In April we held the first ever European Zig meetup.
I wanted to write something about how it went and which lessons I learned, but immediately after I had to start working on preparing for Software You Can Love, which is going to happen in October.
Now that the conference website is up and a fair amount of things are done (ie there's actually a lot more to do, but those are less time-sensitive), I'm here to tell you about how it went.
Attendance was amazing and definitely above all expectations. We were in total about 60 people and a good chunk of those was not even from the EU!
For SYCL22 I've booked a location that can host up to 98 people.
The location was a class room in the engineering university of Milan. One good thing was that it was spacious, one bad thing was that it didn't have guest WiFi (it did have Eduroam, which can be used by students from almost any EU university, but still, far from perfect).
For SYCL22 the conference will be held at a hotel. WiFi is going to be present for all attendees.
For me the best part about the meetup was the free time we had after lunch before resuming with the main schedule. On the first day we ate lunch at a nearby brewery and I believe I wasn't the only one feeling stuffed and not exactly ready to sit in a dark room to listen to a talk, so we went for a little stroll and took the photo at the top of this post.
For SYCL22 the second day is going to be entirely dedicated to chatting with other attendees with more than enough space (we'll have tables!) to open a laptop and hack on stuff together. We're also going to keep the 2h long lunch breaks, we're in Italy after all :^)
Another great thing about the meetup were the days before and after. We met on the day before to go around the city center and we also met after the meetup at my favorite ice cream shop. We also played Secret Hitler and Spex shot Andrew.
For SYCL22 we're definitely going to organize some extra activities aswell. The main conference lasts 3 days. The fourth day is only a half day of workshops and the idea is to meet in the afternoon at the same ice cream place.
Additionally, Discord now has a channel dedicated to allowing people to announce activities that they're planning so that others can join them. Here you can learn more.
I tried my best to give people information by posting it in the Discord announcement channel, but some information was missing. I think the worst part was when people had trouble getting the right train ticket to reach the ice cream place.
For SYCL22 I've created an entire section of the website dedicated to travel FAQs. If you're coming for the conference, it's not a bad idea to stay a few days more and travel a bit around Italy.
On the SYCL22 website there's also a section with travel ideas.
I think the talk recordings turned out great. Nothing much to add there, I'll try to get them right also for SYCL22, although it's going to be much tougher to capture 2 full days of talks so please be understanding if something goes wrong!
Running the meetup was no joke and at the end of each day I was utterly exhausted. I would have really liked to join people for dinner but there was just no way. The problem was in part that getting everything ready (eg making sure I wouldn't forget to bring the camera) meant waking up early, and this being my first time running an event of this size meant that I was under stress the whole day.
For SYCL22 I expect to be less tense thanks to the experience I gained.
Are you one of the 60ish people that showed up? Do you have anything to add? If so, leave a comment below. I actually mean it, there's no algorithm to please here :^)
Also checkout https://sycl.it if you want to be there in October!
There's also a Call for Speakers open btw.