Ok, I have finally attended a 3D virtual trade show related to the engineering industry. Unfortunately it was not held in Second Life. One of the attendees at our weekly engineering meeting, Kelvin Glimmer, brought up this Website where he had seen the trade show advertised. Since this is something that I have been waiting to see implemented, I definitely went to the site and signed up for the free registration so that I could attend the show.
This trade show, which covers the coatings industry, is being held from Oct. 15th through the 26th and can be accessed by signing up at: http://www.cybercoatingshow.com/
I attended on the night of the first day (having been outside on construction all day long at work). Attendance required me to download a client software. Upon launching the software, I appeared to enter the 3D virtual world of Active Worlds. However, this software seems to only bring you to the trade show, and it does not appear that I can go off to explore the other areas of Active Worlds.
Even though I still think that a trade show held in Second Life would have been so much more realistic and frankly, just so much more awesome, I have to commend the person who set all this up. There were definitely big name companies and organizations from that industry exhibiting such as George Koch Sons, Dupont, The Society for Protective Coatings, Vulcan, and Sherwin Williams. These companies should also be commended for seeing that this delivery system for trade shows has great potential.
Although there were many differences from Second Life, one aspect that was disturbing to me was that there seemed to be many people there, but most were not real people. After being in SL, you get used to the fact that if you see someone, that person really is someone – not some computer-generated robot. At this show, I only saw about 3 or 4 real people. However, I did attend "after hours." The show coordinator told me he had seen about 70 people show up that day.
So because I am also attending the Illinois Municipal League convention in Chicago this week, theoretically I am in more than one place at the same time. Due to this technology, I can attend the municipal convention in Chicago and the coatings trade show in Active Worlds and still visit with my family at night in Second Life. Now if only these companies start to realize what could be done in Second Life.