The news that EE Times Group has acquired DesignCon, the annual Silicon Valley conference on electronic design, provides us with a timely reminder.  Although the trend in marketing communications is overwhelmingly towards virtual communities – and addressing them via social media – there is still a demand for ‘real’, direct, face-to-face communication.  Publishers, who are struggling to find new business models that generate revenue from online media to the level that print used to do, recognize this fact.  Consequently, they are investing in exhibitions and conferences.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that marketers are not following a simple, linear progression from real to virtual activities.  Rather, there remains a complex set of tools from which we must select the correct one for our current purpose.  So, same as it ever was.