We live a lonely life out here on the internet.
Sure, we’ve got email and blogs and social media and Skype and the occasional contact via an actual phone, but in real-life terms we’re pretty isolated.
We usually live far away from our “work friends.” We swap ideas in small, discreet blocks — a half-hour IM chat with someone here, an email or two with someone else there.
Sometimes, it’s hard for internet work to feel like anything other than a hobby … and why should it, if you never commit to immersion in it?
Why should all this feel like a serious endeavor if you never make it your sustained, total focus?
Why should it grow and expand and become more profitable if you never get together with successful like-minded people and spend some serious time studying your craft?
I’ll tell you why …
Three times a year, I hop on a plane and fly out to blogging conferences — BlogWorld in May and November, and South by Southwest in March.
Traveling is a pain, and the trips are expensive, but I go because being in those environments is totally worth the inconvenience.
It’s necessary to make my business grow.
Attending conferences is nothing short of awesome, and you should do it if you’re able. These are the times to soak up new information, when the innovations and inspiration of others can’t help but rub off on you.
Every time you go to a conference, you return home with new tools that can make your business more profitable.
But what if you can’t quite manage to get to live events? Luckily, there’s a solution.
How to attend a conference you can’t attend
Travel sucks, especially since the airlines began their sadistic sociological experiment to determine how much travelers will put up with before cracking.
You have to pay for your bags. You have to put your deodorant into exactly the right kind of clear baggie or they’ll throw it away. The crappy snack on the flight costs six dollars. On one flight, the man to my left was spilling into my seat and the man to my right was throwing up the entire time.
Transportation is expensive. Hotels are expensive. You’ve got to put the kids in the kennel and send the dogs to grandma’s. (Right?) You’ve got to find a way to put your business on hold … if it can survive being put on hold.
Often, you’ll look at that conference coming up and say, “It’d be so great to attend, but there’s just no way I can make it happen.”
But what if you could attend the conference without the travel and the inconvenience, and for a small fraction of the cost?
What if you could immerse yourself in the best and latest information while still watching the kids and the dogs, while still doing what needs to be done with your business and home, and possibly (probably) while wearing comfortable pajamas and not being barfed on?
What if you didn’t have to spend a few thousand dollars on travel, a hotel, and a full-access conference pass?
This is the part where I tell you about my new gig — working with BlogWorld New Media Expo to turn BlogWorld’s Virtual Ticket into the best you-can’t-be-there-live-but-you-can-attend-anyway virtual event around.
This is not your father’s virtual conference
If you think the idea of “attending” a conference via your computer sounds like a lame substitute for the real thing, I don’t blame you.
Most virtual events focus exclusively on giving you content, but what really makes an in-person conference sing is the experience of being there.
In the redesigned Virtual Ticket, we’re giving you both.
Providing the conference content was straightforward. The Virtual Ticket contains audio/video recordings of all 100+ hours of conference sessions.
Want learning? Want information? Fuhgeddaboudit … we’ve got an avalanche of hot, fresh instruction. (It’s actually more content than you would get in person, because when you’re there live, you have to pick and choose between sessions — something you won’t have to do virtually.)
But providing the conference experience — to bridge that internet isolation we all feel from time to time — was harder.
Try as we might, we couldn’t replace handshakes, hugs, and noogies, but we tried to re-create “being there” as much as possible:
- We set up live recordings during the conference and at the extracurricular events. You can’t be there in person to shanghai presenters into a conversation, but we can and will, and you’ll be watching.
- We’ve lined up exclusive interviews and backstage access that even live attendees won’t have access to.
- We hired a charming MC named Johnny B. Truant to be your virtual host. In addition to giving the Virtual Ticket a cohesive “almost like you’re there” guided BlogWorld experience, I can get you in to see anyone because I’m charming and have credentials — not because I have blackmail fodder, no matter what Sonia says.
- We’ve provided Q&A with the bigwigs. If you’re at home, you can’t stop presenters to ask them questions (“What’s your best social media tip?” “How did you get started?” “What’s this thing on my shoe?”), but we’ll ask them your questions through the beauty of social media.
- Plus, we’ve got other stuff.There’s more social media magic in the works that my project manager hasn’t explained to me yet and that I therefore need to be vague about for now. (Hey, I’m an idea guy. People still have to remind me to tie my shoes.)
Will it be as good as being there in person? Of course not.
Is it the next best thing? Definitely.
See you in (virtual) Los Angeles?
It costs around 1/10th as much, too: Full price for the Virtual Ticket is only $347.
But through this Saturday, October 15th, it’s only $247.
You’ll get access to all of it (pretty much everything about BlogWorld other than the nametags) for way, way, way less than you’d spend to fly out to Los Angeles.
Copyblogger is a proud marketing partner of BlogWorld New Media Expo, and all of the links in this post are affiliate links.
We only promote things that we believe in, and this year’s Virtual Ticket is something quite extraordinary. All virtual events deliver content (some better than others), but almost none deliver the experience of being at the live event.
This delivers both.
And of course, if you attend the Virtual Ticket, Copyblogger will “see you at BlogWorld” next month. We’ll be there, and you’ll be at home or at work … and that may well mean you’ll be drinking better coffee.
Save us some, okay?
Sign up for the Virtual Ticket here while the price is still $100 off (through Saturday).
About the Author: Johnny B. Truant is the host and MC of the BlogWorld Virtual Ticket.