In today’s Twitterverse we want content crunched into 140 characters and updated often; instant feedback preferably through a portable device. So, it is in that spirit, I keep this post (and others) short & sweet.
As Strunk & White once said: “Rule 17 – omit needless words.”
An article from E-content, the Jan/Feb 2009 issue titled, Virtual Tradeshows: A realistic alternative to business travel? highlights the digital platform as a viable means for exhibiting products and services w/o leaving the comfort of wherever you are.
This is nothing revolutionary – Second Life hosted virtual gatherings for years (Harvard classes have been taught in the digital playground), but I am intrigued to see the potential for virtual events shifting to mainstream business in the current travel-restricted business economy.
The article does not call for an end to the Expo hall, but rallies for a truce between online trade shows wtih brick and morter “meat” experiences, suggesting that balancing the two serves everyone’s interest well. Nigel Clear, of our own Reed Elsevier, said that meeting attendees at virtual shows is not the same thing as shaking someone’s hand, but it can allow you to reach the largest audience possible – “for every one person who can attend a show (in person), there are 10 who can’t.”
The most sensible answer in the virtual v. meat tradeshow debate echoes that of author David Thomson (Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age) in speaking about a similar question in education. In the paper v. pixelated textbook debate he said, “let print do what print does well and online do what online does well.” This is good advice for anyone considering going binary: there are things we can do with a digital conference that can’t be done in person and vice versa.
What are your thoughts?