MoodleMoot Global – Behind the scenes with event organiser Diego Fabra

Last week, Moodle introduced something completely new to the community. They took their second ever MoodleMoot Global entirely online.

One of the stand out aspects of any Moot is the social element, so we were sceptical about how it would work online. Seeing the initial plans laid those concerns to rest and we were excited about the prospect of what was to come. 

It’s fair to say that MoodleMoot Global 2020 didn’t disappoint.

A packed schedule of presentations ranging from the entertaining to the informative, over 150 speakers illustrating the sheer diversity of the Moodle community, multiple rooms catering for several different languages and the opportunity to hear from thought leaders behind many of the recent innovations.

Now that the dust has settled, and the virtual doors of the event have been closed we reached out to event organiser Diego Fabra – who has quickly become well-known for his infectious enthusiasm and being the mastermind behind the recent success of the MoodleMoots.

We wanted to get his insight into the success of the event, the work that went into it and what the success of this virtual MoodleMoot means for future events.

Good afternoon Diego, where are you joining us from today?

I’m in my hometown, Sitges, working from a “chiringuito” in front of the sea. After last week I needed a few days to recover.

What was your first reaction when you realised that the MoodleMoot Global wouldn’t be able to take place in person this year?

I cried, and cried again… I spent the whole month of December creating a wonderful plan for the Moodle events for the next three years. It was very impressive, a lot of graphics, colours, pictures, numbers – you can imagine it.

I crumpled the plan, threw it in the trash and we decided to create something new, great and different.

What part did the sponsors play in making the event a success?

The support of the partners has been decisive for the success of the event. Although some were very exceptional and cost a lot of energy to convince them that it was possible. 

They have supported us by bringing energy, their presentations and demonstrations, getting involved in the networking cafe, in the Quiz. It would not have been the same without them. I appreciate the trust they placed in us and in the “crazy” vision we had for this event.

What was the most significant piece of work that went into making the event run so smoothly?

Thinking about the event from the participant’s point of view. From turning streaming into a TV schedule, to how we could promote connectivity and networking. Trying to have something happening at all times, so it was impossible to get bored.

What was your favourite aspect of the event?

I was not able to attend many sessions, but when I managed to sit down to attend one, someone needed me to solve a situation. So, my favourite part was the Coffee area… I had some really nice chats with people and met new friends!

Were there any surprising positives to come out of the online Moot that you didn’t initially anticipate?

The platform. Completely built in Moodle Workplace. Getting the Feedback from attendees on the platform and seeing our ability to change and update it. It has been wonderful how it has evolved and how it will evolve in the future!

Who gave your favourite presentation of the week?

 it has been difficult for me to attend to many … But the ones I saw, definitely yours.

What do you think the most positive thing to come out of the experience has been for the wider community?

To see that it is possible to have an online Moot, absolutely fantastic. Sharing knowledge, experiences, learning, seeing old friends and making new ones.

How do you see future events being impacted as a result of the online Moot being so successful?

Online events are here to stay. Our challenge is that whenever there is a MoodleMoot, it is possible to attend both physically and virtually. I still need to find a way to send Mojitos to all the participants.

What’s the next project on the cards for Diego?

Firstly, it is how to improve the experience and prepare the “Online venue” version 2 for the US Moot in October.

Secondly, to plan the Barcelona Moot in November (hopefully this time it will be in person) and if it is not possible to have another, even better virtual experience.

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