This has been an extremely tough time for most conferences and trade shows as a result of the difficult economy, terrorist activities, SARS and the war. The reluctance of corporate executives, IT executives and consultants to travel has led to surges in other areas of the economy and forced many to adapt to a changing marketplace.
The major beneficiaries have mostly been involved with the digital economy, which continues to extend use of the Internet. Some of the major digital events are Web seminars, virtual trade shows and Web presentations. They do not require travel and can be attended on the day of the event or replayed later on demand. The amount of time saved by not having to travel to an event is tremendous and definitely increases productivity within an organization. Another major advantage is that attendees can schedule some of these events when it is most convenient for them.
However, what is lost in the digital space is the ability to interact directly with peers or to personally meet and talk with the consultants and industry professionals. The dialog that often accompanies a conference session provides a great deal of additional insight that is not easily obtained during a Webcast where the number of questions that can be answered is extremely limited. Also, the opportunity to share experiences regarding your business intelligence implementation with others that face the same issues and concerns provides untold value. Another factor often forgotten is that when people attend a conference or trade show, they do not have to deal with the routine day-to-day activities and can devote their full attention to the subject being presented. In addition, other related topic areas may catch their attention, spurring creative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking.
When travel is an option, don't miss any of the great industry conferences and trade shows. When travel is not an option, be sure to take advantage of the multitude of digital Web seminars, Webcasts and virtual trade shows that are available. All of these venues provide excellent educational resources to insure your business intelligence/data warehousing success.
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