Regular readers of this blog know that it often serves as a sort of travelog, in which I report observations I’ve gleaned at events I’ve attended.  That’s because I go to a lot of events and find a great deal of value at them. Judging from the proliferation of events and the attendance figures at them, I’m not alone. Many other road warriors get enough value from meeting face to face to spend yet more days traveling, dealing with airlines, and living from suitcases. 

Let’s face it: Who needs the hassle? Haven’t the internet, Skype, Second Life, and Telepresence made live conferencing obsolete? Won’t every question you have about cooling be answered during Mission Critical’s Open Forum webinar next Wednesday? 

If so, I’m not convinced. Event organizers like DatacenterDynamics, 7x24Exchange, Uptime Institute, AFCOM, and others offer terrific educational opportunities that can only be fully realized live. For just this reason, I will be attending events hosted by these groups over the course of the year. I will even attend local chapter meetings, just to see what’s happening locally.

And, of course, no one can get to all the events. I certainly feel like the kid with his nose pressed against the window reading about Google’s European Summit this week. Of course, I wanted to go to Zurich, especially since DatacenterDynamics did such a good job incorporating Google’s presence into its own event yesterday

Services like webinars, Skype, and Telepresence certainly play a significant educational role. All the major conference organizers, especially DatacenterDynamics and Uptime, make use of video, for example, to archive live events, so that information doesn’t dissipate into the ether.  The 7x24Exchange has hosted numerous virtual data center tours at its events. Still, nothing beats meeting, seeing, touching, or the quick exchange of cards, when it comes to establishing a relationship that can lead to lifelong friendships and learning. 

Of course, electronic media have changed the nature of learning. Many of Mission Critical’s readers first encountered the magazine at a conference; some of them have written articles for the magazine or became columnists. In an ironic twist, many of them now help us produce our webinar series that bring cutting-edge data center information to “virtual” audiences. 

In the roughly two-month span from March 30-June 1, we will have produced five webinars, each tackling a pressing issue in the data center. Speakers of these events comprise a virtual industry who’s who.  If you’ve never attended a webinar, I’d suggest you sign up for our June 1 Open Forum on Data Center Cooling webinar.

Speakers at this event include Rick Cockrell, Dave Schirmacher, Bruce Myatt, and Rajan Bhattish. The sponsor is MovinCool

Feel free to ask questions, just don’t expect to shake any hands.