May 10, 2011
Why pay for virtual conferences?
I keep seeing virtual conferences popping up. Think of it, you can virtually watch some of the best speakers in the world, all from the comfort of your own home or office. All this for just a few hundred dollars, or less, or more. Who cares?
Why is this better?
By seeing a speaker in person, it means that you can actually say hello. You may be able to ask them a follow up question or exchange business cards. When you’re present, you can enjoy the energy of the crowd and the conversation that stems from the presentations.
Ask any person who attends conferences like SXSW, where there are hundreds of incredible speakers, and they will tell you that the magic occurs in the halls.
It’s in the halls where you meet fellow attendees and shake their hands. You run in to old friends and make new ones in the halls. Your online relationships become solidified in the halls.
It’s not that I am against virtual conferences, I just don’t understand why anyone would pay for one?
Create Your Own FREE Virtual Conference
Heck, why not create your own FREE virtual conference and invite your friends and colleagues? Here are some great examples:
Marketing Over Coffee: Marketing Conference in a Box
Mitch Joel‘s: Pixelated new business conference
Bryan Eisenberg‘s: OnClick: The Online Marketing Virtual Conference Mashup
You can even use a free service like SynchTube, which allows you to watch synchronized YouTube videos with up to 50 other people. Use the chat window along the side as you’re watching the videos at the same time to interact with the other viewers.
Why pay for virtual?
Still, there is NOTHING like the real thing. I understand why we can’t always attend our favorite conferences, but I can’t understand why people are willing to pay for online conferences.
Have you paid for a virtual conference? Are there benefits that I am missing?