To rip the bandaid off:, No, Area41 2021 will not happen. Uncertaintyaffects all of us in these times. While we were hopingthat it would not come to this, after careful deliberation and with deep regrets, we have decided to cancel the Area41 2021 conference due to the still highly volatile situation with regards to Covid-19 and the associated requirements placed on us all as well as the constraints placed on events specifically in Zurich and Switzerland as a whole.
Area41 2021 conference is be canceled.
We aim to conduct a normal Area41 conference in the summer of 2022.
All purchased tickets for 2020/2021 will be automatically refunded and a supporter “thank you” package will be sent to these ticket holders. We are not postponing the event, hence tickets cannot be retained for a future edition.
A more detailed account on why we cancel Area41 2021:
A lot of speakers won't be able to travel
We always strived to be a highly technical conference, getting the best speakers we possibly can to deliver great content and, equally importantly, be available to help you learn and grow professionally. Due to the travel constraints many countries and large corporations still have in place, committing to travel to Area41 is hard. Our conversations we had with speakers have shown that it is mostly impossible in the current situation.
We have invested hours trying to find solutions, but the reality is that we can most likely not create a lineup that meets your and our own standards at this time. And even if we would manage to pull off this feat, we would need to bear the uncertainty of last-minute cancellations, including the financial consequences of no-shows, as well as your disappointment when your favorite speaker won't be able to show up. Specifically, the financial implications of calling of the event are already very challenging for DC4131 as it is, and taking even more risks here would be irresponsible towards the organizations, our members and our community.
We care about your health
It is easy to lose sight of what is the primary goal in making a tough decision like this: We don't want you, or your loved ones, or anyone in the community, to get sick. Area41 attracts many visitors from all over Europe (and beyond). While this is usually one of the things we are most proud of, it is not very helpful in this specific case. We had detailed discussions with the local authorities on the involved risks, the responsibility we bear and their demands on us and on our conference. Like many others, we hope that this can be contained sooner rather than later. But at this point, we would rather err on the side of caution than to bear responsibility for the pain of others. This, unfortunately, has not changed since last year.
Besides health considerations, there is still the problem of the uncertainty. Planning is somewhat impossible and we would have to be flexible until the last hours ahead of the event. Which even big events with their established infrastructure are currently struggling with.
The Area41 conference has always been proud to be a place for encounters and exchanges of like-minded people. The component of the physical meetup is a vital part of our concept. We don’t want to be yet another virtual conference and compete with all the other good formats that offer this option now. Besides, this would add to the deficit that we have already incurred.
Unfortunately, the situation with events is still uncertain, even though we see some improvements, but this could change quickly again. If we would be allowed to hold the event, then most likely only with half the capacity and maybe even a policy of mandatory vaccination, which is a hassle to manage. In order to adhere to deadlines, we had to make the decision now, to allow all attendees better planning and to minimize the financial impact for the association.
What does this mean for Area41/DC4131
If you already had purchased a ticket, you will get a full refund. We will informticket holders in the coming weeks by email. We also have some ideas on how we can reward these ticket holders for their trust and support in usWe are planning some sort of Thank You-package for supporters with some special swag.
As a closing remark, we would like to apologize to everyone that was looking forward to the event. We are sorry we can't give you the great conference this summer that many of you have been eagerly anticipating. We’ve poured our heart and soul into this event for over a decade now and we, too, are disappointed about the circumstances we do now find ourselves in. But there is a moment where insisting on something is counterproductive. We do hope you understand that this was, in any conceivable way, a very tough decision for us to make and that we are trying to do the right thing.
Stay healthy and keep hacking,
The Area41 Committee