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?