easier to attend in some respects. At a physical conference, there are a lot of rooms that you must travel between versus this arrangement, which allowed you to join a session with the click of a button. If you wanted to change sessions or lost interest in a topic, it was easy to switch. You do lose the crowd feel and questioning [presenters] was limited but, overall, I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the exhibit hall, it seemed more festive than a traditional hall. I noticed people were laughing a lot more.  

As a first-time attendee, could you describe your first impression of DrupalCon?  

Muhammad: DrupalCon, in general, seemed a lot more festive than conferences that I have attended in the past. There were a lot more people having fun. Much more relaxed than other conferences. I do wonder if people being in jest might mean they are having a less serious conversation.  

What was DrupalCon like as a speaker? How was your audience? 

Jenna: I spoke at Drupal Camp in Baltimore, but this was my first time speaking at an event this large. As a first-time DrupalCon speaker, I felt very relaxed. It was not as daunting to be there as I expected. I knew the audience was probably at home, lying in their bed, listening to my talk. It was an awesome experience. I really loved the chat on the side because it was cool to see how many people were having conversations about what I was saying. It really validated that I was talking about things people had thoughts and feelings about. It was also easy to answer questions and share follow up and resources with my attendees. ... At one point, I had close to 500 people.

Chad: This was my first DrupalCon speaking, but I had been on the planning committee for the past three to four years. I had insight on how to submit, but I did have a guarantee to be picked as a speaker. In fact, I had to abstain from voting for myself because it was the right thing to do.  

The experience itself was great. I talked to a few people about my topic and gained attendees just by talking loosely about it. I also enjoyed the feedback from attendees. The feedback was glowing. 

As a first-time attendee, what was your favorite event at DrupalCon?

Muhammad: There are a series of industry summits (healthcare, education, ect.) that was helpful to someone new to the Drupal community. I attended a number of those just to get myself acclimated into the Drupal presence within different industries.

Watch the full Interview for more

Thank you to Chad, Jenna and Muhammad for their time and their commitment to Drupal.  

DrupalCon is the most noteworthy and well-attended event in the Drupal community. COVID-19 has undeniably had many downsides, but the Drupal community was able to turn it into a festive and educational virtual event for people around the world to celebrate Drupal. 

Unleashed, our attendees, and the rest of our team are proud to be members and support the community's commitment to open-source development and innovation. We are happy to share our experience at this event and encourage you to attend a Drupal event soon.   

To check out the rest of our Q&A session with our team members and gain more insight into the DrupalCon Global experience, watch our full interview.