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November 29, 2003


Nicki Douglas

When we first started organising specialist virtual conferences we thought the major advantage they'd have over comparable physical ones would be based on costs. Not only is the overall price much lower as there are no conference center charges involved, but the additional travel and accommodation expenses to attend the conference fall away completely.

While the current economic climate is forcing all sections of society to become increasingly cost-conscious, we were quite surprised to find that this is not the number one advantage our participants see in the concept of virtual conferences.

Instead, time seems to be by far the most important restriction on their resources. The flexibility they gain to have the conference fit their own schedules, instead of vice versa, is seen as the major factor. For many, they know the program is excellent and they really want to hear what these speakers have to say, but they're currently just too deeply committed to handling things like getting next year's budget approved, detailed planning of 04's activities, employee reviews etc.etc. And then there are the social pressures at home with Christmas coming up....

So, the concept of not having to take a whole week out in one go, when they can choose exactly when to listen to what, when they can totally ignore time zone issues....this is seen as an idea whose time has come!

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