Unfortunately due to COVID, I have not been to my favourite event in a few years now.
Sure, there were online events and mini-cons, but to me it’s simply not the same.
My first experience with PSConfEU was in 2018 in Hannover Germany and I was just BLOWN away with the content, the speakers, the organisers…
So many likeminded people, such great content and just an amazing time!
While I was kind of star-struck seeing all those people in real life that I either read so much about or even saw videos from while trying to expand my skills, I was surprised to find out that when talking to some of them, they’re actually quite human…
Who could’ve guessed… 🙄
I just HAD to come back the next year, and boy did I take the opportunity to immediately get a ticket booked and get it sorted.
And it was all I had expected and more.
In 2019 however I took a different approach… While I loved the sessions and it’s content, I had noticed my first visit that talking to speakers and attendees in the hallways, during lunch or whenever possible was an even better experience.
So I took my time ‘cherrypicking’ when I wanted to go see a session or talk to someone just to gain more knowledge or meet someone interesting and pick their brain.
All in all, the experience was more tuned towards what I was looking for during that time.
End of 2019 and the tickets for PSConfEU 2020 came on sale.
I knew I had to join again and immediately arranged for my work to get tickets for the event.
Then March 2020 came around and suddenly everyones plans changed.
The whole COVID situation threw a big wrench in everyone’s plans for 2020 and unfortunately the event got cancelled.
At first everyone thought “well, surely by 2021 this should all be over…”, but boy were we wrong 😢.
PSConfEU 2021 was ‘cancelled’ for real life conference, but through hard work they had arranged an online only event.
With work and kids it just wasn’t the same.
Sitting in your home-office watching a Youtube stream while your kids ‘demand’ quality time with dad because “he’s right there!!” makes you re-evaluate your priorities, so instead of geeking out with PowerShell, I geeked out with books, crafts, My Little Pony etc etc.
While 2022 came around and actually provided a “real life event” again, I was not able to attend due to personal circumstances. I was SO bummed out that I wasn’t able to attend so come 2023 I just HAD to make sure I got there.
So in 2023 I REALLY wanted to attend a real life PSConfEU again.
And not just that, I was hoping to add another piece of the experience which I had yet to gain:
As attempted in 2019 and 2020, I had submitted sessions to attend as a speaker.
Looking back now at my previous submissions, I was NOT ready for it and was rightfully ‘denied’.
But this year I just HAD to give it my all.
I noticed that this year, PSConfEU had announced/organised a speaker mentorship program, for aspiring speakers at the conference.
This was it, my shot at overcomming my own insecurities of not getting my sessions accepted.
While I have the personal confidence of being able to provide a good session once I’m in the room in front of people (or at least trying my best 😉 ), I know I have trouble ‘selling myself’ through a good session abstract.
Through the help of the organisers, I went from 2 session abstracts which were mediocre at best, to 4 session abstracts which were quite decent (if I may say so myself!).
Unlike the previous years, I had even managed to submit my sessions prior to the deadline, instead of when reading the Tweet “there’s 2 hours left to submit”…
And come January 6th, I finally received the good news!
We are delighted to inform you that your session <insert session names here> has been accepted for PowerShell Conference Europe 2023!
2 Sessions have been accepted!
I guess I’ll have to bring my A-game and make sure I get all the practice needed on my hard skills and honing of my presenting skills in, so I hopefully don’t let anyone down coming June!
I really can not wait to see friends and likeminded people again and hopefully prove to myself that I DO belong at the conference… not just as an attendee, but as a speaker!
Time will tell…