So, what's this virtual track all about?
As moderator for one of the tracks (DB2 LUW) at the Information On Demand conference, I know first hand how many great session proposals we get. So many, in fact, that we cannot squeeze them all into Mandalay Bay's 1.7 million square feet of meeting space. I thought about reserving Mandalay Bay for, say, another month or so, but few people could stay for that long.
Then the light bulb went on; an internet-based "virtual" track is perfectly positioned to solve this conundrum. You get both access to more sessions and more opportunities to present. True, you can't shake hands, physically speaking, as you can in Las Vegas; moreover, "virtual handshakes" (social networks, email, chat, etc) fall short of the real thing. But this virtual track offers "coming-to-a-laptop-near-you" convenience, plus a unique opportunity to foster the virtual connections that are more and more important to the information technology profession. Besides, in the 21st century "physical" and "virtual" complement each other. Physical meetings lose their impact without the virtual connections that precede and follow.
So that's what it's all about: expanded opportunities to hear and be heard. The format is a simplified talk show: a host, a guest speaker, plus 1-3 others for questions and color commentary. Both format and the technology we use may evolve over time.
Whether or not you've proposed sessions before, I'd love to hear from you.