The next generation IT conference

I’m now back in the UK following a two day whiz over to Barcelona for Gartner’s ITxpo. Even though the flight is short, at two hours, I find flying a totally dehumanising experience. First, we are required to arrive two hours before the departure time to check in – and that’s pretty damn early when flying out at 7am. Second, the security check means having to pretty much strip off any bits of metal. Even on a short stay-over, the sad state of our security means checking-in essentials like toothpaste and shaving foam.

…then on arrival, those same essentials don’t make it to Barcelona. Joy.

Gartner has been talking about how IT can drive green initiatives in business – like cutting down travel by using video conferencing. Yet, several hundred people flew over to hear this. Perhaps it could all have been done over the web.

But conferences attendance is all about networking. Well, Gartner has advised us all to embrace Web 2.0, allowing like-minded people to interact through a Web community. I guess that means networking will all be done through virtual communities.

So, if a conference can be run over the web, and networking can occur through virtual communities, do we really need to travel?

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I totally agree on the travel front. We seem to have gained budget travel but in return we are often pitching up at 4 or 5am to get the flight. I noticed in the US that there is now a high tech private security option for about $200 per year. It means you can be expressed through security because they vouch for your identity after a fingerprint test. Very handy over there where the queues are horrendous but probably not politically acceptable here.