TRENDS: The Learning Society, FETC Virtual

HERE’S A COOL VIDEO (with a soothing soundtrack and easy-to-follow messages) that I saw while visiting the Cisco booth at FETC Virtual Conference and Expo 2010 online today. This was my first virtual conference and I thought it was pretty cool: there were crowd-like sound effects that made you feel like you were on the exhibit floor; there was peace of mind in being able to turn the volume down; I got the sensation I was visiting booths, lounges and mingling with folks as I would when attending a live, physical edtech trade show—but instead of glancing at name badges, I could see people typing in on IM chats and posting on blogs. I did feel a bit of longing for actual people, though; I missed the pleasure of shaking hands or sharing a real coffee together. However, prizes like video cameras, scanners, digital cameras or even an FETC 2011 full (live, physical) conference registration  provided a great incentive to visit as many booths and participate in as much as possible, pumping me up to hang around a bit longer in this interesting virtual world. The virtual conference is a great way to get informed, connected and engage in much of what you might do at a real conference. Nothing beats the real thing, but it’s a very nice supplemental way to stay connected and I look forward to future virtual shows. What do you think?

One comment

  1. I too was impressed – never having attended FETC I wasn’t sure what to expect. Though I got bumped off the system a few times, I thought the Exhibition feature was extremely smart – and it looked like the vendors were getting some great bites from conference attendees. I was also very impressed by the number of international participants attending the conference; though I did feel sorry for all of those on dial-up and with slow connectivity issues. There seems to be a definite challenge in reaching the rural crowd with these high-tech events. Thankfully it looks like many of the resources will live online after the actual event so folks can access material even if they couldn’t attend in the virtual flesh.

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