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I’m not sure about numbers but I doubt in-person conferences will have as many attendees as the virtual ones for many reasons:
1- Less Cost
2- More time convenient
3- Ability to attend and carry on your work at the office
Online virtual conferences provide much higher flexibility but they will never be better than in-person ones in terms of Networking as there is nothing better than face to face interaction with people.
From the perspective of deploying PMI around the world, I am convinced that online conferences have a huge impact.
As you said, do not allow such close proximity between people.
In terms of the future.
Do you think people will be able to get closer to networking through the contact they make virtually?
Closer, I don't think so and I am talking from personal point of view. You can't trust people virtually and trust is what makes people become closer.
Having attended the recent Global Conference in Philadelphia, I can attest to the impact of in-person attendance. There's something about meeting folks in person who you have only ever interacted with virtually that is extremely powerful. It is also more effective when you are asking questions of a speaker or want to follow up afterwards if you are there in person.
Absolutely agree that face to face has a completely different impact than online contact
Another advantage of online conferences is that we can see and hear speakers' speeches as often as we like.
This is not possible in In-person Conferences unless interventions are recorded and shared.
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