Good time to be a webinar guy

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That's what webinar guy Ken Molay thinks after reading this summary of results from a new ON24 survey. Some of the results listed:

    * 42% expect participation in physical trade shows to be down by as much as 50%

    * 64% expect to have fewer physical sales kick off seminars - or none at all

    * 60% expect training, management and other internal events to be down 20 - 50%

    * A full 76% said their company has already begun using virtual events (53%) or plans to begin using them (23%) to supplement some of their physical events in 2009

This is fortunate news for ON24, seeing that it's a webcasting/virtual meeting company. I think the key word can be found in that last bullet point, though: "supplement." Shows may be leaner this year, more focused on both buyer and seller side, but I don't find this to be a bad thing. In fact, I'm a big fan of smaller shows where you really get a chance to spend quality time with exhibitors and their products, not having to elbow through all the tchochke-hunters and gatherers. If organizations end up using virtual events to supplement their shows, more power to them. This is not a new thing this year, but a trend that's been going on for quite a while. And rightly so. Some meetings have been held for no good reason, other than they've always been a part of an organization's mix. Now's the time to cut out the fat and make the remaining meetings really worth attending. Anything that's interesting but not worth a plane ride? Well, maybe those events should be held another way.

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