Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Become an “Avatar” MPI style — A New Hybrid Adventure

This morning I am getting fired up to attend the MPI WEC 2010 Conference, in Vancouver, BC.  I’m already dressed, had my coffee and breakfast, and I’m hanging … um … in the MPI Networking Lounge.  So, if you are an MPI attendee, you may be wondering where that is?  Funny, it’s not listed in the program guide??  <Grins> … That’s cuz I am standing in MPI’s cleverly-created Virtual world.

Hanging out at the MPI Networking Lounge

You see, I am attending as an Avatar.  MPI has created a Virtual Conference Center by which remote attendees can network with one another, and participate in WEC General Sessions.  This is just one of many experiments by the MPI team to extend the technology reach and functionality of their conferences.  I am pretty excited about it.

If you are familiar with Second Life, the most well known and successful virtual world out there, the look and feel of this virtual facility is very similar, yet more simplified.  Many people who have tried out Second Life become intimidated by it’s complexity.  Conversely, this virtual world is very user friendly.

MPI workshop area

The creators are Fusion Productions, the folks that are bringing MPI attendees the General Session stage-set and audio visual support.

So here is a recap of what is being offered:

  • (3) Three Virtual areas including Networking Lounge, Conference Room and Workshop area.
  • Choice of (10) Avitar styles/looks
  • (8) Eight Gestures and (8) mood choices
  • Voice enabled (requires headset and microphone)
  • Separate window within virtual platform for webcast viewing with Twitter Feed
  • Typed Chat interface
  • Media window showing slides and other media used during sessions.

As you may be aware MPI is offering a live video webcast of their (2) two General Sessions, first on Sunday from 10am to 11:30am and then again on Tuesday, from 8:30am to 10:00am, both PDT.  For more information on the sessions please visit the MPI WEC website.  The Virtual Conference center is open throughout the conference.  There is no charge for it’s use and it is really very easy to set yourself up with an avitar.  Click here to get started.

MPI Conference Room

I hope to see you at the MPI Virtual conference center over the next few days!  Check it out, it will be worth your time. And… don’t forget to share your opinions via the comments section of this blog.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie McKown July 25, 2010 at 11:19 am

Fusion worked with our partner CleverZebra (, located in the UK to bring you this cutting edge experience. We hope to see you there!!


Glenn Thayer July 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Glad to be in here with you Mike!!!


Elizabeth Baranik July 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Look forward to hearing the experience of the virtual attendees! This is a very interesting concept, and would love to learn more on using this even more moving forward in the meetings industry.


Michael M McCurry CMP July 26, 2010 at 6:58 am

@Julie — thanks for clarifying the roles of CleverZebra and Fusion for the virtual conference room. It is a terrific concept with great potential. Alas, the issue of bandwidth must be resolved, hopefully before the next round of sessions on Tuesday.

@Glenn — Thanks for stopping by.

@Elizabeth — I am going to write a full article reviewing the experience after Tuesdays session. So please stop back to check that out.

Thanks all for contributing to the conversation.



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