Judge Academy > Transcript – October First Week: Large Digital Conferences

Transcript – October First Week: Large Digital Conferences

10:00:29 am – Matthew Fox:
Hello everyone. Welcome to the Judge Academy first week. Presentation for today, I’m Matthew Fox your community champion. And today, we’re talking about a topic that I know a lot of folks have questions about that has really been evolving and changing over the last year and that we’re about to see a whole bunch more of within of your conferences namely online conferences. And I’m really excited to talk about this, especially with my guest Jeff Foster, Jeff is a well known judge. Well, known commentator, a lot of games we love and really around all these worlds and and recently Jeff kind of jumped into the online conference organizing part with a USA East, had a lot of great observations and they were sending me lots of thoughts and ideas about, you know what? We got to get this on a first week. So Jeff really happy here.

10:01:12 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, I’m happy to be here, really. This is actually the first time that I have been on one of these and not the first time that I’ve been involved with these.

10:01:22 am – Matthew Fox:
True.

10:01:22 am – Jeph Foster:
I’m not on this side of the camera.

10:01:23 am – Matthew Fox:
True.

10:01:24 am – Jeph Foster:
very often. So it’s it’s interesting to be on this side. I’m excited to talk with you about these digital events.

10:01:30 am – Matthew Fox:
Awesome, right? I will say generally I try to be the only one with interesting colors in my hair so as a little bit of a problem getting you on, but we can make it work. There’s like a blue red thing. So Awesome. I will say generally I try to be the only one with interesting colors in my hair so as a little bit of a problem getting you on, but we can make it work. There’s like a blue red thing. So

10:01:39 am – Jeph Foster:
Mine’s all faded. It’ll, it’ll if you’re going to magic 30, it’ll be it’ll be fresh but I

10:01:44 am – Matthew Fox:
awesome.

10:01:44 am – Jeph Foster:
think you’ve got me beat on that one.

10:01:44 am – Matthew Fox:
Awesome. Fair enough. Well, just tell us about yourself, because I think a lot of folks. Um, I spent like I said, If you watch coverage, sometimes we’ve heard your voice. A lot of people who judge in the Eastern part of the United States, might, well know you. But others don’t talk a little, like, how your background with magic and judging and, and especially with online, like clearly do about only commentary about producing a lot of stuff like that.

10:02:05 am – Jeph Foster:
Cool boy. Okay, I mean there’s there’s a lot. I don’t want to like you know, I don’t want to sound egotistical or anything, but so I started playing Magic Background Invasion 2001 when I was 12 years old. Played in high school. Then I got in 2010 was playing competitively qualified for my first pro tour at the beginning of the season, which is what I which is the reason why became a judge because I still wanted to hang out with my friends. So I started judging, I stopped

10:02:34 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:02:38 am – Jeph Foster:
playing quite so often. Let’s see. Yeah, that was 12 years ago, 10 years ago, I certified for level two and then since then I have done a lot of judging and I’ve moved from that to or of like the admin roles. I do broadcast. Do you score keeping? I do a lot of stuff and I do a lot of stuff with digital events. I helped write the digital MTR, and IPG and I do a lot of the broadcasts for digital events both for magic and for a couple of other games too.

10:03:14 am – Matthew Fox:
Awesome.

10:03:15 am – Jeph Foster:
So

10:03:15 am – Matthew Fox:
Awesome. Yeah. And like when you first apply to do some online conferences, for USA East like Awesome. And like when you first apply to do some online conferences, for USA East like Awesome. Yeah and like when you first apply to do some online conferences, for USA East like a new, a lot of that background was really excited to have you come on board with that. Well. And so what have been you’re kind of like talk about from the conference side like pre-pandemic had you done much organizing a conferences and physicals settings or you done other kind of online conferences and other in other worlds.

10:03:36 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, so I’ll give you a little of a peek behind the curtain to the To the audience. Eric Dustin Brown is the one who’s pushing all the buttons today, but he and I have actually run conferences

10:03:44 am – Matthew Fox:
Hmm.

10:03:45 am – Jeph Foster:
before we used to run conferences in Richmond back in the, in the before

10:03:49 am – Matthew Fox:
Any awesome.

10:03:50 am – Jeph Foster:
Times like before Judge Academy existed. He ran, we ran a lot of a lot of conferences, out of there. They were around 50, something people. So a relatively large on the conference side. Actually, um, But yeah, from from there, I we’ve kind of kind of moved on to doing a lot of the, the digital events because I’m very, I’m very excited

10:04:14 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:04:15 am – Jeph Foster:
interested and all the different things that you can do in a digital space and interested and all the different things that you can do in a digital space using technology for these events that you can’t really do or might be a lot more difficult to do with physical conferences.

10:04:26 am – Matthew Fox:
For sure for sure. And I want to say speaking of that, one of the things that I think makes the digital conferences. So great is that you can have both you know presenters like talking on screen to people who aren’t on screen but through the chat and things like that, we get the feedback and that’s very much true of this setting here.

10:04:40 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah.

10:04:41 am – Matthew Fox:
So if you’re watching along, if you’re in the chat, please you’re in the chat, please setting here. you’re in the chat, please you’re in the chat, please So if you’re watching along, if So if you’re watching along, if you’re in the chat, please, feel free to setting here. So if you’re watching along, if So if you’re watching along, if you’re in the chat, please feel free setting here. setting here. So if you’re watching along, if you’re in the chat, please feel free to jump in it. Just let someone for the Philippines is watching awesome. Hope we have people all around the world and as we go I’ll definitely pause at certain times. But if like I or Jeff says something they’re like, Oh hey. I want to hear more about that or I want to tell someone how silly, they sounded like just agree with us. You know. Whatever it is. Keep it polite, keep your family friendly, but would love to hear comments in the chat. So, please utilize that chat. That’s what this is all about.

10:05:05 am – Jeph Foster:
Can I just like point out, how sick of a segue, What that was like that was that was really good.

10:05:08 am – Matthew Fox:
Thank you, thank you. I appreciate that. So, yes, let’s talk about the the conference like, Went when I think, Actually I you and I talked, I was like, Hey, would you be interested in this or you may approach me? I don’t remember about kind of what what did you know about online conferences and magic like before you started jumping into them?

10:05:27 am – Jeph Foster:
So, before I started doing them, I I attended I attended a lot of them. Um, They’re like. the, the conferences, the conferences are all kind of Focused around the same way that we would do. Physical conferences, just kind of poured it over into a digital space where a lot of the conferences that I had attended especially like at the beginning of the pandemic were were mostly just here is, Here’s a presenter. We’re gonna get into a zoom call, you’ll see you, you’ll see their camera while they’re presenting this thing as their screen, share

10:06:05 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm.

10:06:06 am – Jeph Foster:
whatever. And I like it’s it’s not a bad way to do it.

10:06:13 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:06:13 am – Jeph Foster:
Uh, But after attending a lot of them, I noticed that a lot of those conferences weren’t really using the digital space. They’re using the digital space in, in lieu of a physical space. Instead of kind of playing to the advantages that digital space can

10:06:26 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:06:27 am – Jeph Foster:
give

10:06:28 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, it’s, it’s gonna sound like a weird analogy, but I’m someone who loves movies. I also love, like plays on Broadway and stuff like that. And I’m always interested when, like, a play off, in a musical, becomes a movie. And I think sometimes what can be really disappoint, unless it’s something like, where it’s specifically, when you watch the stage show, but he definitely see sometimes where the movie is, we’re just pointing a camera at people doing what they would do on stage instead of really taking advantage of

10:06:50 am – Jeph Foster:
Right.

10:06:51 am – Matthew Fox:
the movie. I think it’s kind of the same same kind of thing here. You’re talking about is like yes, the kind of format of just people, talking what people interact has a lot of value. I mean, it’s what we’re doing here. But there’s so much more we can do as well. And and that’s one thing. One reason why I really want to get you on is because I think you know digital conferences or something that like say we’ve been doing for a couple of years now and We’ve gotten into some good patterns and some of those are great, but it’s also great to have. I it’s why I love having new people come into the system and you’re you’re not new to that but new to these kind of things. So so talk about about like what what you kind of mean. When you say, like there’s more, we can do with this this digital technology in the online platform.

10:07:29 am – Jeph Foster:
Um, so there’s, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of stuff that that you can do. We’ve been using discord. I notice a lot of the A lot of the other conferences had been using discord and at the beginning of the pandemic, discord actually was pretty bare bones. Like it was you just had your, you had your channels and stuff like that. And It was each channel effectively was kind of like its own room that people

10:07:54 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:07:54 am – Jeph Foster:
could talk to talk to each other and stuff. And over the last two years they’ve actually rolled out a lot of stuff like Threads within the channel. They also like two weeks ago, released a feature that are there forums. So we’re kind of it. I, I like discord because we’re kind of going back through the old days of the Internet. Where like we started with IRC and now we’re on bulletin boards.

10:08:20 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:08:22 am – Jeph Foster:
But yeah, like though I think I think those kind of spaces that let you But yeah. those kind of spaces that let you But yeah, like those I think, I think those kind of spaces that let you compartmentalize what you’re trying to do, and Kind of Tailor it Toward a specific experience. There’s also a lot of stuff that I’ve been looking into for future conferences, that involve the kind of stuff that we use for our broadcasts, for games, like the overlays

10:08:44 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm. Yep.

10:08:47 am – Jeph Foster:
where we can kind of feed information into a web page that we can also put on screen with our screen share. And I don’t want to get too deep into that because there’s a lot of stuff that I want to do with the end of your conference with that. But there’s, there’s just like a lot of stuff that you can do in the digital space. and if you or someone you’re friends with is good with coding and can help you out with that, you can build a lot of really cool things that are interactive for those conferences,

10:09:18 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm.

10:09:19 am – Jeph Foster:
either either with on screen elements or with discord bots and stuff like that giving feedback about what’s

10:09:23 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:09:24 am – Jeph Foster:
going on in the conference.

10:09:26 am – Matthew Fox:
I think that word interactive is really such a key here because I think for a lot of people I think myself included that’s always been. One of the biggest concerns about online conferences is Does it just become a bunch of people at keyboards and people are feeling like Okay, Well I’m gonna be one of a hundred people typing. Why would I jump in? Why would I do anything like that? So talk more about kind of things you’ve been doing to to make more that interactive thing happening at your conference.

10:09:50 am – Jeph Foster:
um, yeah, so like kind of building off of that what you were saying is, Um, yeah. off of that what you were saying is, I’m gonna kind of I’m gonna pull back just a little bit, but the physical conferences. We would have like 50 people. But even for a 30-person conference it still is like more of a lecture type thing where the there’s one

10:10:07 am – Matthew Fox:
Mm-hmm.

10:10:08 am – Jeph Foster:
person on person on stage and then there’s 25 to 50 people watching and all interactions. Between the audience and the person the person talking is just I raise my hand. I’m called on. We have this one interaction and then we move on to the next one. Where with digital conferences, like I’m having digital conferences that are 125 to 150 people. So if we were to continue along that path, it would be even worse because even a lower percentage of people

10:10:35 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:10:37 am – Jeph Foster:
gonna have any chance to interact at all. Whereas we use chat to have. the more of it, more of a discussion type thing, where Be presenter, may ask questions and then get a bunch of feedback in a very short time from the from the audience.

10:10:56 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm.

10:10:56 am – Jeph Foster:
There’s also, like I said interactive elements, there’s some stuff that I’m working on right now. But that’s kind of the same thing, but it’s it’s more like a poll and you can have like live results show up for the poll and you can either code that stuff yourself. Or you can use things like like straw poll dot that. I think if you Google Straw poll, it’ll bring it up, but you can put those on screen elements into like obs and and just broadcast OBS

10:11:22 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:11:24 am – Jeph Foster:
instead of just screen sharing. And I think, but

10:11:28 am – Matthew Fox:
And just for those who don’t know, what is Obs.

10:11:31 am – Jeph Foster:
It is open broadcaster software. It is a it is and open source broadcasting software. It is it’s a it’s a software that’s spec that is made and made and maintained by an entire community of people. Um, and it basically is like having a tricaster, I realize that saying try casters. Also, something people might not understand it’s like having an entire broadcasting studio on your computer, um, and it really has helped it’s

10:11:58 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm.

10:12:01 am – Jeph Foster:
what a lot of people use to stream on to stream on twitch or YouTube helped, It’s what a lot of people use to stream on twitch or YouTube, and it’s really helped make Big broadcasting more accessible, but you can also use it to screen share if you were, if you’re in a

10:12:14 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:12:14 am – Jeph Foster:
like it doesn’t just need to be for streaming.

10:12:17 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, it’s being used right now for this conversation when he’s not good. Eric pushing all the buttons

10:12:20 am – Jeph Foster:
that’s,

10:12:22 am – Matthew Fox:
Eric pushing all the buttons and flipping the switches it’s on obs and flipping the switches it’s on obs and it is both on you can do incredible things with it but it’s also kind of idiot proof like I am not I was hearing you. And yet you and Eric talked before about like text off it all said, a Greek to me. But for a while, when I was like streaming poker and talking about, like, I’d be playing poker while talking about Star Wars or whatever. I used OBS, because to get is the basics of it. Even your total technical noob, watch one or two YouTube videos, and it all can be figured out pretty easily. So yeah, that that’s definitely a great tool to use.

10:12:51 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, I’m I’ve actually using the OBS virtual camera for this for this right here actually.

10:12:56 am – Matthew Fox:
Oh nice.

10:12:56 am – Jeph Foster:
And I’ve used it, I’ve used it in in conferences where I’ve been a presenter to have like me over. I know I’m like, very cropped here, but I would be on one side of the screen and my presentation would be chroma keyed in on the other side of

10:13:11 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm, nice.

10:13:11 am – Jeph Foster:
the screen with a background. So you don’t have the the issue that you normally have with zoom where you either see the person’s camera or you see what they’re presenting, you can use obses virtual camera which kind of pushes just like any other camera and you can use that to have have more

10:13:27 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:13:31 am – Jeph Foster:
elements in on screen at the same time.

10:13:34 am – Matthew Fox:
Definitely, definitely. And yeah, I think I know I’ve seen people do things like, Um, you know, have it for a presentation. I know you can also queued up to have like one window that’s just gonna be like Skyfall or something like that where it’s like Hey someone asks a question about a card. Okay, let’s put that card up so everyone can see it, things like that. One, other thing that I’ve seen, I’m wondering if you’ve used this at all or kind of what your thoughts on it are. Is that one way, both physically or digitally to get around that, you know, one person who’s brave enough to raise their hands can speak, but most people are not getting it. Heard is small groups and like at a conference recently or suggestion. I’m gonna do this and the upcoming conference soon is Have you know, like okay President asks a question and then says Break up news and small groups, each of you talk about it and then one person kind of like report back on their common part of it or each of you approach a different part of this question, then we’ll kind of all fuse it together. I know that I know as some digital

10:14:25 am – Jeph Foster:
You yeah.

10:14:28 am – Matthew Fox:
platforms, you can have like breakout rooms and stuff like that. Have you used that or could you, What are your thoughts on that that being either good or bad I know that I know, as some digital platforms, you can have like breakout rooms and stuff like that. Have you used that or could you, What are your thoughts on that that being either good or bad thing?

10:14:36 am – Jeph Foster:
so, When when making, when starting a digital conference, one of the one of the big things that you have to figure out is, what platform are you going to run it on?

10:14:46 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:14:47 am – Jeph Foster:
Zoom has breakout rooms. I’ve been in, I haven’t done a conference with zoom but I have participated in a conference with Zoom and the breakout rooms and I actually really like that feature. The the both being able to, send people to the breakout rooms to discuss things or even just conferences that have multiple tracks where you can switch between breakout room A or breakout room B depending on what seminar you want to see but also When those seminars are done, you can still everyone can still be brought back to the main room. So, whoever is the conference organizer could talk to everybody.

10:15:28 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:15:28 am – Jeph Foster:
but Like I said, you do have to figure out what what platform you want to run it on because each platform has strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been running it through discord, but one of the weaknesses of discord is for. For the For for video, you can only have 25 people. But if there, there’s a feature called Stages, where if you want just audio, you can have up to a thousand people. So, what I’ve been doing is using

10:15:57 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:15:59 am – Jeph Foster:
The audio from discord and having the, the presenters in a call sort of like we’re doing with this and I broadcast it out to my, My YouTube channel. So I I have everyone is in invoice, so they can just listen if they’d like to, we do have presentations that are just just fine as audio only, but if you want to see slides, if there are slides, you can watch it through YouTube. And it also get YouTube gives us the too. So in the So in the to, we do have presentations that are just fine as audio only, but if you want to see slides, if there are slides, you can watch it through YouTube and it also get YouTube gives us the ability to automatically have vods too. So in the discord server that I have there’s actually a historical list of

10:16:36 am – Matthew Fox:
You mmm. what being a video on demand for

10:16:40 am – Jeph Foster:
list of all of the vods that we’ve had for all of our presentations.

10:16:44 am – Matthew Fox:
people? Like if you want to you can’t watch it live and say We’re like with this. You can go to our website and find the videos of earlier first weeks.

10:16:51 am – Jeph Foster:
Yep. Yep, mine has a historical list of all of those videos. So if anyone is in, the IS in the discord server and wants to see what we talked about at a previous conference. They can just they can just look at that list, they can click on the video and they can watch it whenever they want.

10:17:07 am – Matthew Fox:
Right. Yeah I think stuff like that is great because one of the things that’s really been a big driving force for me, as we kind of like adjust and look at the conference system. Is the idea that like we’re learning so much about like brains and how people learn and all the stuff and it’s very clear that not everyone learns in the same way, you know, and that the method of slides and voice and listening, while information is kind of dumped at you, is a very good way of learning for some people for others. It isn’t, I’m gonna get, How do you kind of? Well, pull back and overall picture in a second, but just because there’s such a great topic, how have you found kind of like Finding different ways to do. You have kind of like different presentations or using kind of different styles of getting information out to people. Or is it all more the presentation, kind of style, or what kind of things you found to sort of, adjust a different ways of people learning?

10:17:58 am – Jeph Foster:
So, both the real quick. I do want to point out that Eric has actually put a QR code on screen for the server. So, if anybody would like to come to the server and kind of check around there, that is on screen. You can scan it with your phone but sorry coming back to your question.

10:18:17 am – Matthew Fox:
No good.

10:18:17 am – Jeph Foster:
Um,

10:18:17 am – Matthew Fox:
Great point.

10:18:20 am – Jeph Foster:
We’ve done. We’ve done a lot of things. Like I said, we’ve had the audio, we had the audio only seminars that allow people to just log in on discord focus specifically on the chat in discord and not have to focus on any other visual elements. Visual elements and Just have a conversation with the person that is that’s broadcasting now. It is still kind of like a twitch stream where it is one person having a conversation with 150 people but it allows them to not have to focus on so many things. We do still have those seminars where there are visual elements

10:18:59 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:19:01 am – Jeph Foster:
And they people who are comfortable with, can watch that maybe on a second monitor, and have chat on discord. Open on a primary monitor or vice versa and kind of and participate that way. By its. If you want to just sit there and watch, that’s also an opportunity opportunity for you to get information that way. For our last conference it was A pre-release conference for Dominaria United. And as the last one, I actually did kind of what we’re doing now, except I was in your role and where I am was just dance and we had a conversation

10:19:39 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:19:41 am – Jeph Foster:
about People had

10:19:43 am – Matthew Fox:
get just bunks, Don’t people who know is I think the rules manager for for

10:19:47 am – Jeph Foster:
Yes.

10:19:47 am – Matthew Fox:
rules manager for for for for up, which is the coast for magic. Okay. Thank you.

10:19:50 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, yeah. So I yeah had a conversation with the rules manager who helped write a lot of the rules for these cards that were being released the following day. Because one of the problems that we have, is that The release notes cover a line, right? Like but they don’t always cover everything and you’re going to have people that are doing sealed draft. But you’re also gonna have people that are picking up these cars right now, then like playing their pre release going to the next table over and playing commander and they’re gonna be playing with these cards. They just got at the prerelease so you might want to like know who might want to have answers to questions about cards that are in the set and how they interact with cards that are in the set.

10:20:29 am – Matthew Fox:
Right. If nothing else because I found as a

10:20:31 am – Jeph Foster:
um,

10:20:33 am – Matthew Fox:
judge because that the first time a couple times, I did a prerelease. I thought I’m here to judge sealed. Why do I need to know what this cards do in this format? That is never played at my store? Until I realized that every time players were done with matches, some of them wanted to come up to me as the judge and say, Hey, I opened this new card. How does this work in my, You know, Velma the Explorer, Commander deck, and just being able to know those answers for your, for your experiences. The judge a prerelease was such a good thing. So, yeah, I I was super excited when

10:21:02 am – Jeph Foster:
yeah.

10:21:03 am – Matthew Fox:
you’re able to get just for that, that kind of purpose.

10:21:06 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah. It was it was it was great because it Yeah. wasn’t just a normal like here, a question here, answers, like the first half of it was Just dunks and I having a conversation kind of like we’re having now about about what he does. It wizards of the coast and his experience as the rules manager while I said is being designed and then we transitioned that into asking questions about the set and I think

10:21:34 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:21:36 am – Jeph Foster:
I think those sorts of those sorts of like seminars but they’re actually just like their panels or whatever. Um, I think they’re both more engaging for the people that are watching then just a lot of dry material but they also generate a lot of chatter in the, in the chat channels themselves, which I think

10:21:56 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:21:57 am – Jeph Foster:
helps a lot.

10:21:58 am – Matthew Fox:
I love the way you said that because I think one thing that I really think about is, again, I’m never gonna say all conferences should be groups of 15 in small groups, or should be a hundred. Fifty people Listening to one thing is that I want people to be intentional and to think about it, you know. Because I think like There’s probably 30 judges. No, it’s probably a hundred judges around the world who have somewhere on their computer. Save the PowerPoint for a conversation. 48 are presentation on layers, or on steps of combat. All, you know, and there’s probably very in quality levels, but imagine a lot of them are really good. And, but if you’re gonna give one on a stream to 100 people, and so when I was gonna give one to stream, 100 people, okay? I can get that anywhere. But what if I can get one, where it’s

10:22:43 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah.

10:22:43 am – Matthew Fox:
in person and I can ask questions, it’s more direct, just dunks is not on 100 streams, everywhere. That’s a great opportunity to have. Because I think you did something really ingenious where, um, we we actually put you together with the organizers of a couple other conferences and they all help and at the same time, so they can mostly be their own thing. But then they can all. Tune in together to watch the Jess. Don’t be kind of like a super presentation.

10:23:07 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah. And that was that was kind of my, my intention from the beginning when trying to get the started was like just getting as many as many regions as possible to participate in this conference, in a way that they’re still in a conference for their region and can receive those foils or whatever, but they still get the content from you know, talking to Justin’s, because I think, I think that kind of seminar is first of all, going to be something that’s better, if not done several times, because what

10:23:37 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:23:39 am – Jeph Foster:
with it being a Q&A about parts in the set? Like, once that’s been answered, it’s kind of, it’s kind of done but like, Being able to kind of for like a better term boss in a bunch of people you know, a bunch of kids from other schools to come learn about this one

10:23:54 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:23:55 am – Jeph Foster:
about this. One thing I think, I think it’s something that I’m, I don’t believe it’s been done before. Um, but that was, that was kind of my, my idea from the beginning when trying to get just done.

10:24:07 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:24:08 am – Jeph Foster:
So I wanted it to be a, not just my region, but like kind of the entire, like, I guess everybody. If it could be everybody but specifically North America, if

10:24:20 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:24:21 am – Jeph Foster:
possible.

10:24:22 am – Matthew Fox:
I think that’s really great. I think. And the thing with digital is that I kind of want to encourage people, you can go in either direction. You can think bigger and bigger and bigger for something like that. But also, you know, as we said, there’s some people for whom and I’m one of these like being able to watch a slideshow presentation and keep track of a chat where people are asking questions and answering questions to themselves. That’s gonna break my brain. My my brain just doesn’t process like that. There’s a conference. I think this was done in the Czech Republic. I’m not sure where, someone in the chat knows, please remind me. I apologize. We’ve got hundreds of conferences that are so great, but what they did was, it was it was a regular online conference. Um, but then for those who either couldn’t physically, attend at that time or just because whatever they wanted a different thing is they had a series of the next four. Sundays, I think people could watch during the week, you’d watch one of the presentations on your own time and then they had a scheduled hour of like a seminar discussion about that. Presentation, you know, got it, going over it again and talking about it and all the people like, you know, and that’s like people have asked me like, Can people just watch the video on demand and get, you know, credit for having attended to that? That’s a no. But he’s figured out that like people can watch on later but then have a discussion in a different format. Absolutely, that can work. You know, I and and I’m very intentional there about saying I’m not going to tell you your conference has to be ABC or d because you’re gonna tell me that f actually works much better for you, you know, or that Jay or whatever it is. Um, so yeah, so I just, I just love what I love really is the way you’re using innovation like that, you know, coming up with new things, come up with no ideas. So let me actually ask you kind of pulling back a little bit. You know, could you especially have been working particularly with pre-release conferences, which is one very particular style of

10:26:11 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah.

10:26:12 am – Matthew Fox:
And what they always saying is like Think about the style of conference you’re doing in terms of like okay, so prerelease There is a lot of info dumping for lack of a better term. You know, giving people information a conference that might be on leadership. For example, if I can get more discussion based, How do you kind of go like, when you’re first trying to conceive of your conference? What’s the role that the topic? You have kind of helps to shape the way the decisions you’re making about what platform to use and what form of conversation. We’re gonna have and stuff like that.

10:26:42 am – Jeph Foster:
Um, so I mean, as far as what platform to use, I am I’m a little

10:26:46 am – Matthew Fox:
Mm-hmm.

10:26:47 am – Jeph Foster:
bit more I’m a little bit more rigid with the platform that I want to use simply, because I’ve gotten the platforms that I use in, in a way that I want to use them.

10:26:55 am – Matthew Fox:
That’s fair.

10:26:55 am – Jeph Foster:
And I think, I think that’s also just a thing that’s going to differ, from organizer, to organizer, where You’re going to find out what your what your audience is, you’re gonna find out how
.10:28:29 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:28:29 am – Jeph Foster:
lot of time when you’re present or when you’re organizing or. Yeah, I guess when you’re presenting too, that if you don’t see people interacting, you just assume no one’s listening.

10:28:39 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:28:40 am – Jeph Foster:
and there’s a actually a thing that’s very different about digital from from physical that I wanted to point out earlier on the subject of chat is that in A in a fiscal conference people interacting and like, you know, sharing information amongst each other is seen as bad because it is a distraction.

10:29:00 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:29:01 am – Jeph Foster:
Whereas digital conference because everything is in text and you can pay attention to both the text and the first and presenting Chatter amongst the people that are the, the attendees actually enhances, the presentation, rather than detracting from it.

10:29:18 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:29:18 am – Jeph Foster:
And I think that is something that is that’s really good for these type because in a physical conference, you also have these instances where people aren’t interacting, you have no idea of people’s eyes are just glazed over or what if they’re actually paying attention to you.

10:29:36 am – Matthew Fox:
Are they looking up the rule?

10:29:36 am – Jeph Foster:
So

10:29:37 am – Matthew Fox:
I just mentioned on their phone or they tweeting.

10:29:40 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Or are they not answering the question because they don’t care? Or are they not Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Or are they not answering the question because they don’t care? Or are they not answering the Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Or are they not answering the question because they don’t care? Or are they not answering the Yeah, yeah exactly. Exactly. question because they don’t care? question because they don’t care? Or are they not answering the question that I asked? Because this is in person. And if they answer it wrong, everyone is going to book them. Look directly at them as they answer it wrong. Whereas, if they answered it wrong in

10:29:55 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:29:56 am – Jeph Foster:
text, but the chat ill elevator keeps going up. Nobody will ever even notice that, you answered it wrong, right?

10:30:02 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, I I do quick aside there. The first time I presented it, a digital conference. I’m not the funniest person in the world, but generally, if I make a joke, I at least get like some polite laughs. And I told a joke that normally is a fairly good, wondering a presentation and God, of course, total silence. It totally through me for a second or two because like is no, of course. Wait. I’m not gonna hear laughter. I’m not gonna hear that. And so, I think it’s a side, but if you getting ready to present at a digital conference, finding ways that you can specifically ask for feedback in the ways you’re talking about is so good because it can be really hard to present to what feels like a room of silence even though you know that there’s this many people

10:30:39 am – Jeph Foster:
Uh yes yes absolutely and like with what we’re doing, we’re having a conversation. So even if I’m not paying attention to the chat that’s on my monitor over here I still have I still have real-time feedback from you whereas

10:30:50 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:30:51 am – Jeph Foster:
presentations and digital conferences digital conferences and my have slides they do have information but just the way that I the way that I’ve done a lot of presentations and digital conferences and my presentations, do our, do you have slides, they do have information. But just the way that I the way that I like interact with the, with being a presenter is things are more conversational.

10:31:10 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:31:10 am – Jeph Foster:
I might go off on tangents. I kind of doing that a little bit. Now I may go off on tangents but I kind of try to bring it back and stuff like that, but When I’m sitting here staring at my camera during a digital conference especially one that’s on zoom that might not have a chat or whatever it is an hour takes forever. It is the longest hour of your life. Because you don’t know if you’re going over, you don’t know if you’re on track, you don’t know if people are paying attention to you, you don’t have any sort this any of the same feedback in a digital conference that you have in a physical conference that is just showing you. Oh, okay, you’re on the right track and it is it you’re just talking to a camera.

10:31:56 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:31:57 am – Jeph Foster:
It’s uh it is it’s very much like being a streamer because it’s

10:32:03 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:32:03 am – Jeph Foster:
what you’re doing for an hour.

10:32:05 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, I would definitely remember when I was streaming intentionally. Say something really divisive just to get people to talk and I’ll just say there’s a tangent on a tangent but it’s part of the same overall conversation. It’s one reason I think I’m really glad that more and more people are starting to have panel discussions and and conversations like this, both physical or digital because I think, you know, something like What is the, you know, what are the steps of casting? A spell? Yeah, there isn’t much opinion on that.

10:32:32 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah.

10:32:33 am – Matthew Fox:
But what’s the best way to But what’s the best way to deliver a ruling? That won’t give up? Leave a player upset. Yeah. Different people are gonna have different thoughts on that, especially from different contacts to backgrounds or anything like that. And so, yeah, having it be a conversation, a can be a better topic but also just helps to presenters a lot. Um, go ahead.

10:32:47 am – Jeph Foster:
Um, I say just just kind of a little bit on that topic. Before we move on, there are there are a lot of presentations that do work well, in physical and physical conferences, because people might not know the answers and stuff but it’s, it is a, a group of seminars that I fit into a category of could be a module. Um, that that they do work well in

10:33:10 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm.

10:33:13 am – Jeph Foster:
physical conferences because you might have level ones that are new that I haven’t actually participated but when you have these large audiences from the entire region How it related steps to cast. A spell is something. Even me like I love conferences, but I’m gonna, I’m gonna tune that out because I already know, I already know the answers.

10:33:28 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah. Right. Which also why like having a a 101 or 201 track since it might be really

10:33:34 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah.

10:33:34 am – Matthew Fox:
since it might be really helpful or Um, I want to get to types of things like that. presentations. Let me just step back for a second. So when you were kind of getting ready to apply to do a digital conference, granted you and I talked about it some but we’re just gonna get what are some of the questions you wanted to go through for yourself about? Okay. What do I need to do to ready to put this on?

10:33:53 am – Jeph Foster:
Okay. Well first, first of all, I need to figure out where it fits in my schedule. So I need to I need to actually find a date for it.

10:33:59 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:34:00 am – Jeph Foster:
And there’s this. So, There’s kind of this chicken and egg question when you’re when you’re doing this is like, Do I get the? Do I get the presenters or do I? Like figure out the date of the conference and then build my presenters around that, and usually what I try to do, When I’m figuring on figure out a conference is get, like, one or two presenters. Like, for this most recent one, I knew that I wanted just dogs to, to be basically, the endnote speaker. And I wanted to have a presentation that was specifically based on the mechanics of the set. The other two could be purely space, they could be, they could really just be anything that kind of fits the theme. But those were the two that I really wanted. Once I when I had just on board and knew that he was available for for a specific day, I got the conference on that day. Um I asked some people if they were available and what they wanted to present on and if it fit with what I was doing then and I got them in as a presenter and then I asked a couple of people. Hey do you want to to do you want to present specifically on the mechanics of this set?

10:35:14 am – Matthew Fox:
Mmm. Yeah.

10:35:15 am – Jeph Foster:
Um, and I think, I think the getting all of your presenters lined up to begin with. It, it is good. It helps it helps organization, but it also might be difficult when you say, When you ask all of these people, Hey, can you do this and then you figure out a date and two of them are available, right?

10:35:32 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:35:34 am – Jeph Foster:
Like I think, I think what you want to do is figure out what you want, the big like the the main draw for the conference to be and then kind of kind of build everything around that.

10:35:43 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:35:43 am – Jeph Foster:
Um,

10:35:44 am – Matthew Fox:
I like that I like that a lot especially because,

10:35:44 am – Jeph Foster:
Okay.

10:35:45 am – Matthew Fox:
you know, I you know I think especially something like a pre-release we’ve got you’ve got kind of already like the specific things you know you want to cover. It often makes sense to make sure like, especially the huge thing You’re getting the best, you people can and that you get the people, you know, I don’t think that’ll really important part of organizing a lot of conferences. Now, this is really the kinds you’re talking about but is the okay, I’m gonna get one or two people who I know I want to have, let’s find a date. And then let’s announce the date and say, Hey, I’m open to new conference proposals, You know, because it may

10:36:12 am – Jeph Foster:
Yep.

10:36:13 am – Matthew Fox:
Because it may also be that you’re gonna get someone who will say Oh hey I want to present on the side of things you probably never thought of, but actually you really you read the presentation and they’re like, Oh why did I think of that? That’d be perfect for my conference

10:36:24 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, absolutely. And you also when you do that you also get a lot of solicitations from people, you may have never heard of and I

10:36:33 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:36:34 am – Jeph Foster:
will tell you from experience, a lot of the times the people you have never heard of are really good presenters, like Obviously, make sure that they give you like a slide deck or something like that. So you know what the presentation is going to be about? And you don’t, you don’t have any surprises when when it starts. But I think I think as a community we also don’t give a lot of opportunities to people who don’t present as often and

10:37:02 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:37:04 am – Jeph Foster:
Once once again, there are, there are a lot of people that I’ve seen, give presentations like that in. In the, this could be a module. Style of presentation in which in digital spaces, that information disseminates. So quickly, that I would much rather have someone present on something that I have may have, never even thought of before, and from a

10:37:25 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:37:26 am – Jeph Foster:
And from a perspective that has not presented before.

10:37:30 am – Matthew Fox:
I think it’s so true especially because I think it’s very easy to think. Okay, well the people who I know those are the people who are really active and judge spaces. I see them a discords, I see them at tournaments, I go to those. Of course, most know them, they must know the most about magic and judging. One of the best presentations I’ve ever seen was from someone who we decided to staff, but he was a. I knew them. They were an L1 at a store, kind of on the suburbs of the area. I was in. They never really went to other events. They didn’t go to much, but they gave her the interesting description. I was like, Okay, let’s give this a shot. They were a teacher in their sort of main life outside of judging and they gave this fantastic cut presentation on how to teach people. You know, and basically how to teach rules to, to do players, how to teach other judges using all for the rubric of like, Hey, I’ve only been a judge for a while but I’ve been a teacher for 20 years, he was all the information I have and so, yeah, I think getting those kind of things can be so valuable

10:38:23 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, and you’re you’re not going to know until you give you give those people a chance, right? Like I I’m gonna be honest It was because I don’t I don’t actually remember at the topic of the of the seminar. So I hope the person forgives me, but there I I specifically remember a very, very good seminar presented by Level one Judge Paul Baronet at a conference in Toronto at a GP Toronto and like, Even all the way back. Then it kind of kind of fits into what I’m what I’m saying. Now, level one Judge Paul Baronet had not given any any met any like

10:39:05 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:39:05 am – Jeph Foster:
Conference presentations, but he’d done Ted talks. So like you’re

10:39:10 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:39:10 am – Jeph Foster:
to get a level Three Judge Paul Baronet. If you don’t give level one Judge Paul baronet a shot at it, right?

10:39:16 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, if you don’t know who level one, Paul Baronet was they, you know, poke evolved into their final form of L3 and constant redshirt bears. Oh, very well known the judge communities. Yeah, that’s a great point. So again, I think we can’t already went into that the next stop. I was gonna ask about like, presentations and stuff like that, and one of the question on that. Have you ever experienced someone who like you watch the presentation and it feels like what they’ve done is taken a physical presentation. They’ve given before, and just, they’re now doing it, but just in front of a webcam and I kind of want to like What kind of advice would you give someone like that or or thoughts, you have on like if you’ve got a good physical presentation, How do you translate into a digital presentation?

10:40:00 am – Jeph Foster:
So I see even now I see it a lot but I was pretty much all they were in 2020, right?

10:40:07 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:40:07 am – Jeph Foster:
Because I mean we didn’t we didn’t know that we’re gonna have to have digital part conferences but You can, you can usually tell when a seminar has been kind of ported from physical to digital in that. I kind of has it kind of have the same flow? There is usually not a lot of time to allow for audience interaction and stuff like that. And I think There’s a couple of things. One thing that you need to do, when doing a digital conference is you do need to pull back a little bit. You need to have more of kind of a question and answer type thing if if that’s what you if that’s what you want but you have more of a question and answer type thing where you Bring up scenarios, or bring up just questions or whatever. And then you pause for Responses because those responses are going to take a minute to go through and you’re going to see a lot of them. And all of those all of those, those responses they actually lead you to a different point that may not have actually been the next slide.

10:41:21 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:41:21 am – Jeph Foster:
Um, So, like being flexible but having having slide decks specifically doesn’t really allow for a lot of flexibility, but making yourself flexible with those slide decks helps with the first conference. We did, we actually brought over Chris Ramire who I believe is is actually in the chat. Yeah, yeah, person’s in the chat. So There was a presentation that was just specific scenarios for our. for Judge calls and then after we had finished he did like a question and answer type thing where we had the the people that were they attendees actually bring up scenarios that they had and how they fix it and we pulled that and we found out afterwards that

10:42:08 am – Matthew Fox:
The sun.

10:42:09 am – Jeph Foster:
afterwards that it actually would have just been a better seminar no offense to Chris, it was still a great great seminar afterwards that it actually would have just been a better seminar. No offense to Chris. It was still a great seminar but it would have been a better seminar if the question and answer period was just the entire seminar. Where

10:42:18 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:42:19 am – Jeph Foster:
We just have, we bring in, we bring in attendees, they will get in the voice chat and they will tell us what happened. And then as have a panel kind of discuss with the audience about what should what did happen and what should have happened. And I think I think one of the things is that you’re not going to be able to port over from physical to digital without trying it once and figuring out what works. And what doesn’t

10:42:44 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, I think that’s a good thing. Chris actually chimes in the chat that they that was the plan up until the last minute when they got anxious. I’ve been there. I’ve had some very ambitious plans

10:42:51 am – Jeph Foster:
Yep.

10:42:53 am – Matthew Fox:
and just torpedo the last minute. We’ve all been there. But of course, definitely good to try. And I think the other thing that you’re getting into there is that there some of that is the and just torpedo the last minute. We’ve all been there. But of course, definitely good to try. And I think the other thing that you’re getting into there is that there some of that is the presentation planning, but then some of this also, the conference planning, there was a conference, I

10:43:05 am – Jeph Foster:
Yep.

10:43:06 am – Matthew Fox:
believe in Japan that did this, um, again right into me, if you help me remember, which these are, I’ll go through my notes, try to find some of them, but where the idea was you’re gonna have a presentation like an hour, long presentation, and then a half hour, question and answer session as like the next thing and then another presentation. And then like they had someone doing a presentation on specific thing and then someone else came up with a half hour, like trivia game. That was that on that same top? You know, you can have these things match up, presentations is my love. I could go all day on that, but I want to make sure we hit some of the more technical side of things. I think for a lot of folks, one of the most intimidating parts of a digital conference is, How do I know who just signed into their phone and then walked away from four hours? How do I take attendance? And How do I decide who gets promos and all that kind of stuff? And I I do want to be clear for this that these are as a presenter, It is your conference. We at Judge Academy are not gonna mandate how you do it. You we want you to do it and we want to give you good ideas and so this is not the you know, you have to do it this way but I just want to ask like you’re an expert this now how do you do it? What are the things you look at as to to figure this out?

10:44:15 am – Jeph Foster:
so, you talk about how much you love, Presentations. I love data and I didn’t think what I was a kid that I would be a data nerd when I grew up, but I love data and one of the one of the biggest pieces of advice I could give to someone who’s running a digital conference especially like like I said, mind that might have been 120 hundred and forty people. It’s a lot to keep track of Making sure that your data is managed correctly. Is like the biggest thing, the way that I had, I have everything set up within within Google sheets where I have the list of all of the people that are better attending. And then I have a separate Google form for each for each seminar where they’ll fill it out with their name, their discord handle the instead of

10:45:07 am – Matthew Fox:
Hmm.

10:45:09 am – Jeph Foster:
having a single form where it’s a drop-down and you choose what seminar it is. It’s actually specific. It’s a separate Google form for each one. And I will be honest, there have been a couple of complaints about it because it is a little tedious but The, the extra steps are in there. So if someone is just logged into their phone and not paying attention, they’re not going to perform those extra steps and that’ll help me figure out. Oh, well, this person only set only logged in for the one seminar they probably aren’t aren’t actually here. And either you can, you know, if if they need to do four and they’ve only done three then I’ll either reach out to them or just you know I might just assume that they have actually done the four but didn’t but forgot to do one or whatever but like Making sure that all of that data is together and in one place. And then having a separate form where people fill out their name and their address allows me to import the entire spreadsheet into a website called Pirate, Ship.com. I believe that you all have used it before.

10:46:21 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:46:22 am – Jeph Foster:
Uh, it is a great website. You can import you can import a spreadsheet and it’ll just give you a total cost for all of your your shipping labels. It’ll but everybody it’ll automatically it’ll parse all the addresses if or if you if you put address then like each element of the address in its own line, it’s own column

10:46:43 am – Matthew Fox:
And I say I I don’t know if pirate ship works for outside the United

10:46:45 am – Jeph Foster:
um,

10:46:47 am – Matthew Fox:
States for mailing systems.

10:46:47 am – Jeph Foster:
I don’t believe it does.

10:46:48 am – Matthew Fox:
But are I know other programs and that’s a great thing to ask in your sort of regional discords is like Hey cuz I think there is a pirate ship equivalent for Japan and one for the EU and stuff like that.

10:46:59 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah. And I I mean I I have some infrastructure built already because I have I do I do buy and sell magic cards too, but even without that, I purchased a label printer on Amazon for a hundred and forty dollars and even if I was just doing conferences, that would be the best hundred forty

10:47:19 am – Matthew Fox:
Hmm.

10:47:19 am – Jeph Foster:
dollars. That I’ve spent just having those

10:47:21 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:47:22 am – Jeph Foster:
having those thermal labels that I could just automatically put on saves a lot of time.

10:47:27 am – Matthew Fox:
It really is, I think that’s often for a lot of people, one part of the digital conference that they don’t really think about that. It is now you’re since you can’t literally just hand out the cards at physical events it is your responsibility to get the cards to other people and and that can be you know we as digital organizer you get some additional promos is our thank you for that but um you know it definitely an additional thing. And so I think that’s another good thing to be thinking about advanced is how to have a system for that mailing out afterwards.

10:47:52 am – Jeph Foster:
Yep because it is it is it’s about a full day’s worth of work even with everything optimized in the way I have it like it is Yep. full day’s worth of work even with everything optimized in the way I have it like it is and that

10:48:04 am – Matthew Fox:
Haha.

10:48:04 am – Jeph Foster:
while we were on air, but like for physical conference, the hardest part physical conference, the hardest part was finding a place to have your

10:48:12 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, the venue.

10:48:12 am – Jeph Foster:
conference. conference. Yeah the hardest part was the venue for digital conference the hardest part Is getting all of the foils to everyone that that is supposed to get them and keeping having all of that data collected in a way that is easy for you too.

10:48:30 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:48:30 am – Jeph Foster:
And that is work than finding a venue for a physical conference.

10:48:36 am – Matthew Fox:
And I also think that’s a good time where if you look at the allocation of promos in the boxes that we now ship out, we have very specifically have a line that says assistant to organizer and the assistant organizer can be a lot of different things. It can be the person who helps you book a venue. Can be the person who helps you get the word out. It can be your data geek. Like I’m not, I’m not a data person, the slightest, and if I want to conference, I don’t want to be thinking about that. I want to be, make sure the presentations are going, Okay? Make sure the chat is exploding listening and asking questions. And so I haven’t done a digital conference, but if I did, when the first things I would do, is say to someone Maybe like you Jeff or or another friend of mine. Hey, can you help me collect the data for this? And I’ll have you, you can be an assistant organizer that is absolutely inappropriate use of those foils. Um, and That’s all that’s also where Digital conference comes in great. Well, we originally did a conference. I think in Texas where they did the person who’s running, all the data was in Australia, um, that person went up, not attending the conference okay, so don’t get the attendee promo but you get the promos versus an organizing. There’s so many ways you get that kind of help.

10:49:40 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, I I love doing that. I will obviously help anyone who needs that done, but also like, Oh a lane, a lane towel brand a conference in Canada and getting stuff from Canada to the US’s is expensive. If you’re sending it out to the 25 people the toys, they’re 30 people or whatever from Canada down to the US. But instead, she shipped everything to me and then I was able to, you know, use the data to get everything out to everyone in the US. And that’s also something that if you’re doing a digital conference that crosses borders you need to be aware of shipping is very expensive

10:50:21 am – Matthew Fox:
but,

10:50:22 am – Jeph Foster:
across borders but if you’d only have, if you only have to do it once it’s it is not as expensive.

10:50:27 am – Matthew Fox:
Definitely, definitely. And I’m From Georgia County perspective. There’s some liability issues, we get into there and our general perspective, is that if we have given you the promos, we want you to be shipping them directly. Because if you’re involving a third party, we don’t know it’s liability questions. But yes, there’s definitely ways to and talk to us at ways to make those kind of things work, you know, and that can never happen. Um, we have some common to the chat, then we’ll get you. So, let me just keep going. One last quick, question, there’s been about five minutes on the chat.

10:50:51 am – Jeph Foster:
Okay.

10:50:53 am – Matthew Fox:
So day of what do you do? When a problem comes up? When someone’s Internet goes down and they say, Hey, I try to attend but I couldn’t or more even like your presenters Internet goes down or, You know, something else is happening or some other technical problem. What are things you can either do beforehand to be ready for that or like the day of to deal with the just the technical problems that happen with the digital conference.

10:51:14 am – Jeph Foster:
So, for attendees, it’s a little bit less of an issue because like, for an online conference of special, if it’s run through discord, at the very least, people can attend through their with their phone. Uh, but as far as presenters,

10:51:23 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:51:28 am – Jeph Foster:
The the day of the, the event, I do. The exact same thing that I would do for a fiscal conference, if somebody’s plane was late, or just just couldn’t make the conference at the last minute. For some reason, I used the backup presenter that I’ve already set aside. And, and given that presenter role to To to fill in that gap and I know it is that that’s something that isn’t super well known. But it’s actually is actually spelled out in one of one of the documents for, for presenting, or for a conference organizing is that you should always have someone on backup with available to present at a moment’s notice and

10:52:12 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:52:14 am – Jeph Foster:
still even if they don’t present treat them as if they had.

10:52:18 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:52:18 am – Jeph Foster:
there is an allowance to have a backup presenter that is treated as if they had presented and I think everyone everyone should use that, not not using, that slot is setting yourself up to have problems. Unless you are one of those conferences that has multiple tracks and which case, if someone doesn’t

10:52:41 am – Matthew Fox:
Right.

10:52:42 am – Jeph Foster:
can’t show up, then you kind of merge those tracks for that

10:52:45 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah, you can merge that you can do

10:52:46 am – Jeph Foster:
those tracks for that one.

10:52:47 am – Matthew Fox:
things like, Oh hey my first present. My first presentation is Gonna get here. Late is my third presentation willing to jump up two slots. You know, you can always make this kind of flexibility stuff like that. We’re gonna respond a couple comments in the chat but please feel free. Also to make last comments or questions because that’s what kind of here for first just kind of a light-hearted comment but very appropriate. We’re talking about like not getting laughter activity on. I think it’s how you say. It said on the flip side, telling a joke in chat and breaking the presenter for a second, is the best feeling. Yeah, I think this is Where’s your level of professionalism? What we’re doing but we’re not doing Ted talks. If you’ll know if you can watch my eyes I’m kind of like one of speaking of focused here I’m definitely listening to Jeff but every now and I’m kind of doing this because this is where my chat camera is and this is my my screen it’s a lot of fun to Cat and and as a presenter even though like trips us up for a second that’s a lot of fun because it’s interactive it does give us the kind of you know in the same way that like I’ll stumble over my words or say something I didn’t mean to you and someone will be like up phrasing in the audience and yeah it’s a fun moment.

10:53:51 am – Jeph Foster:
And also I’m trying to fill up that hour. So like please say something, please

10:53:54 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep.

10:53:55 am – Jeph Foster:
derail me because this seminar the seminar is not an hour worth of content.

10:54:00 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah. Like a good seminar should be 45 to 50 minutes of content so that you have some time for questions.

10:54:06 am – Jeph Foster:
Yep.

10:54:07 am – Matthew Fox:
But yeah, then when you don’t get questions, give me some ways or else. You’re gonna hear a lot of stories about my poker playing. We also got a comment from Marty now, I like zoom because I like zoom because of my region. People are more skeptical of new unfamiliar technologies and worried about privacy. I can only assume that stepping away from quote, big names would disinterest many. Yeah, I think that’s really legitimate. I think I didn’t know discord at all, until the pandemic, and I took a while to learn it and I think that’s fine. And I think You know, I have, you know, you might have your digital conference just like some quick information of, Hey, we’re gonna use this new platform. Here’s three sentences of bullet points of how to use that platform. You know, here’s the but like, I’ve definitely had people who are like, I didn’t know how to sign in, I didn’t understand that. Um, and that way, I mean, I recently held a conference that was, at the event space. We unfortunately didn’t realize that the event host, would not have put out the signs already saying Go to Event Hall, B, you know, it’s just the same thing. You your venue is online. Figure out what online is accessible. And if your place has stairs, it might not be accessible. If it uses a technology, lots of people don’t understand. It might not be accessible. So either, maybe adjust the technology or maybe how help educate people about how to use that technology?

10:55:25 am – Jeph Foster:
It is, it is worth noting that over the last few years. Discord has actually become one of the big technologies for for this

10:55:32 am – Matthew Fox:
Absolutely absolutely.

10:55:33 am – Jeph Foster:
stuff. It is.

10:55:35 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:55:35 am – Jeph Foster:
Yeah, the new slack or or Yeah, like I said We’ve got we’ve got from IRC up to up to bulletin boards.

10:55:43 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:55:43 am – Jeph Foster:
Now, one of the, one of the big things that I tell people, I have to tell people a lot is like, before a conference update discord because they’re constantly rolling out new features, and That is one big thing that you need to make sure that if you’re gonna run your conference on discord, you tell your attendees to update it if they’re going to be on mobile because you may tell them. Oh yeah. Just go to this channel and go to the forums, but if they haven’t updated on mobile and they’re using mobile, they won’t even see the forum. So,

10:56:10 am – Matthew Fox:
Right? And if you ever having someone who’s asking you, where is this button and you’re telling them where it is, and they can’t find it. Remember not everyone’s gonna use an iPhone like iPhone Android can be a little different stuff like that and I think also that’s also the point of though. You know, like we want new people running conferences. We don’t have the same conference every quarter, but if your region just sort of decides, okay, we’re gonna do all of our conferences on this platform. It means. Yeah, there’s always gonna be new people. Some people will forget, but you’re at like the first time you educate people about how to use a particular platform now. Great, now they know it for the next time, so,

10:56:45 am – Jeph Foster:
And, and one thing that I’ve learned through that both from doing this and just all of the stuff that I’ve done the stuff with with Magic Arena, Hearthstone storybook, we’re all like, all of those games. Once you have taught people how to use discord, the people in discord will teach your new users, how to use discord and you won’t have to teach them like sometimes you will, but a

10:57:06 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah.

10:57:08 am – Jeph Foster:
lot of the times the people that are already there will just tell people what to do. It’s great.

10:57:12 am – Matthew Fox:
Yeah. Like you can even do a like yeah. 15 minutes early. You can sign in and someone’s gonna help you be like okay here’s the button to push. Here’s how you mute your voice here. So you don’t things like that. Some people are talking about how different are servers, have different privacy rules which is of course, very important, especially like you know here United States. We have different rules, the EU in Europe. They have very different set of rules of privacy and stuff like that. We’re not saying Here’s the one way to do it because every different situation will be different. So just you, These are good questions to think about about what’s gonna be best for your area. Right now also says, I have a method for backups, there are backup in one quarter, an actual presenters. The next that way, it’s worth making a presentation for my conference or people satisfied with their status. Yeah, I like that a lot. It’s like Hey if you prepared this presentation and it’s a backup and you don’t get to give it, well, I’m gonna make sure you get to give it, you know, a couple months or something like that. Um discord, apparently a switch she’s the same build for android and apple like a month ago so that that makes makes it easier. Um I think I think we got about the

10:58:14 am – Jeph Foster:
Awesome.

10:58:16 am – Matthew Fox:
two minutes left. Jefferson is gonna last things you want to say about this process or just like stuff. You think people should know

10:58:23 am – Jeph Foster:
Um, if if you have any questions like I said, there’s a there’s been a giant QR code in between our faces for a while that has the, it has a link to the discord server for us East. You can always contact me through discord to ask questions about how to, how to do anything. I like I said, I I want to, I want to do more with digital conferences, I want I, I want to see if I can add some cool new stuff for this end of your conference and maybe get some other people involved too. I know that I we have there should be a server for us to join where the organizers can all talk to each other so I’d like to maybe get some joint seminars in if possible.

10:59:07 am – Matthew Fox:
Yep. Yeah, there’s a channel on the Judd accounting, discord. If you’re not in it, it’s probably just the end of your organizers but I’ll if you haven’t gotten into it yet, send me an email or a message. I’ll definitely help you get into it. Yeah, I think there’s been so great. Jeff. Thank you so much. Um, we’re gonna kind of a weird place because digital conferences came out of a time when physical conferences were literally impossible, both by law. And by safety in many parts of the world, that’s still the case. You know, the parts of the world,

10:59:35 am – Jeph Foster:
He?

10:59:37 am – Matthew Fox:
we’re becoming a lot we’re becoming a lot easier to more physical conferences. You know, the parts of the world, we’re becoming a lot easier to do more physical conferences. We’re definitely a judge Academy giving encouraging a lot of physical conferences here in the United States. At least Jeff who’s talking about how there’s been a lot of great digital clear, these conferences, this quarter, We’re going much more to a lot of like, little places are little, you know, a lot of different smaller areas are applying to do their own physical, in-person conferences for pre-release. So, we’re kind of leaning more in that direction. Different parts of the world is different things. But digital conferences are always gonna be a part of what we do. And if years, a great example, other things being announcements, you know, Digital can also be a great way where it’s not a huge topic but it’s a Hey, I want to get people together, you know, like I think in Europe Recently, they did a full arm. They did a digital conference specifically on scorekeeping, because they weren’t quite enough people who did score keeping in any one individual region. But across Europe, they could get a whole bunch of people who wanted to do that particular topic, that’s great, you know, all these kind of things are open to you. So, thank you all so much for being great listeners. Jeff. Thank you so much for being our guest and having so much great to participate. Eric, thank you for keeping us. All the technical buttons and switches moving and everybody else have a great week and we’ll see you in the next first week.

11:00:49 am – Jeph Foster:
Thanks.