I fear for the future of face to face conferences in this collaborative world.
Whilst there is nothing like meeting people in person and sharing war stories and experiences man to man/woman the current trend for attendees to tweet during the event means that perhaps we won’t all need to turn up en masse any more?
A recent example includes the Intra event in Scandinavia. A number of my former colleagues, plus folks I’ve met during my intranet travels, were either presenting or ensconsed in the audience tweeting away outlining highlights. And the presenters did similar afterwards. Its amazing what you can pick up in messages of 140 charcters or less. I prefer the less is more approach.
Add to this the fact that videos of sessions are readily available and access to the slideshows aren’t hard to come by then I think I’ve already gleaned enough information to warrant my non attendence. I don’t feel I’ve missed out too much. I can also ring people to fill in the gaps.
And when the use of video conferencing and true collaborative systems like webinars become more widely used (I do wish my IT would catch up) then we can all join in from the comfort of our own desks. This is regularly demonstrated with the IBF’s monthly "Intranet Live" virtual sessions of which I’ve co-hosted a few. .
I suppose it’s ultimately going to be determined by human behaviour. We’re social creatures who need to be with others. So whilst new approaches have their place. hopefully they won’t fully replace face to face conferences.
After all having a post virtual conference ginger ale on your own isn’t much fun.
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