Elm-conf 2020: July 15–17, all online!

The elm-conf organizing team is excited to announce elm-conf 2020! This July 15–17 we’ll be hosting three days of talks, workshops, and open spaces, completely online. Everyone is welcome; join us from the comfort of your own home!

You can get tickets at 2020.elm-conf.com. The price will go up once we announce speakers, so get in now for the early bird price!

Our call for proposals is open now through June 1st. In addition to 25-minute talks, this year we’re soliciting proposals for 2- and 4-hour workshops and open spaces (time for discussions and hacking/mobbing.) You can get more details on all of that in the links in this paragraph!

As in previous years, we’ll give feedback on all proposals submitted by one week before the June 1st deadline (May 25th.) We’re also reserving several speaking slots for first-time speakers. If you’ve always wanted to give a talk but felt intimidated, let us help you! We’ll match first time speakers with 1-on-1 time with a speaking coach and a speaking mentor from the community. Just make sure to let us know you’re a first-time speaker on the form when you submit your talk(s).

And since I know we’re gonna get this question: you can submit as many talks as you want. Speaking personally, I’ve had a lot of success submitting what I considered to be a “safe” talk to a conference, as well as several ideas I thought would be less likely to be accepted. More often than not, the organizers accepted the ones I really wanted to give but thought less likely.

In addition to two days of talks and workshops, on July 15th we will be hosting an online Elm Bridge. If you’re a member of an underrepresented group in tech and would like to learn some Elm, we’d love for you to attend! Email hey@elm-conf.com introducing yourself and why you’d like to attend (doesn’t have to be long!) If you go to Elm Bridge, we’ll also give you a free ticket to the rest of the conference.

We also need volunteers to help run the workshop, so if you’ve been involved in an Elm Bridge before and would like to help out, please email hey@elm-conf.com saying so.

Finally, thank you to everyone who attended and spoke at elm-conf our first four years when we were a part of Strange Loop. We couldn’t have made it so far without your help. :heart:


I’m a student. I’m thinking of attending - as the ticket would be free. But I’m not quite sure yet if I’ve got time.(Because of Corona, my university schedule is messed up) Should I request a ticket anyway, or should I rather give someone else the opportunity to attend?

That is up to you! However, I don’t think we will have any shortage of student tickets so if you’d like to then go ahead and email us. :smile:


I would love to attend this Conf. Thank you very much for preparing such opportunities. This summer I am planning to work on FP. and this will be obviously a boost!

Since the Elm-conf 2020 is going completely virtual, I guess there is no physical venue to rent, nor plane tickets to buy, nor hotel rooms to book, nor restaurant bills to pay. So what are the $75 or $100 tickets and soon more for? Or maybe people can pay in virtual dollars? :wink:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad this conference still happens even virtually. I’m just surprised by the high prices.

This is actually very cheap for a conference. In comparison, Elm-Europe last year (also a 2 day conference) cost about $300. Plenty of other conferences cost even more than that. And that’s just the ticket prices - you still need to pay for your own air tickets, hotels, restaurants, etc.

All of the above makes a typical real world conference difficult to afford for individuals (a lot of attendees have corporate sponsorship).

There is still a mountain of work organising a conference which a whole team of people need to do. That alone is probably enough to warrant such a price (remember also not everyone attending is paying: speakers go for free, and there are grants for students and minorities I think).


Thanks for your question! I’m happy to be transparent about this: there are big differences from previous years and we need to set prices so we can make sure the conference actually happens. The Elm community has been wonderful in supporting elm-conf for the last four years, but this year there are a lot of new variables: will people come when we’re not attached to Strange Loop? Are they going to be interested if we have a less obvious hallway track? How will the COVID-19 situation affect folks’ finances?

We can’t predict the future exactly, so we set our prices based on pessimistic estimates—these prices make sure that we cover our expenses even if we have a rather low turnout. The upshot here is that if you buy a ticket, you can be pretty sure that you’ll be able to attend the conference. We’re making plans to do a good job here, and setting these ticket prices is part of our responsibility to the people who want to come.

@gampleman has already mentioned several more reasons, and I’ll back him up with a stat: we currently have a 2:1 ratio of paid to free student attendees. I suspect that number will even out and possibly even flip. I think that students (especially undergrads) learning Elm is one of the best paths to increasing long-term adoption, so I think this is a helpful thing a conference can do!

All that said, if you find that you want to come to elm-conf but cannot afford it (for example because of being furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19) please email hey@elm-conf.com and we’ll figure something out. One purpose of elm-conf is to introduce people to new ideas and ways of doing things, and if the ticket price is a significant financial barrier then we want to help.

And, conversely, if you or your company want to help spread Elm—especially in the interests of increasing accessibility—then have a look at our sponsorship prospectus. Getting sponsors for those items will help a lot!


I and 4 of my engineers are attending! Thanks so much for keeping this conference going. I am excited to see what talks we have and to try this out virtually!

I’m also grateful there is a model to help those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend because of cost to attend; happy to pay the corporate cost to facilitate this. :slight_smile:


In the world of professional development, multi-day technology conferences are often in the range of $1.0-2.5K for admission (plus the extra costs of travel, accommodation, and meals), so this is a good value.

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Could you provide a rough schedule of how each day will look like (when it starts and when it ends)? This could be helpful for people outside of the US to check if the schedule fits their timezone.

Alternatively, you could provide this functionality right on the conference’s page :slightly_smiling_face:


Have you guys thought about spreading the conference out over more but shorter days?
As it is all online anyway, there are no logistical reasons to pack as much punch as possible in a few days. Working from home has pretty much put my day to day schedule upside down. For me it would be easy to attend more (and do some real work) when the conference was spread thinner over more days.


We considered carefully how many days we wanted to do. Three felt about the right amount from what we’ve seen other conferences do. There is actually a good logistical reason, too: the organizers are going to have to take a lot of time off from our normal work to put this on. Nobody is full time on elm-conf, so we need to be careful about how much time we’re asking on both the attendee and organizer side.

Right now we’re planning that the schedule will be most convenient for US-based attendees. This is right above both ticket widgets on the site, but I think you may be asking for a little more! The reason I don’t want to commit to a fine-grained schedule is that I want to keep it possible to change things up a little still. For example, if we find that lots and lots of people from Europe are attending, we may move the day a bit earlier or add some more open spaces for folks to attend in the European morning. :slight_smile: Being completely online means we can be a little more flexible, so I hope we can take advantage of that!


How do you determine is someone is from Europe? By IPs? I don’t remember Tito asking me where I’m from :slight_smile:

The card transactions have some location data, but we’ll probably just ask everyone since more goes into comfortable attending hours than location.

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