When planes don't fly: teleconferencing in Second Life

The recent crash of the world-wide airplane network across northern Europe and the United States showed how simple natural events, like a volcano eruption, can disturb our already fragilised economy by simply preventing business meetings and conferences to happen. This means that besides the usual costs of airplane tickets and hotel accommodations, there is also the cost that the conference/meeting has to be postponed because, well, lack of flights or closed airports simply prevent those from happening. It’s true that we don’t see volcanos erupting so dramatically every day; on the other hand, the bad weather during severe winters will prevent planes from flying, and that is something that happens every year…

So it’s not just about increased costs: it’s the very real possibility that external conditions, climatic or otherwise, simply force a conference, meeting, or even a concert, to be postponed.

Not so with virtual worlds. MakeMyWorlds, a German/French Second Life Gold Solution Provider, recently sponsored a meeting in Second Life with a group of people coming from all over Europe — during the period where all flights were cancelled. Unlike the other dozens of thousands of similar meetings that happen every day, this one was not cancelled. This was a pretext for the French TV show La Matinale Canal+ to cover briefly the event and explain how virtual worlds like Second Life can, indeed, successfully be used for business to be accomplished, without fear of disruption, at a much lower cost, and with the convenience of not requiring any physical travel at all, thus reducing the wasted time, as well, of course, as being more ecologically sound.

You’ll need to be fluent in French to follow the 5-minute extract of the show:

Thanks to Clara Young for the heads-up!