OMRS20: A Virtual Experiment

We usually have about 175 people attend our annual OpenMRS Implementers Meetings each year. Our Global Events Team begins setting everything up with our host country team as early as March. People start making plans and bookings a few months later. 

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic led us to make a change that made OMRS20 accessible to more than 430 people worldwide and reduced our community’s carbon footprint: we went virtual. And overall, Virtual OMRS20 went very smoothly. Over the next few posts, we’ll share a few highlights and what we heard from you about the experience.

“OMRS20 felt surprisingly like a good old Implementers Meeting, just minus the hugs.”

OpenMRS is not only about software. It’s about the people who come together as a community. At OpenMRS, we use an unconferencing format that lets community members drive our agenda. Using new tools, like Metro Retro, to spur virtual interaction, more than 35 people proposed and voted on over 80 ideas for unconferencing sessions. Community members shared their achievements and challenges through rapid rounds of Lightning Talks. Inspired by a comment shared during a plenary session or Lightning Talk, people took to the chat to voice their support, cheer along colleagues, and ask questions. In short: it’s the people who gave our meeting that OpenMRS community vibe.

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