DVCon Europe’s Virtual Space Revisited

“Why” :  Why do we do DVCon Europe?, what’s it for? The last couple of years have put a lot of things into focus. The key to DVCon Europe, for me at least, is meeting people. We spend our lives on conf-calls with other members of the Accellera community, but we never have time to ‘chat’, find out who they really are. And without that ‘human face’, that personal contact, sometimes (as we all know) the rather dry and impersonal  communication that we use all day long can end up being hard to interpret. The ‘real person’ behind the icon on the screen is, sometimes, so important to understanding.

So, DVCon Europe is about meeting people, and catching up with them as real people, yet, for all to obvious reasons, we haven’t been able to do that for 2 years. Last year we ‘pioneered’ (at least in our small part of the conferencing universe) the idea of a ‘virtual reality conference’. The feedback, from those that took part (about a 1/3 of the overall conference) was really positive, and anecdotally the ‘quality’ of the conversations, and the benefit of meeting people was much appreciated. So this year, with a little more time to plan, we have re-visited the virtual space. 

Traditionally, we hold our conference in Munich, and so, in our virtual world, we have a beautiful conferencing venue, right in the heart of the city’s market square. I think there are even some buskers playing somewhere! (They seem to be talking about IP rights!).

Last year, we had a complex sprawling complex of multiple rooms – interconnected in an even more complex patten. This year, we’ve kept it deceptively simple (if only you knew the complexity behind the scenes!). There is one large meeting space, with some side areas for quieter discussion. There are lifts which take you to the poster rooms (which you can also use for quiet discussion). 

The main stage is setup for panels which will be run within the virtual space, and we hope that all presenters at the conference will be available in the virtual space after their papers, panels or plenaries. One note – please mute your microphone while you are watching sessions on the main stage.

A word on your ‘avatar’: Last year, somebody put a lot of effort into their avatar, I can’t think who! This year, there is a change to the avatar system which we hope will really help make that human contact. In addition to being able to design your own avatar, on some of the pre-built ones you can ’share’ your camera. Your face will appear on a screen in front of the avatar. We would really encourage you to do this, especially when your talking 1-1 to people, it’s all about that human contact! (For best results Chrome or Firefox seem to be good choices).

It’s not ideal, and it would be lovely to be eating sausages with you all in Munich, but at least our virtual environment will enable a degree of human contact, and all for very little carbon – a non-negligible consideration in the years that come!

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