Re: Can the community prepare for the next NVDACon?


Hi Quentin and others,

Feel free to tag me on Twitter about NVDACon (Derek, would you like to be copied, too?).

Basically, organizing an event at the scale of NVDACon (a multi-day international gathering) requires up to a year of preparation (it took me several weeks to plan the first one in March 2014; part of the quick planning was due to my experience organizing online events and chats in the past). The 2016 edition (NVDA’s tenth anniversary celebration) took at least six months to organize, and the 2017 edition took a bit longer; I remember folks taking close to a year to organize 2018 and 2019 editions.

What makes or breaks an event, more so for an international meeting, are a combination of vision, leadership, planning, publicity, the event itself, and post-event assessment. The organizing committee must demonstrate commitment to see the event go through by agreeing on a vision, constant communication, keeping things and schedule organized, reaching out to potential audience and speakers (including NV Access), looking for appropriate venues, date and time selection, triple-checking event agenda (both the event itself and planning meetings), event conduct, and willingness to learn from the event and plan ahead. All of these must be balanced with life priorities, world events, developments in NVDA and related technologies, availability of planners and presenters, and other factors (pandemic, for instance).

One of the most important thing in event organizing is the role of conference chair. This person is responsible for listening and articulating the needs of stakeholders: conference planners, audience members, speakers, and other attendees (including outside observers). The chair must be a firm yet receptive visionary, an active listener and researcher, be able to speak the language of conference planners, audience members, and outside observers, and reflexive when it comes to post-event analysis (being reflective and reflexive are two different concepts). The conference chair should not press forward with whatever idea he/she/they have in mind unless other planners say so, and the chair should not vote down ideas coming from planners without giving people a chance to think about them. The chair, as a public face of NVDACon, must be willing to “travel a lot” i.e. field questions and comments from planners and would-be attendees before, during, and after the event, and must be willing to seek feedback.

The ideal planning timeline for a hypothetical NVDACon in October 2023 might be as follows:

  • October 2022: call for organizing committee members, because without this, NVDA Con simply will not happen.
  • November 2022: ideally have the first planning committee meeting, devoted to analyzing past events and the agenda for the rest of the planning sessions.
  • December 2022: reach out to NV Access about NVDACon 2023.
  • January 2023: start formulating conference theme and look into host venues.
  • March 2023: finalize the conference theme and discuss possible event dates.
  • April 2023: finalize conference dates, publish the conference theme, conference dates,  and a call for events, set event proposal deadline to no later than late May.
  • May 2023: host the planning meetings from the actual conference venue. Keep publicizing call for proposals.
  • June 2023: review proposal submissions, and if needed, ask for clarifications from submitters.
  • July 2023: devote the meeting to conference scheduling, invite event presenters to discussing their topic and date/time preferences.
  • August 2023: coordinate international participation, including translations, refine conference schedule and publish it no later than end of August. Start publicity campaign for the event.
  • September 2023: final check-up, ideally with event presenters present, start running NVDACon ads in broadcast media such as radio stations for the disability community.
  • Three weeks before the event: do a short run-through with event presenters to resolve possible technical issues
  • Two weeks before the event: invite NV Access or whoever is going to deliver the keynote presentation to the meeting.
  • One week before the event: have an informal meeting (I usually called it “organizers luncheon” so we can discuss many things in an informal environment).
  • Three days before the event: have audiovisual engineers run the event to make sure everything is ready.
  • Two days before the event: conference chair should start thinking about post-event analysis.
  • One day before the event: have an organizers meeting.
  • The event itself
  • One week after the event: organize a meeting for post-event analysis.

The above is the ideal schedule for organizers. Keep in mind that organizers can speak different languages and may live in different time zones. This is why I advise using UTC for NVDACon dates and times (Derek wrote a handy script to present event times in local time).

The biggest takeaway is that NVDACon cannot happen by simply asking for it. I, too, hope that it can be revived – I remember folks having a discussion around event venue. But before we can revive NVDACon, organizers must be willing to work together while balancing other priorities.




From: <> On Behalf Of derek riemer
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2022 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: [NVDACon] Can the community prepare for the next NVDACon?


It would be great to bring back. Unfortunately it's a huge undertaking, and all of us organizing were tired, and needgburned out. Maybe next year, if some fresh faces help out on more than a cheers to you level.


On Thu, Nov 10, 2022, 13:23 Quentin Christensen <quentin@...> wrote:

Well, it's not all on one person.  The question is, does the COMMUNITY want NVDACon?  If you are interested in helping out (beyond prompting the question), it could be worth taking back to the wider NVDA community to see if there are some fresh faces interested.


On a side note, someone tagged us on Twitter asking about NVDACon and to be put in touch with the organisers.  Is anyone interested in fielding that, or else I could suggest they join here?




On Fri, Nov 11, 2022 at 6:58 AM Lino Morales <linomorales001@...> wrote:

I think NVDDA Con is dead. Play Taps. I don't think Derrek Reemer and company will ever bring it back. I could be wrong.

On 11/10/2022 1:29 PM, Rowen Cary wrote:


NVDACon is really a meaningful thing, can the community prepare for the next NVDACon?




Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager


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