Every year I make it a point to travel to as many technology conferences as I can in the interest of keeping my education current. Given the state of the economy, I don’t think that it would come as much of a surprise to anyone that attendance at IT conferences has been way down this year. Between the price of admission and travel expenses the costs of attending a conference really add up, and IT conferences make an easy target for managers who are looking to trim the bottom line.
Next week I am scheduled to speak at a virtual conference. I have done Webcasts before, but I have never done a virtual conference before. This afternoon I got to take a tour of the virtual conference “facility”. I have to say that I was really impressed by how well thought out the Web application was. It kind of makes me wonder if virtual conferences are going to be the big thing in the future. I really hope that traditional conferences still continue to have their place because I enjoy traveling, and there is nothing like being able to talk to other IT professionals face to face. Even so, it is hard to argue with the cost savings that virtual conferences provide. It will be interesting to see how attendance is next week.