Web conferencing has slowly been replacing in-person meetings as it offers executives major savings in business travel. Now, it looks like it might be making headway in taking over a slice of the trade show industry as well.
The BBC says a report from Market Research Media indicates the virtual conference marketplace will grow to $18.6 billion over the next five years. Plus, the news source reports that a recent survey shows 87 percent of 10,000 executives said they are ready to go virtual this year.
As businesses are getting more comfortable with the virtual world - and getting used to cutting back on business travel budgets - virtual interactions might start expanding from casual meetings to major conferences. "It is just a matter of time before the virtual events world and the trade show world merge to create the next generation of events - a hybrid of the old and the new," Miroslaw Nowak of Market Research Media told the source.
The auto industry is already capitalizing on this nascent trend. AutoWeek magazine reports that a virtual green car show will take place in September of 2010. The online show will unite leaders on the web and give them a chance to show off and discuss new hybrid models via virtual face-to-face meetings.