Making the Greatest Online Access of All Time

Access conference circle logo with a goat in front of it with the words "Access conference 2020 - Greatest Online Access of All Time" around it

When #AccessYVR suddenly had to turn into #AccessWWW sometime this past Spring, we wanted to make sure that your beloved Access Conference didn’t turn into just another webinar. So, while our amazing program sessions will take place in a Zoom call, we’ve also got tons of extracurricular programming to spice things up!

Social events

We’ve got something happening every day after the main program (except Friday, because we respect your weekday/weekend boundaries):

Bonus content & asynchronous activities

Don’t miss the sweet sweet content we have on during the breaks, including Second Life tours, a Cook-Along, Pet Meet and Greet, and Virtual Forest Bathing

We’ve also got asynchronous activities for you to do whenever, like Bingo and a Minecraft-like world you can explore and build in.

Conference swag

Perhaps the most challenging part of holding an online conference is replicating the attendee experience of coming home with a whole bunch of pens, post-its, and stickers in your pockets. So, we made:

  • Digital swag everyone can download!
  • A small care package of physical swag, available to the first 200 registrants with a Canadian mailing address (sorry American friends, but it didn’t seem like a good time for us to add any extra burdens on your postal service)

Fun bonus stories

Finally, here are some ideas we considered and abandoned for various reasons. Feel free to attempt them at the next virtual conference you end up organizing!

  • Hosting the whole shebang in Second Life
  • Chat roulette-style virtual mingling!
  • Mailing out conference snacks, such as vacuum-sealed pouches of guacamole
  • Including a mysterious USB stick in each mailout. However, these weren’t going to be just any conference detritus — we found an eBay seller offering preposterously tiny ONE (1) MEGABYTE flash drives, which we gradually formed into a plan to include a bunch of minimal computing experiments on each mailer. Despite the seller asking outright if we were sure we wanted these when we placed an order for 200 pcs., as in his words, they were “almost useless,” we forged ahead.
    Unfortunately, we did not test the USB sticks prior to September, and it turns out that the defect rate on a loose bag of 1MB USB sticks is virtually 100%. The joke’s on us; we failed to mail you garbage. However, we still have the results of our silly experiment, hosted here to delight and amaze you.
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