Musings on conferences

Robert Scoble hasn’t got a ticket for the Web 2.0 conference. This started me thinking about how we do conferences, especially in the so-called brave new world of social media and Web 2.0.

I can see a role for virtual environments such as Second Life. Not yet, because at the moment Second Life is far too clunky, takes too long to get to grips with and simply doesn’t offer enough. But that’s not to say a few years (I don’t think we’re talking months) as the environment gets better, desktop PCs get more powerful and bandwidth faster and more reliable (mine is and Second Life is still a pain) that it won’t provide a suitable environment for conferences.

The main benefit would be that you don’t have to travel. Good for the environment and avoids all the hassle of the current safety restrictions at airports. You’d also get an online archive/presence that people could dip into and participate after the conference.

However, there are still far more downsides than there are benefits. Nothing beats meeting people face to face and the personal interaction you get at conferences.

On Wednesday I’m one of the speakers at the New PR conference (PDF) in Edinburgh – terrible name, great conference. The Sunday Herald has a short article with quotes from me and Neville Hobson.

Unlike the Web 2.0 conference there is still a chance to book one of the few remaining last minute places at the New PR conference. Call Nicky or Andrew Wake on 01706 828855 or book online.

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.