A return to offline meetups and conferences

Yesterday, I dusted off our Meetup page and posted our next PHP South Wales meetup event.

We’ve had online meetups and code practice sessions throughout the pandemic and during lockdowns, but this will be our first offline/in person/IRL meetup since February 2020.

As well as organising our online meetups during COVID, I attended a lot of other online events, usually giving various talks or workshops, and whilst they were good for a while, I eventually started to get burned out by them.

I’ve been an organiser of various meetups and conferences for a long time, and attending events has been a very large part of my career so far - providing opportunities to learn, to network and socialise with other attendees, and pass knowledge on through talks, workshops and mentoring.

It’s been great to see some offline events returning, from local user groups to conferences such as DevOpsDays, DrupalCon and SymfonyLive.

I’ve given one talk this year - a lot less than this time last year - but it was in front of an audience instead of a screen, and whilst it seemed strange, I’m sure that it’s something that will feel normal again in time.

I’m thinking of attending a conference next month, I’ve submitted some talk suggestions to some other conferences which I’m waiting to hear from, and am considering travelling to some of the other UK user groups as they restart - some of which I joined or spoke at online but it would be great to meet them in person.

For next week, I’ll be glad to have PHP South Wales events running again and to see our community back together in person, and then do it again and start getting ready for next month’s event.