I had posted this a few years ago, when Second Life was just starting to make an impact. It seems that second life has faded from the event planning mind and I re-post, only to show where we have come. Face to face is still the way to go, although there is now a blend of virtual and real which has actually benefited the industry. We recently produced an event for the Economist Magazine where we had a live audience in Washington DC and a virtual audience on the web. We also piped in speakers from around the world using technology that is becoming better and better every day. The link to the MIMegasite article is still good so have a look.
I have read a lot about second life meetings (you know, second life….. the virtual world where you create a personal avatar and live out experiences that range from the daily mundane to a lot of other interesting internet things).
It seems that many companies including IBM are actually having real meetings, press conferences and product launches in the virtual world. Not sure how I feel about this, sometimes I think it is cool, sometimes silly. I mean, to create a viable avatar to live in the SecondLife world, takes a lot of time and energy.
I do think that there is a place for what these companies are doing, but I would not put the whole bank on it. It targets only one segment of the population (If this is the segment that is best for your product or service, by all means, lay it on and lay it on good). If you are going to have a second life meeting or event, have one in the real world to compliment it.
You can find out more about these meetings in a lot of current publications, I think that Inc. Magazine just did an article. Here is a link to Successful Meetings (The link is now Dead, Jim), they have an article on the cover this month.