Virtual Meetings & Conferences

I must admit, I really enjoy my job, and the industry that I'm in.
This week I went to the Virtual Edge Summit conference in Santa Clara.
Today, I am attending that same conference, but I'm participating while
lying on the couch, laptop on my lap (go figure) in my jammies, and getting other work done at
the same time.

Virtual meetings and conferences are wonderful. I'm not saying this
replaces face-to-face interaction, but there are many advantages to
attending meetings and conferences virtually:

  1. Convenience — no traveling; easy to join in; can squeeze in between other tasks because you don't have to go anywhere
  2. Increases productivity — you can do other work when parts of the
    meeting don't apply to you, or during conference sessions of no
    interest to you
  3. Document share — you can share documents or other computer assets instantly
  4. Increased communication — while one person is talking, you can IM others pertinent information
  5. Expense — virtual conferences and trade shows cost a lot less to run than physical ones, or extend the physical
  6. Increased Participation — Folks from all over the planet can join since no physical travel is involved
  7. Near face-to-face – Video and avatars, plus live chat or voice, provide a near face-to-face experience that is immediate

I'm looking into various software applications for CollabNet to use
for virtual conferences and trade shows. Yesterday while at the Virtual
Edge Summit in person, I had a chance to talk to a few vendors. My
experience has been mainly with Second Life, so this was a nice
opportunity to see what other folks are using, and what features are
provided.

Some of the software was mostly 2D, some of it 3D similar to Second
Life, and one ran in the browser, using graphics and a menu system. I
was impressed with all. Some are quite pricey but have a lot of
features. I'm also looking online for less expensive alternatives, and
to see what is available.

I welcome suggestions from you folks who have experience with
particular software that you really like. I'd also welcome hearing your
experiences with virtual conferences and tradeshows.

Email: dnourie at collab.net

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