FajitaCon has come and gone. Lessons learned?
The first one I’m struggling with right now? I need a rig that can regenerate video a lot faster than what I have right now. What I have is NOT made for video. That being said, as I can split everything in to individual videos, I will be uploading them to YouTube.
The second thing I learned? What niche did FajitaCon live in? I always have this need and feeling to help people, even if in small ways. After PancakesCon was put on, I immediately started thinking about doing a virtual conference as well. So many things were cancelling or delaying due to the pandemic. I don’t know the exact timeline, but I had decided and posted, then saw everyone else doing so. Suddenly, this was a crowded schedule. Not a problem. Just something I didn’t think about at the time. But it is an awesome thing that all of those virtual conferences did pop up! And some organizers took some calculated jumps, like holding the conference in a virtual reality setting, or even from within Animal Crossing!
The third thing I learned is that there are some awesome people out there with things to share wonderfully as awesome! The quality of all the talks we had were just wonderful! Some were talks that had already been successfully submitted and used elsewhere. Some were talks that had been rejected at other CFPs, but were equally as wonderful in my estimation!
The fourth thing I learned, or more accurately was reminded of, was that passionate people stir emotions. I loved having Jayson Street as one of the invited feature speakers. He spoke from the heart, which is on brand. I was just happy that the emotions from some people that were polarized away from what he was saying were respectful for the most part. No matter what people’s opinions were, I am thankful for Jayson and his willingness to offer us a piece of his mind. That’s a request I would have made a million times is to have him speak.
As a side note, according to Twitch statistics, there were 300 unique viewers through the day for FajitaCon!!! We averaged 42 viewers at any given time! That is wonderful! I had no expectations for these numbers, but this even blows me away! This is a testament to all the great speakers that were on the schedule!
While my planning was a bit off the rails (and I apologize if that kept anyone on the edge of their seats), I truly didn’t know how I wanted this thing to look, just that I wanted to do it. Now, with FajitaCon behind us, I want to start by saying…
FAJITACON WILL BE A REGULAR THING!!!
Yes, I hope to do this regularly. After going through the one event, I now understand some of the decisions I made in regards to logistics. I can qualify them, which means I can give them further shape.
First, FajitaCon will be a bi-annual event. We will keep FajitaCon on the calendar for the first Saturday in May. It’s sister event will be SushiCon. Tentatively, this will be the first Saturday in November. However, we want to coordinate to existing conference scheduling and try to place it on the best weekend possible.
Second, these events will turn in to what I like to call “le conference petite”. These will be four hour virtual conferences moving forward. There will be a combination of feature speakers speaking on invitation, first time speakers, plus anyone else that wishes to speak.
Third, we will keep the 25 minute format. It can be an interesting challenge for a speaker, but it results in material that will keep the attention of more people. (We will release some further specific details when the SushiCon CFP opens.)
Fourth, I will seek to keep this as a fun and open format. I loved hearing people talk about various, almost random, things in InfoSec. But it came from a standpoint that they were interested in the subject. Whether it was DeepFakes and ransomware, or how the brain works and how to try and hack that process, everyone’s passions shone through. Passion is the key word.
Fifth, I believe that the processes from this first FajitaCon weren’t half bad, but I promise to refine them.
Sixth, we will have a comedy after-party.
Oh, and Alethe Denis has already agreed to accept an invitation to be one of the feature speakers at SushiCon2020!
Many people have told me thanks for pulling FajitaCon together, but everyone who was involved, from our chat moderators, to our speakers, to our CFP review board…they are the ones who made the experience special! Thanks to all of you. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word. Thanks to everyone who virtually attended. You all made the experience so wonderful for each other, including myself.
And P.S., we will work on some swag now that we are hanging around.