As an increasing number of events go virtual — such as Microsoft Ignite, Cisco Live, Dell World, and many others — last month we asked you to tell us your opinion of online conferences. As we had hoped, the responses were interesting and insightful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

The Results

The vast majority of you prefer in-person vs. online conferences, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Fewer distractions and interruptions
  • More real networking opportunities
  • More SWAG
  • They’re harder to skip
  • It’s easier to carve out time for personal interactions (e.g. sideboards, coffee talks, etc.)
  • There’s more opportunity to informally meet old and new people (you can just bump into people at a conference and end up being friends for the rest of your life!)
  • You catch little things that wouldn’t be noticed online
  • Better interactions, questions, food, and fun!

On the other hand, some of you raised a few positive points about online conferences as well, including:

  • More flexibility
  • Easier to attend
  • Much cheaper than attending in person
  • Saves a lot of travel time
  • You can visit sponsors without being accosted by aggressive marketers who are pushing tools you have no interest in
  • You can immediately view recorded versions of talks that you would otherwise miss

Min Destens noted that online conferences are “good in pandemic times, but in the long run Microsoft will be come back to ‘normal physical’ conferences together with the choice to join online.” We agree with this view; in all likelihood, conferences are not going to be an either/or thing in the future. Both in-person and online conferences will co-exist, and they will complement each other. This will benefit those who attend (because they can augment their experience), as well as those who stream (because they can access valuable content, etc.).

And the Winners Are…

First of all, you’re all winners for being so amazing. Please take a bow and give yourself a pat on the back.

Now, let’s reveal the two lucky participants who were randomly selected to receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate…drum roll please…may I have the envelope…the winners are Stephen Bush and Thomas Higgins. Congratulations! Please email me at lcadieux@devolutions.net to claim your prize.

Thanks again to all of you for participating, and please stay tuned for the June poll. It’s going to be a FUN one!