Should FreedomFest Go Virtual?

As we have gone through the painful process of cancelling FreedomFest this year, many of our followers have suggested that we go virtual instead, as some other conferences have done. We truly appreciate how much all of you wanted to experience FreedomFest this year.

But that’s the point: FreedomFest is an experience. it isn’t just the content—although that’s our biggest draw.

It’s browsing the exhibit hall, talking to authors, getting their autographs, running into old friends, meeting our film directors, stopping at a booth for a free candy and then staying for a conversation.

It’s being in the front row when Glenn Beck starts complaining about his chair, and then he and Penn Jillette end up sitting on the front of the stage—right in front of you.

It’s talking to people at the cocktail receptions and social events.

It’s sharing your voice at the microphone during Q&A at the end of a session.

It’s watching panelists interact passionately on stage, in the moment, in their face, which can never happen in front of a cold blank computer screen.

It’s greeting old friends and going out to dinner or meeting for breakfast or just hanging out in the exhibit hall between sessions.

It’s getting married—yes married!— at FreedomFest because you want to share that moment with your thousand closest friends (we’ve had three weddings that I know of!)

It’s agonizing over which session to attend when three of them are calling to you because all of them are your favorite speakers.

It’s dancing at the closing banquet and hugging one another goodbye at the end of the night.

FreedomFest isn’t just a content producer. It’s an experience. And we just can’t deliver it without its heart.

We can’t wait to see you next year and share the experience of FreedomFest again.

3 replies added

  1. Robert Bowers July 30, 2020 Reply

    Fest must be live. Also move back to one of the original hotels.. Not Caesars! Please! Wife and I ten year attendees.

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  2. John Squires July 30, 2020 Reply

    Make it virtual. I think you missed an opportunity this year to have the speakers record their presentations and then offer either a set of DVDs or online access for a fee. Even the panels could have been handled via Zoom or some other Internet service. It’s not hard to debate and argue when all the faces are on the same screen. It’s not too late to get your top 20 or so speakers and have them do videos, then offer them for sale to us. There are a lot of us who go for the content, not so much to see old friends or talk to vendors or for the experience of being among people who think alike. I do enjoy that experience, but even without Covid, I’d prefer to listen to the material online for a couple hundred bucks to spending several days plus $1000 or more to attend the conference.

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