In a couple of weeks I fly to Melbourne for VALA, a conference in person. The 2020 conference was my last major face-to-face conference prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with lockdowns declared a few weeks later. I did manage to make it to Shellharbour a few weeks ago for GLAMawarra and that was my first in-person conference thang since the last VALA. In fact VALA 2022 was supposed to be first but it was postponed from February to June amid concerns of further COVID breakouts.
This will be my first time out of the state in nearly two and a half years and my first time in a plane since then. This will be the most time I’ll spend with folk other than my family. A few days and evenings of people from Melbourne and other parts of the country…not sure where my comfort zone is these days. I know I’m looking forward to it and VALA has always been something of a professional touchstone for me. At the same time. I know I will need to manage my contact time carefully so I’m not too overwhelmed.
Attendance numbers are unclear though well down on past years…not unsurprisingly. This conference will be a hybrid of in-person and online. The delegate list isn’t clear as to who will be attending physically or just virtually. I’m starting to wonder if vendors will outnumber delegates though it’s good to see the commercial support. There are plenty of speakers who will be there but there’s also a bunch of presentations that will be online only. I haven’t got it in my head yet how to be in both spaces. I guess I may well be able to catch some of the online presentations later. I’m keen too, not to conference online, but focus on the physical presentations, and hanging with colleagues.
I am hoping this will be a practice run for more travelling. I have been cautious of booking things and I had a trip to Tassie booked last August that I had to cancel due to another lockdown. I registered for VALA last year but work didn’t book flights or accommodation initially. Turned out that was a good plan so those could be booked fresh a few weeks ago.
I’m cheating a little this year and prepping a few posts in advance. I think I wrote and scheduled yesterday’s post last Friday, and today’s on Monday. This at least means I have two posts done for June. I sorta feel like I need a run-up though I doubt that will matter as the month rolls on.
In years gone by, I have always been able to rely on attending filmfest for providing a goodly chunk of content. Then covid hit and in 2020, filmfest was online with only a small selection of films. FIlmfest was postponed in 2021 but was alas was on too close after the end of lockdown so I skipped it. I lived in an “LGA of concern” as they were called so lived through a tighter lockdown than folk in other parts of Sydney…though we didn’t have it as hard as some. There were restrictions on movement and curfews and so on.
This meant I was a little uncomfortable rushing back to a physical cinema, plus I wanted to focus on friends and family I hadn’t seen in a long time. So I missed filmfest altogether. This year I will miss it again as we moved out of Sydney a few months ago and I’m good with that. My partner is looking at creating a film festival of our own and she is perusing the various streaming services for interesting films to include. The more I think about it the more I like it and perhaps I need to seek out a few films myself.
The last couple of years I’ve had a sort of mental exhaustion and not been keen to watch challenging things…dieting more on action, or what I like to call rollercoaster movies; thrills and spills without being too intense. Actually I’ve not been watching a lot of stuff at all of late. Takes a while to settle post move though I have started reading again…my fancy copy of Dune has arrived…though that was quite the adventure with couriers and such…a tale for another post.
Hmmm…I think that means I might make it to at least 3 posts this #blogjune :-)