Dries Buytaert's Visit to Japan: Fostering Growth for Drupal Community

Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, is scheduled to visit Japan for the first time in nearly eight years. He aims to present the latest developments in Drupal and associated web technologies, offering a valuable opportunity for interaction and learning about current trends in the Drupal ecosystem.

With Drupal not being widely known in Japan, Buytaert's visit holds the potential to empower the local Drupal community and encourage greater participation in DrupalCon and other international Drupal events. This could lead to a healthier, more vibrant Drupal community in Japan, with increased adoption and contributions from local enthusiasts.

Buytaert recently shared his plans on Twitter, expressing his intention to connect with the local Drupal communities during his travels to Japan and Australia. 

To gain insight into the impact of Buytaert's visit on the Japan Drupal community, I had the opportunity to connect with the organizers of the Drupal Tokyo Meetup. They provided insights into how Buytaert's visit is anticipated to shape the future of Drupal in Japan.

The primary aim of this feature is to provide a comprehensive overview of the Tokyo Meetup and its significance.

According to the organizers, the agenda of this meetup will consist of three components:

"1) Dries' session," 2) a "Dries Q&A session," and 3) networking with drinks. The content of the "Dries' session" will be based on what he will be speaking at DrupalSouth Sydney 2024, with Japanese subtitles provided."

The primary focus of the event centres around the "Dries' session," emphasizing face-to-face interactions among Drupal enthusiasts with Dries Buytaert at the core. However, lightning talks (LT) lasting five minutes per speaker will occur during the networking segment. Organizers openly recruit LT speakers, welcoming anyone from the community to share their insights and experiences on stage.

"Since it has been eight years since Dries visited Japan last time, we chose a venue large enough to accommodate 150 people so that many Drupalists could gather. As of now, more than 100 people have registered for the event!"

Picture of The Event Venue

When asked about how the content of the meetup aligns with the attendees' interests and expectations, organizers acknowledged a significant language gap between Japanese and English proficiency levels. Many Japanese participants may not be fluent in English, while some attendees, including Dries, may not be proficient in Japanese. To address this, organizers are diligently preparing various information materials in both Japanese and English.

"So we are working to prepare various information materials in both Japanese and English and provide real-time subtitles using UD Talk for Dries session and LT, so that as many people as possible could enjoy the event regardless of language barriers."

Following Dries' session, organizers have planned an interactive Q&A session using Slido to openly collect questions about Dries and Drupal. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit their inquiries in real-time, allowing Dries to provide live responses. Additionally, alongside questions directed to Dries, organizers will incorporate live polls to engage participants further and gather insights from the audience.

When asked about the significance of Dries Buytaert's visit to Japan and his participation in the meetup for the local Drupal community, organizers highlighted the relatively low awareness of Drupal in Japan compared to the US and Europe.

"Compared to the US and Europe, Drupal is not well known in Japan. We hope that the special visit from the Drupal founder to Japan will encourage those who have never attended any community meetups to join us. We also hope that this event will empower the Drupal community in Japan and encourage more people to attend DrupalCon and other Drupal events overseas. As a result, we hope that the Drupal community will grow healthily as more people start using Drupal and contribute to Drupal in Japan."

Furthermore, organizers actively encourage attendees to share their event experiences, photos, and thoughts using the hashtag #drupal_dries on social media platforms. This initiative aims to foster community engagement and enable participants to connect beyond the confines of the physical event space.

The Drupal community in Japan has seen rapid expansion since Dries last visited in 2016. The upcoming event, where attendees have the chance to meet Dries in person, presents a valuable opportunity for Japanese Drupal community members to gain invaluable experience.

In an exciting development, we are pleased to announce that The Drop Times is now a media sponsor for the Drupal Networking Event in Tokyo 2024. This partnership underscores The Drop Time's commitment to providing timely and relevant updates to its audience. 

We extend our sincere thanks to all the organizers for their invaluable support. A special thanks is also owed to Hikaru Maruyama for providing detailed insights into the event. Your dedication and efforts are truly appreciated.

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