I enjoy conferences for both the learning and the socialization, and I certainly understand the attraction of actually being there. Of course, time and budget prevent this happening too often for many.
As far as content goes, attending online makes perfect sense. I won’t go into the benefits, as readers are likely well aware. I’m not sure of the level of engagement for many online, though, as distractions are bound to occur and it is easy to turn away to deal with them. We can think of the sessions being recorded, but do we actually go back to listen to all? I know I don’t. It may help when conferences preent only small periods of time online rather than the whole day. This can be easier to schedule.
Learn Trends 2009, The Corporate Learning Trends & Innovations Conference, strikes me as being different as an online only event. The schedule shows packed days starting at 7:00 a.m. Pacfic Time (8:00 Mountain Time here in Edmonton), this Tuesday to Thursday, November 17 to 19, 2009. As a first for me, I have planned to attend all of the sessions over the 3 day period, with nothing scheduled other than a vehicle service during the opening session. Of course, mobile internet will work (laptop), and I will test to see if I might be able to listen on a Blackberry. (I would appreciate any input on the Blackberry question.)
I’m looking forward to the conference, and I hope to see you there!