Author: Vanshikha

TribeQonf 2023 – A Round-up of Our First Offline Conference in India

I would like to take you on a journey, a journey of how the power of manifestation, team efforts, and hard work can result in reaching any goal. Something similar happened for TribeQonf – our first-ever offline conference.

It all started as usual, with the team focusing on finding speakers, setting up goals, and preparing what the conference would be like. But still, it wasn’t like our usual preparations because we all knew that this was our first offline conference with the target of bringing 300+ testers under one roof with a ticket price that high and still maintaining the experience for an attendee that we are known for would be a challenge. So, we started like any superhero team with a goal of our own.

We started by calling people and telling them about TribeQonf and what it has to offer. After several calls and many rejections, the first ray of sunshine came through, and one of our community members bought the ticket for TribeQonf, and then a few more joined the boat. Till then, our other growth channels were just getting set up, so this was a considerable boost to ramp everything up and take all our ammunition to the war field.

The two months of ticket selling showed us all that if we don’t give up, we can do anything. There were highs when we were selling 30 tickets in a day and lows when not even one ticket would be sold. But we kept experimenting, from calling people to running email campaigns to capturing interest to running WhatsApp campaigns, we innovated and adapted fast. And now that I think about it, this was the only thing that helped us reach the targets we had set for ourselves.

Team Meeting - TribeQonf

Time flew fast, and we never knew when there was only one month left for the conference. To be honest, we weren’t quite close to our goals one month before the conference, but we kept going and thought that all this hard work and smart work would lead to something good. This was a time when we had started thinking about the second challenge of TribeQonf, and that was to bring the same attendee experience from virtual conferences to an offline conference.

And that started our long calls with vendors with jargon and dimensions that felt worse than Trigonometry in 10th class. But the vendor team was supportive, and they helped us understand everything and visualize what we had in our mind for our conference on their laptops and then onto the venue, which became a beautiful and exciting memory for us.

As we always say, any event needs a lot of support from different people. This one needed even more support, and we would like to thank our premier sponsor, BrowserStack, our platinum sponsor, Co.meta Rocks, and our supporting sponsor, TestSigma, for all their help in making this event come true.

With the last 15 days of constant work and sleepless nights, all the team members on 12th June travelled to Bangalore at an Airbnb we had booked, which became our headquarters for the next 4 days.

The first day was a bit relaxed as we gathered our energies for the battlefield on the 14th and 15th of June. We gathered in the evening and discussed our roles and responsibilities for D-Day with tea and lots of inside jokes. A side note, the team at The Test Tribe can make an apocalypse feel funny with the number of jokes everyone cracks.

On 13th June, our team got divided into three halves to complete the work that was left. We were yet to receive the ID cards, welcome bags, and trophies, so we were a bit on edge about how it would look and also because we had to sort 450 ID cards and make 450 welcome kits at night when the conference was in the morning. But it all worked out in the end, we sorted the ID cards and created welcome kits by 3 am on 14th July. It was a tiring task but somehow fun hanging out with all like this, preparing for something big.

Registration Desk

Till now, all of us had that feeling that something big was going to happen tomorrow, and all of us were a little nervous and a lot more excited about meeting the community that we know so well, virtually.

The next day came quickly, and before we knew it, all of us were at our dedicated places, ready for the next two days.

We reached the venue at 7:45 AM so that we get enough time for registration desk setting, to our surprise we saw people coming from that time itself and people just kept pouring in. In fact such was the rush at Registration Desk that between 8:30 AM to 9:26 AM we checked in close to 300 people. In our memories, the adrenaline rush of that hour is unforgettable.

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We started the first day with lamp lighting by Robert Sabourin, Ashok T, Monika Vijaykumar (the community member who bought the first ticket), and Vanshikha Sharma (Events and Community Lead at The Test Tribe). After lamp lighting, we kickstarted the conference with a welcome address by Mahesh Chikane, Founder of The Test Tribe, and then our conferences started with the power-packed talks.

The first session by Robert Sabourin on “The Long Game” was an eye-opener and a power-packed session, followed by some new age sessions by Anuj Magazine, Pooja Subramanian & Kumar Iyer on “Staying Relevant in the ChatGPT Era” and “Unconventional Approaches for Testing in Fast-Paced, Business-Critical Environments” – both very important topics in today’s world of fast-paced, changing technology.

This was followed by a small networking session/tea break where we saw the magic of the community happen. There were so many people from 2-3 years of experience to 30+ years of experience, and all shared experiences, questions, and apprehensions.

This was also the time for the attendees to visit our sponsor’s booths to learn more about them and their offerings. The attendees visited the sponsor booths to learn something new, play games, and talk to some great people from some amazing companies. The networking hall during the break was filled with meaningful conversations.

We also got to interact closely with the community. We met so many members that we had only interacted virtually and were great friends; not only that, but we made new friends along the way in the community.

After that, the day was followed by sessions by Thiruvengadam Ashok, Prashant