The successful 10th anniversary edition of Agile Tour Vienna is now over. While we are already excited about planning the next one, we’d like to share insights of the long and bumpy road towards this year’s conference.
After the lockdown in March and the world standing still for two months, the fate of the Agile Tour Vienna 2020 was hanging by a thread as planning an in-person conference like in previous years no longer seemed reasonable.
In May, we’d reached the point where a crucial decision had to be made. How realistic is it that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic would be under control by the time the conference was scheduled to take place? It quickly became clear that this was highly unlike. Yet cancelling the conference was at no time an option for us!
Planning an online event
- The only logical conclusion was to switch to a remote event and start planning from ground zero again. We set the following goals to achieve:
The line-up should be something special – for this we’ve contacted the keynote speakers from past years.
- The program has to contain something new as well – that’s why we’ve integrated the hybrid panel discussion format for the first time.
- As this was 10th anniversary, we wanted to thank our community for their loyalty – let’s make the tickets free of charge and have attendees give a voluntary contribution if they want to support the time and effort of our speakers.
- A major goal was to come as close as possible to a real-life conference experience – after intensive research we chose Hopin to help us provide the conference spirit.
What might seem to be simple at first, turned out to be quite complex indeed. After throwing several agenda drafts over-board, finally a month before the conference, a small, circle of the organisation team was able to fix a schedule! Coordinating the speakers living all across the globe was one big task itself. We’ve executed dry runs with every speaker prior to the conference to make sure they learn the platform’s technical requirements and the event day will run smoothly.
Who will be responsible for the moderation? Without hesitation, Robert Finan and Richard Brenner, two of TechTalk’s Agile Coaches and essential members of the organization committee, volunteered to take on this task. This required being familiar with our speakers’ work and making the panel discussions interesting and dynamic.
The technical set-up was tested in numerous dry runs at TechTalk’s DC Spaces event location, which is perfectly equipped for remote and hybrid meeting formats. We were able to apply the know-how acquired over the past months through a number of online trainings and events that we organized. Nevertheless, this was still a completely new experience and an experiment for us to organize a remote conference of this scale. After all, we wanted the speakers as well viewers to have a pleasant experience.
The conference day is finally here
Finally, the conference day was here and we were happy that several panelists joined the organization team at the conference site. After Robert’s opening speech in which he described all the organization struggles pictured in this blog post, the long awaited talks and panel discussions could start.
Below you will find the list in chronological order. With a click, you can watch the video recordings, too!
- Jenni Jepsen: Experiment your way through change
- Malene Jacobsen: My Scrum is better than your Scrum!
- Panel Discussion: Remote Austria
With Laura Hermann, Zvonimir Durcevic, Veronika Kotrba and Oliver Perner
- Jutta Eckstein: Probe your Organization – How you can implement a Learning Organization with Bossa Nova
- Panel Discussion: Transformations from the trenches – real-world agile experiences!
With Christian Hassa, Elisabeth Geyer-Schall and Werner Motzet
- Luke Hohmann: Innovation Games® for Portfolio Prioritization
- Joakim Sundén: Agile Transformations Using the Spotify “Model”: Lessons from the Trenches
- Panel Discussion: Agile & Legacy
With J. B. Rainsberger, Gojko Adzic and Dave Farley
- Kevin Clark: The Road to Excellence
Looking back, we are very happy about how successful the 10th anniversary of the Agile Tour Vienna turned out. We got 558 registrations and a show rate of 68% with participants from all over the world.
The speakers did an outstanding job, the participants had a great exchange in the chat, the technical set-up worked perfectly, and the collected feedback was very positive and helpful!
That is what participants said:
“You all did a great job, thanks for not cancelling it and getting through all complicated stuff to organise it in a different way. Congrats to the organisation team! You did a great job!”
“Thanks for organising this, and keeping it up even in 2020 conditions. Got me excited about this awesome community once again!”
“Moderation was excellent – the guests brought interesting insights, I especially enjoyed the TRAFO-Talk”
“Great way for online-networking – randomly chosen couples are really fine to talk to unknown people”
Check out what attendees tweeted about this year´s Agile Tour Vienna. #ATVIE20
With Hopin, we’ve also chosen a tool that enables an entertaining way of networking. During the breaks, participants were able to be paired randomly with five minutes to chat. It was important for us to use this feature to encourage the kind of sharing and conversations that you might normally have at an onsite conference.
In which format will we be able to hold the conference next year, is yet to be decided. Whether it will be an onsite, online, or hybrid, thanks to our community and speakers, we will sure create another great event.
Until then, you can watch the entire 2020 conference on YouTube. Click here for the playlist.
Cheers, see you next year :-)