Thursday, May 11, 2023

Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May) Follow-up

Here are some follow-up notes about Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May):

  • Videos for all presentations are now available on YouTube for free to everyone, as our contribution to the VFP community. Be sure to subscribe to our channel.
  • If you didn't attend Virtual Fox Fest and want materials (white papers and sample code) for the presentations, go to and "register" for the conference. You're not really registering since it's over, but in the Registration Fees section of the registration page, you'll see "Virtual Fox Fest Session Materials" for previous events. There's also an opportunity to sponsor Virtual Fox Fest, which means your name will be listed on our Sponsors page.
  • If you didn't attend Virtual Fox Fest, check out our Facebook page and see what you missed, then plan to attend a future one so you can join in the fun.
  • We announced Southwest Fox 2023. More about that in another blog post.

Southwest Fox 2023

While Virtual Fox Fest (VFF) has been a great way to learn about our favorite development environment and get together virtually, four years is a long time to not see each other in-person. Geek Gatherings is pleased to announce Southwest Fox 2023 (SWFox), October 19-22, our first in-person conference since 2019.

For a variety of reasons, it'll be different this year.

  • We have a new venue: Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale in Scottsdale, AZ. It's closer to the airport than the SanTan Elegante Conference & Reception Center in Gilbert so it's a little more convenient, but still close to lots of restaurants for after-hours socializing.

  • SWFox will be a hybrid conference: in-person and virtual. When you register, you choose how you'll attend. The virtual event will use the Hopin platform (the same platform we use for Virtual Fox Fest). Sessions are presented live and both streamed to the virtual event and recorded.

  • Videos will be available to attendees (in-person and virtual) after the conference. We will not be making videos available to the community for free as we've done with VFF because we really need people to attend to cover our costs.

  • In order to provide a 15-minute Q & A session for virtual attendees after each presentation, and to provide 15 minutes for the incoming speaker to set up, there will be 30 minutes between sessions rather than 15 minutes as we've done at past conferences. Because of that, we can only fit five sessions per day rather than six, so we've added a half-day to the conference so we can provide the same number of conference sessions (15) as we've had with past conferences. It now starts with registration Thursday morning, an opening session early Thursday afternoon, followed by three conference sessions. The conference goes all day Friday and Saturday, Sunday morning, and finishes with a closing session Sunday afternoon. See the schedule overview for more details. We actually like this schedule and think it's a little more relaxed than at previous conferences.

  • Because we're not sure how many people will attend in-person this year, we didn't want to pick a large, expensive venue. As a result, we have a limit of 50 in-person attendees (there's no limited on virtual attendees). That's not one of those "we're giving an artificially low number to drive up demand" kind of limits; it's a hard limit based on the size of the conference room. So, if you want to attend in-person, be sure to sign up as soon as possible after registration opens in early July. If you miss the cut-off of 50 people, you can always attend virtually.

  • All sessions are presented in a single room. An advantage of this format is that there's no chance of missing any sessions because they're scheduled opposite other sessions you also want to see.  Another is that it eliminates the searching for the next room and trying to find a seat. Also, each speaker only presents one session once rather than two sessions twice, so it's a lot easier on them!

  • Hampton includes hot breakfast with your hotel room charge (Rick Schummer tried it when checking out possible venues a couple of months ago and said it was great). Lunch will be provided on Friday and Saturday (likely deli-style but we're still working out the details). Because we aren't providing as many meals, and have limited other costs as much as we can, registration is less expensive than for previous SWFox conferences. Details will be announced in early July.
One thing that won't be different is a great line up of speakers, inspiring session topics, and the chance to hang out with new and old friends!

We're looking for speakers. If you think you have a topic other developers would be interested in, see our Call for Speakers page and submit a session proposal.

See you in October!

Anatomy of a VFPX Project

At the just-concluded Virtual Fox Fest 2023 (May), I presented a session titled "Anatomy of a VFPX Project". Normally I don't make white papers and sample files from conference sessions available until one year after it was originally presented to discourage people from not attending a conference because the material is available for free. However, the other organizers of Virtual Fox Fest, Rick Schummer and Tamar Granor, agreed with me that this is an important topic for our community because it both encourages and instructs VFP developers on how to contribute to VFPX. So, the white paper and sample files are available now from the Technical Papers page of my web site. You can also watch a video of the presentation.