Konf plots the future of tech conferences in a post-Covid world
The 2020 tech calendar has been decimated by Covid-19. There’s been no Mobile World Congress, no Google I/O and a dramatically different WWDC. But you could argue it hasn’t really changed anything.
Sure, we’ve missed travelling to the shows to get up-close with the new tech, but most manufacturers have adapted well to ‘the new normal’, finding fun new ways to get their products in front of the masses.
However, those who truly miss out are the developers and entrepreneurs who rely on these conferences to get their products in front of the right people and to network with like-minded, often deep-pocketed others. Right now it’s difficult to imagine jumping on a plane and packing into a conference centre with thousands of people from all around the world.
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Konf reckons it has the answer. It’s a new virtual conferencing platform that’ll keep you rooted in your comfy home office chair, catching all of the important keynote speakers and developer sessions, while still making those all-important serendipitous connections.
The company says conferences are much more about the connections we make and people we meet at conferences, rather than the people we hear speak. It wants to find a way for people to bond over a shared goal or topic, regardless of whether they’re physically attending. Think of it as reaching the spots a Zoom conference call can’t.
The in-browser tool, which launches to the public today gives attendees “full control over their experience,” with the ability to select speakers, participate in panel discussions, and join in breakout rooms and chats where they can network with other attendees.
“Nobody gets on a plane to fly 3,000 miles to sit in a darkened room with 3,000 other people to listen to someone recite a Keynote presentation. If that’s the purpose, then just send me a YouTube video. At least that way I can listen to it at 1.5x the speed, and skip the boring bits,” says Haje Kamps, co-founder and CEO of Konf.
“The whole point of going to a conference is to create new business connections, make new friends, and to find interesting collaborators. Without that, it just doesn’t make sense. We feel like our competitors fall seriously short on that front.”
For organisers the tool offers full video delivery and easy screen-sharing tools, as well as secure smart ticketing, which should crack down on the rampant ticket sharing that often end-up costing them a few quid.