I’ve now shared and mentioned this article to a number of people so clearly I should capture it so I can easily get back to it.
It describes a vibrant online peer community of scientists who have in-person events designed to do what online can’t: strengthen strong ties of in-person meetings, don’t focus on lecturing, but bolster connections so that the rest of the year of on-line interactions can remain excellent.
This is a great manual for how global online communities should think about their in person events.
I can see a different kind of event where non-experts who aren’t part of the continuous online community could get summaries or lectures as part of onboarding and insight. I have done some “blended” events before that were part single-track talks mixed with an unconference, since unconferences can often be difficult for first-timers to get a sense of.