IBM will host its first virtual conference over the Web on August 6. Topics to be covered during the Upload Virtual Summit include green IT and security. Materials from the event will be logged to allow people to access them at a later date if they can't attend the session.
Additionally, the vendor will be using a carbon calculator to measure greenhouse gas emission savings from participating in the event.
One of the partners involved in the conference is PKBA. Sales director, Conrad Hilder, said he expected events such as these to become a one-for-one replacement for physical conferences.
"As economic conditions become tighter we'll see more of these. There will always be a need for physical conferences, but there will be many more virtual conferences in the future," he said.
Hilder said participating in the summit required no more technology than what PKBA had in its offices already. "Parts will be cheaper, such as marketing materials, now that there won't be any printing costs involved," he said.
IBM marketing director ANZ, Mark Willson, said the conference offered a number of potential benefits in addition to the green savings.
"We'll be able to engage speakers from around the world without having to fly them in, while our clients will be able to save time and money by participating in the event from their offices, which will also help us get to people who might not normally come to an IBM event," he said.
"If this works we'll do more conferences in this way in the future. There will always be a need for face-to-face interaction, but we see a mixture of the two becoming standard in the future."
Willson said there had been smaller trial virtual conferences run previously to test the process and make sure the much larger scale Upload Virtual Summit would run smoothly.