Cisco Blogs

No More Meeting Travel

January 31, 2008 - 8 Comments

One of the habits that Cisco promotes is substituting virtual meetings for physical ones. There are numerous statistics as far as the productivity benefits and cost savings that result from the immediacy and geographic-independence of a IP telephone call, video-conference, WebEx session, or Telepresence. One area that doesn’t get mentioned as often is the environmental benefit of avoiding air and automobile travel by the use of these technologies.tnc_logo_2007.jpgLate last year, I pledged to avoid physical travel and instead substitute virtual meeting technologies like videoconferencing, WebEx and virtual world technologies. I was asked by The Nature Conservancy to write up a summary of my experiences which they recently published here, and was ‘Digged’ here. This has, in turn, resulted in a number of emails and phone calls asking for more best-practices for substituting virtual meetings for physical ones. One thing I know for sure is that 10 or 100 brains are better than one. What I’d like to propose is that the readership also share their best practices, and we aggregate this into a user-editable wiki of what seasoned virtual attendees/presenters have found to be key elements to making their work a travel-free experience. Lets start out by using the comment field of this blog entry, and I’ll furiously set up a Wiki page for us all to use once we have a critical mass of inputs. Sound like a deal?

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  1. yes u r right.

  2. Hmm.. awesome content…I think travel has become a time-pass now.

  3. I agree with your post informations. I think a lot of people would be very interested in learning more about this.

  4. A very good article…….we should all revisit our travel plans for meetings

  5. I think a virtual travel best practices wiki is a *great* idea. I think a lot of people would be very interested in learning more about this. I recently read an article on Reuters about Congressman Edward Markey, who used SL to host a virtual meeting about global climate change instead of flying all the way to Bali. It’s estimated that he saved 5.36 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by doing this.”

  6. Looks like you may have ‘jump started’ a relevant research area, namely utilization of networking tools to accomplish what traditionally has required physical presence.When the Internet began to enter the consumer and business space in the mid-1990’s, a key factor that drew me to it was the hope it could reduce the need for physical presence requirements, both at the business and consumer level. We finally have the technology (broadband; processing power; software; IP switching) as well as motivation that is allowing this to happen, and as such what will and will not be viable is only now able to be studied.I look forward to additional insights by Christian and others on all of this.

  7. Because so many trips are based around the need to meet potential partners and colleagues, I think the number one way to avoid travel is to put yourself out there with a personal blog, tweet stream, video, and other signals which in aggregate tell a story about you. I’ve been blogging since 2000 and I’ve had quite a few people contact me for remote work based on the feeling that they know what I’m about.

  8. Thanks for doing this! I’m a member of The Nature Conservancy, and I work there, too. I’m doing two WebEx conference calls, today and tomorrow, which certainly cut down on travel, but also allows us to interact with each other live, in real time.