Why Virtual Conferences May Be Here to Stay

I am in Los Angeles. My new friend Grégory is...somewhere in France, I think? But together, our avatars are exploring a business conference on a virtual island. The day just ended, so we stroll to the beach and await a tour by motorboat. Then we realize no boat is necessary; the water is walkable. So off we go, two digital avatars wading into the digital blue. As our professional lives become more digital, it's worth wondering: Is this the future? Can human connection thrive in pixels? Virtual conference spaces seem to offer some insight, because while they were niche before COVID-19, they're now in high demand. VirBela , which creates the virtual space I'm in, recorded a 600 percent increase in sales since March. VR platform Hubs by Mozilla says it's doubling users every few weeks. Augmented reality startup Spatial reported 1,000 percent growth. Related:  5 Ways to Lead Effective Virtual Meetings With Your Remote Teams Skeptics might say, "Virtual spaces aren't like real life!" That's true - though in my experience, some things are strangely the same. A conference room still looks like a conference room, and a panel still features a lineup of experts in chairs. (Their avatars can be just as boring as in real...

Why Virtual Conferences May Be Here to Stay

I am in Los Angeles. My new friend Grégory is...somewhere in France, I think? But together, our avatars are exploring a business conference on a virtual island. The day just ended, so we stroll to the beach and await a tour by motorboat. Then we realize no boat is necessary; the water is walkable. So off we go, two digital avatars wading into the digital blue. As our professional lives become more digital, it's worth wondering: Is this the future? Can human connection thrive in pixels? Virtual conference spaces seem to offer some insight, because while they were niche before COVID-19, they're now in high demand. VirBela , which creates the virtual space I'm in, recorded a 600 percent increase in sales since March. VR platform Hubs by Mozilla says it's doubling users every few weeks. Augmented reality startup Spatial reported 1,000 percent growth. Related:  5 Ways to Lead Effective Virtual Meetings With Your Remote Teams Skeptics might say, "Virtual spaces aren't like real life!" That's true - though in my experience, some things are strangely the same. A conference room still looks like a conference room, and a panel still features a lineup of experts in chairs. (Their avatars can be just as boring as in real...