It sounds like, at least in Canada, they do. According to the Ottawa Business Journal:
- Many organizations are looking more seriously at this technology as an alternative to in-person meetings and events, says Corey Galbraith, manager of webcast services for Galbraith Communications. As one of only a handful of companies in Canada that specializes in live broadcasting over the Internet, he says business has really started to boom.
"Particularly in the past three to four months, really ever since the gas prices have gone up, inquiries have tripled from all over the country, " he says. "One call was from a training company who is interested because they travel all over Ontario doing seminars and they're finding people just aren't attending because it's too expensive."
Of course, it's in his best interest to tout the wonders of Web conferencing (and this article is pretty much an ad for how great it is), but I can see this happening in both the U.S. and Canada, and anywhere else that's feeling the gas crunch. Still, I'd rather meet face to face if at all possible. Even in our planning meetings for the 2nd Annual Pharmaceutical Meeting Planner Forum we'll be holding next March, it's amazing how much more we get done when we all sit down together, instead of teleconferencing. I think the Web is great for some types of meetings, but for others, well, we'll hold our noses and pay at the pumps to get there.