FT.com’s article on ‘a virtual meeting of minds’ about the exhibition sector’s emergence into digital got me thinking…

What would a world be like where we no longer have to leave the office to attend exhibitions, network and meet new contacts?  It is perhaps an extreme example, but there are certainly exhibitions that would benefit from ‘virtual’ alternatives.  Are social media exhibitions, for example, being hypocritical if they don’t embrace the digital world enough to take their shows online?!

Source: Zone.ni.com

I am not suggesting in the slightest that all exhibitions will or should move online – and actually I quite like the real, physical aspect of exhibitions.  The meandering around, meeting new people, picking up samples…but it certainly is a way to reach those that cannot spare a whole day walking the floor at Olympia or Excel.

Perhaps the solution is to offer a virtual alternative to exhibitions – though I can imagine that the financial viability of this is probably limited and I reserve my full judgement and until I have attended a ‘virtual exhibition’ but my appetite has certainly been wet…

Meanwhile I look forward to attending the very real Social Media World Forum next week and exploring the world of digital through good old fashioned seminars and exhibition stands.