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[Xen-devel] Moving Forward on XenSummit

I wanted to let everyone know that the XenProject is moving forward with plans 
to hold XenSummit this year, one way or another.

There are two basic approaches the Advisory Board has been considering:  
Postponing the even until later in the year, or holding a virtual event during 
the same timeframe.  Additionally, if we hold a virtual event during the same 
timeframe, the Board wants to keep the option open of having a smaller, 
in-person event later in the year, if circumstances permit.

Because the University of Bucharest has been very flexible, there is no rush to 
make a decision.  As a result, the Advisory Board has recommended that we spend 
time looking into the options in detail, and make a final decision around 
mid-April, 6 weeks before the originally scheduled event.

(As a side effect, the event webpage will have dates and places for the 
schedule as though we were still holding the event in Bucharest.  These will be 
updated when we know what we’re planning to do instead.)

# Physical and Virtual

The XenSummit is an important event for our community.  Some visible things 
that happen include:

* To allow members of the community to communicate to everyone else what 
they've been working on in the previous year, and what they plan to work on in 
the future

* To allow people to hash out technical issues in design sessions

Just as critical, the XenSummit allows an innumerable number of small 
"hallway-track" conversations, as well as plain social interaction -- filling 
out email addresses with faces and personalities, allowing the community to run 
much more smoothly during the rest of the year.

It is very clear that holding a virtual event will not be nearly as effective 
at those things as an in-person event.  However, given the current uncertainty, 
it's not clear that the world will be ready for travel later in the Fall 
either.  And if it were, there's a risk that many such postponed event will 
collide with other postponed events, reducing attendance.  Additionally, we 
would need to either coordinate with the University term time, or find another 
venue, which could be much more expensive.

Having a virtual Summit is much better than having no XenSummit at all.  So the 
decision to be made will be to weigh the lower effectiveness of having a 
virtual Summit against the risk that a postponed event will turn out not to be 

In the mean time, we are brainstorming ways to try to get as much of the 
benefits of an in-person summit as possible.  If you have any thoughts or 
concrete suggestions along these lines -- in particular, things that have been 
tried and worked well or poorly in other virtual events that you've 
participated in -- then please let us know.

To be clear, there is no thought of continuing to hold virtual events after the 
current pandemic has passed.  We fully expect to have an in-person event in 

As always, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to share 
them with me.

Stay safe everyone, and look forward to seeing you all in person when things 
have returned to normal.

 -George Dunlap



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