Despite it only scheduled to take place in November, the organisers of the annual AfricaCom have announced that the conference will be a virtual affair for 2020.

The conference is massive and brings together leaders in emerging technologies, telecommunications and more from around the world. The decision to move the conference online then is likely a wise one.

“After an extensive period of review and consultation, we have decided to proactively transform AfricaCom, AfricaTech and all our co-located conferences into fully-virtual events in 2020. Taking place together over a week, from 9th – 13th November, these events will become known as the Virtual Africa Tech Festival,” the event organisers announced earlier on Monday.

While a virtual event is itself not all that exciting anymore, the Virtual Africa Tech Festival did pique our interest because of one feature.

“Our leading software uses AI powered matchmaking to ensure you meet the right people, allows you to fully engage in the discussion around live sessions, and makes it even easier for you to discover the exhibitors and solutions that match your specific business needs,” the organisers said.

This matchmaking algorithm sounds interesting especially as it relates to an online conference. For one, with all the virtual events we’ve attended, we’re yet to see one with a social aspect that goes beyond a live chat function.

Perhaps using tech to match folks who could benefit from a conversation with one another is the way to go with these virtual events but we won’t know for sure until it happens.

In addition to this clever networking feature, Virtual Africa Tech Festival promises over 100 hours of premium conference content. While for many conferences we’d wave this off as bragging, AfricaCom’s conferences and keynotes are often among the best and we’ve walked away from a few with unique outlooks we haven’t before.

There will also be interactive polls to participate in, extended question and answer sessions and we’re sure as we get closer to the event even more will be announced.

The Virtual Africa Tech Festival takes place from 9th to 13th November and if you are looking to participate as an exhibitor or a sponsor you can head to the official website here.

We do wonder if the organisers will reconsider an in-person conference should the COVID-19 situation improve. We’re doubtful but with November still quite a few months out anything could happen.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]