Adblocker Developer Summit 2020 Recap

Adblocker Developer Summit 2020 Recap

Ad filtering, Tech innovation, Kathrin Jennewein, 23. November 2020

Numbers, challenges and a sneak peek at next year’s summit

Nora Hase, events manager at eyeo, will share her take on the benefits, challenges and learnings from a fully-remote Adblocker Developer Summit with over 150 participants.

10 hours, 1 track, 159 attendees from more than 20 countries and 16 talks from 21 speakers – these are just some of the numbers from an amazing Adblocker Developer Summit 2020!

This year we were faced with the challenge of becoming a fully-remote event while trying to provide the same amount of knowledge sharing, engagement and discussions around all things ad blocking. A challenge that in the end also proved to be an opportunity.

Apart from the fact that we had amazing speakers with great topics and an engaged and interested audience, we would also like to share some of the learnings from this year’s summit.

The Benefits

The benefits of a fully-digital event were clearly the accessibility in terms of geography and time zones. This way we were able to reach an international audience from more than 20 countries and 4 different continents across the globe. These numbers will increase even more with all talks being recorded and available on youtube.

And not only were we able to reach more people but also give a more international group of people a platform to talk. We had talks and speakers from India, New Zealand and Russia amongst others, where chances are that those would not have been possible with a physical event.

It also improved our environmental impact. While of course a digital event still leaves a CO2 footprint, it is significantly lower than a physical one, which would have involved flights, hotel stays, catering etc. 


The one thing a digital event still lacks, at least for me, is the amount of personal interactions, the networking. I personally find it still difficult to substitute that in a meaningful way. Nevertheless, for this event it did go fairly well. Moreover, digital conferences, meetings and the like tend to be more exhausting. They require more focus than a face-to-face chat as we, amongst other reasons, need to process non-verbal cues in a new and different way which consumes more of our energy. It is a new space that many of us have to learn how to navigate in. 


Next year’s summit will be another challenge. While I hope that we will have the chance to meet again in person, we will definitely aim for a hybrid conference, where we combine onsite and virtual aspects. 

Something that is probably quite obvious, but should be noted as well, is that we want a “well-balanced agenda between more technical and more conceptual topics”, as was pointed out in last year’s feedback form.

Things worked very well this time around, and hopefully we will be able to draw in even more diverse speakers and topics from different perspectives within the industry to further summits.

For the next event we’ll look into more interactive sessions, hybrid formats, accessibility beyond time zones and geography (I recommend Shilpi Kappoor’s talk for some inspiration), socializing options and last but not least more breaks, especially for an online event!

If you want to have a deeper look into the topics discussed during the summit, I can’t recommend enough the playlist with all the talks here . Feel free to share them with your community as well. 

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash