Like so many other events recently, the Vintage Computing Festival Berlin (VCFB) will hold its annual event in the virtual domain this year. Other retro computing events have already taken place online in 2020 and I very much enjoyed to join events I could not have gone in person. However, all of them have focused on talks while the exhibition of retro computing equipment was unfortunately ditched. At the online VCFB this year, we attempt to do things a bit differently.
Like other events we will of course also have a roster with talks which will be streamed in real time to a global audience. In addition, however, we would also like to have virtual exhibition tables where participants can present their equipment in a similar fashion as they would do at a real table during the festival. Instead of ‘real exhibition tables’ we will use BigBlueButton video conference rooms and exhibitors will have individual rooms where they can demonstrate their kit and chat with visitors. Unlike the talks, these rooms will not be recorded by the organizers because they are intended as an informal platform for talking to visitors and showing the equipment. In other words, no need to create a script, just like at a real exhibition table.
The central point that brings everything together will be a Wiki, where exhibitors can introduce their kit in a similar way as with posters that are usually placed at the pin board behind the exhibition tables. From here, the virtual table, i.e. the BBB room, is just a click away. No software installation is required, everything runs in the web browser. Exhibitors decide on their own at which times they want to be present at their ‘virtual tables’ and their Wiki pages will advertise those times accordingly. In addition there will also be an Info Desk / Lounge Room for people to ask general questions about the event, to hang out and to create breakout rooms for discussions between visitors.
You might have noticed that I used the word ‘we’ in the text a couple of times because I’m part of the ‘orga team’ to make the event happen this year. Registration is open now and I would be very happy to see you and your retro kit at the event! For further details we’ve started putting together a number of Wiki pages that explain the concept in somewhat more detail.