Second Life: the New Trend in Events?

This post is by Kena – Check out her blog here on twitter.

We talked in the past about Second Life (SL), a virtual, online world where members interact through avatars.

How has it developed for the industry?

It’s interesting how Second Life has grown according to different circumstances. The first hotel chain to be part of SL was Starwood in 2006. They actually built the Aloft prototype there while the first hotels were being constructed in real life. This was mainly to engage people and make changes on architecture or design according to real time feedback.

The Chelsea Hotel (highly recommend to see the video of the link) showed up in SL to raise awareness about their history and involvement with the community. The Crown Plaza Hotel leveraged on virtual worlds specifically for meetings.


And of course the fun part couldn’t be missing! There you go, a few pictures of social events.

[All the pictures are from Second Life]

Photo by rafeejewell via Flickr

Photo by rafeejewell via Flickr

Photo by rafeejewell via Flickr

Photo by rafeejewell via Flickr

Photo by rafeejewell via Flickr

No doubts these images are awesome.

What’s Next?

The economic situation is boosting virtual worlds, reason why companies like IBM decided to have their Conference and Annual Meeting through the virtual world, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Do you think the event industry will take full advantage of creating social events in virtual environments?

About The Author
Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
Comment Policy Comments
  • Kena, With the economic situation at the end of 2008, the events industry has looked at virtual environments – from fully immersive like SL to browser-based virtual environments like those my company offer – o hold meetings when face-to-face was not an option. Furthermore, we've found that virtual isn't necessarily a replacement for face-to-face. Rather, virtual has been used to complement the physical to enable those unable to travel to fully experience the content and network with their peers in the physical or virtual worlds.

    We believe that we've only just explored the realm of possibilities of virtual and look forward to how event planners can leverage the full benefits of virtual to create engaging events.

    Cece of InXpo

  • pookyamsterdam

    It was fantastic working on the Hotel Chelsea Video (especially since I have been going to the restaurant, El Quixote there, since I was 11 years old growing up in NYC)
    Second Life offers a LOT of great opportunities as a media and event platform. And yes, you have to work from the goal down, and have pro help for it as well. I outline with video examples, 5 reasons to use Second Life as a media platform here –
    Thank you for the mention!

  • Hi Kena, I totally agree with Cece in that virtual can be used to complement the physical and I think this is definitely the future of events. In my current job we successfully implemented a SL element into a debate style event about the future of the library and we had physical attendees as well as SL attendees, and we livestreamed the proceedings into SL. The reaction was fantastic and SLers were very pleased to be able to take part in the event in that way. We also had a moderator in the physical event who was also taking part in SL, relaying questions and comments from those in SL to the Chair at the physical event. It was a new and risky venture for us but it worked (with a few things we would change for the next time to make it even better) and we would definintely do it again!

  • Amusitronix

    I have been involved in events with exactly this type of interactive entertainment already. Not only can virtual people be placed in a virtual world – place real people/products and logos in real worlds can be placed INSIDE a short fun interactive experience for any event where branding is the highest priority.

  • timward

    As a MarCom agency director we had the opportunity to work with a trade show client in developing a virtual trade show earlier this year. While it was slow to get the buy-in and financial investment from the exhibitors (the client finally saw the light and used it as an added-value proposition to the actual trade show 4 months later) once the client packaged the virtual platform with the actual show space, it became successful. The graphics, interaction and various features provided to the exhibitors and the attendees made it exceed the client's expectations. I suspect the client will continue to utilize a program such as the one we used in future shows, especially with the economy still in flux.

  • Yes indeed, everyone is always buzzing about Second Life as the new way for people to communicate with one another. But when it comes right down to it, there will never be a substitute for good old fashioned business speakers to inspire and motivate a crowd. Who knows, these kinds of “virtual worlds” may provide a new forum for speakers who want to reach a wider audience around the world.

Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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