There’s a lot of talk about the carbon footprint of attending conferences these days and on Friday I attended my first virtual conference. NSWsphere provided a live stream of the conference. The job they did was excellent (numerous cameras, direct mic etc.) and I was able to watch easily without getting frustrated.
The second important factor was the live twitter stream. This allowed me to tap into some of the intangibles that you get from going to a conference – the important chit-chat on what everyone thought of the presentations. The advantage of twitter was that it was happening as the presenters were talking, so I didn’t have to wait until the session ended to get people’s views.
The last advantage was that I could tune in to just the presenters I was interested in. I simply printed out the agenda and switched over when they were on.
So despite being in another state, I was still able to get something out if this conference without traveling, without spewing out tonnes of carbon and while keeping up with most of my real job. Obviously face-to-face meetings with colleagues are better and I would choose that if I could, but especially for conferences where you might just have a peripherally interest and can’t justify the cost of attending in person, it might be worth giving this a try.