There's a new meeting technology conference to put on your calendar, but you won't need to book a flight to get there. Expo Tech Expo will launch September 19 to 21 on your local computer screen. The first entirely online conference for the meetings industry, Expo Tech Expo will showcase technology solutions for both online and “terrestrial” events. The event is the brainchild of New York City-based online exhibition industry resource Trade Show News Network (www.tsnn.com) (which recently acquired Trade Show Central) in collaboration with Expocentric, a London-based virtual conferencing company.

“We're working with Expocentric because it's the most out there [company],” says TSNN president David Larkin, who explains that the Expocentric technology gives attendees an avatar (an onscreen presence) with which to “walk” down the virtual trade show aisles. Larkin hopes to move well beyond the “online product directory” approach, which he says is typical of most virtual trade shows. “Part of the TSNN.com mission is to look at where the Internet is going,” he says. “I'm not waiting around for everything to be perfect. We're going to go for it.”

Look for a preview of Expo Tech Expo's exhibitor list, workshops, and special events in the September/October issue of TM.