CppCon 2021 Wrap-Up

Hybrid Success

Our first adventure with a hybrid conference was a success! Although a our onsite attendee numbers were down (way down, see the photo of many of us), our online-only attendee count was up from last year (even with many of last year’s attendees attending onsite this year) and our total attendance grew (a bit) from our record in 2019.

Trip Reports

But don’t take my word for it, read what some of our attendees are saying. I’ll update this post as more trip reports are published.


JetBrains, a CppCon YouTube Channel sponsor, is providing early access to some of our conference videos. In addition to the Fireside Chat with the C++ Standards Committee, JetBrains has posted all of our onsite plenary sessions (from Bjarne Stroustrup, Herb Sutter, Lisa Lippincott, Michael Caisse, and Sean Parent).

In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting session videos to the CppCon YouTube Channel and slides to our repository.

CppCon 2022

CppCon 2022 will be held September 11 – 16 at the Gaylord Rockies, in Aurora, Colorado. Watch this page for more details.


We all knew pretty early last year that 2020 was going to be a horrible year.

But many of us, certainly I, had great hopes for 2021. This year would be so good, due to “pent up demand,” that we’d forget all about 2020. Except that it didn’t turn out that way. 2021 turned out to be the year of disappointment following disappointment.

In addition to having to cut many familiar conference features due to lack of attendees, money, and planning time, the process of organizing a hybrid conference proved much more difficult that I’d imagined that it would be. We scrapped our program schedule twice before we came up with something that made us happy.

I confess to having low expectations for this year’s event. It wasn’t because we didn’t have a great team preparing for it.

The organizers, including our department heads, volunteers, and vendors did an amazing job of preparing for the event under terrible circumstances. Our Program Committee reviewed a near record number of submissions. The online volunteers had to master several different software platforms in order to answer questions and provide technical support for online presenters and other attendees. The onsite volunteers were very, very short-handed. They worked longer shifts than we’ve asked of them in years past and were also required to master new platforms for delivering hybrid session.

Our vendors, including, Bash Films, Digital Medium, Gaylord Rockies, Jonathan Phillips, Krueger Event Management, and LSAV Powerhouse, all went above and beyond to create a hybrid CppCon for the first time.

I was, of course, delighted by the way about team came together to see our challenges as an opportunity to succeed in a new way rather than as an excuse to fail at delivering the best possible CppCon experience.

I was happy for the support of our sponsors and both online and onsite exhibitors.

Still, I was very worried.

But there was part of the CppCon team that I’d not counted on. Our attendees! At every closing I thank the attendees because, I tell them, without attendees, we don’t have a conference.

This year I learned the deepest truth of that. CppCon 2021 was a success in the only way that really matters. Those attending were delighted that they were attending.

The attendees came through for us. In a year when we could have heard a lot of complaining (about no posters, no bookstore or author signings, no live-captioning, no Tool Time, reduced social events), instead we heard about how delighted everyone was to be able to see old friends, meet new friends, and engage with the some of the best minds in C++. We had great engagement during sessions, at lightning talks, and in the all-important “hallway track.”

2021 Onsite Group Photo

You are all my heroes.

I look forward to seeing you all next year.

Jon Kalb
Conference Chair