This situation led to the following thought: my experience is that you have to be at a conference or meeting to really get the central thoughts, the feeling the people are trying to get across. Nothing can substitute human interaction. But in this era of podcasts ((live) video and audio), broadcasting via the web, it does give you the opportunity to rethink whether you really should go to the conference (all the way in the USA...), because you can (practically) relive the conference via the internet. Does this lead to less conference visitors? I hope not.