If you’re my age, you thought I was going to finish that sentence with the word “Memorex,” didn’t you? If you don’t understand the reference, watch the old Memorex cassette tape commercial.

Lately, I’m hearing this question more and more… “Is it live or is it…virtual?” It’s as if a virtual event or meeting is not live!

How many virtual events have you attended where participants weren’t “live”? If not “live,” what were they?

I discussed this recently with a friend. The words “virtual,” “live,” “online,” and “in-person” appear to have taken on a warped meaning over the past two years, according to my friend. YES! I AGREE!

I continue to do the majority of my work with groups and organizations remotely, using Zoom to meet and conduct workshops. And I can assure you that all of the participants have been live, even though they have not been “in-person.”

If you Google “live vs. in-person” or “live vs. virtual,” you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about virtual, live, in-person, and online events. These terms have numerous definitions and applications. You’ll notice that the term is defined differently by each author.

So let me be clear on how I use these terms. If you read any of my blogs, social media posts, or my newsletter, you’ll notice that:

  • I refer to an event as “virtual” or “online” where I am most likely in my home office while participants are located anywhere in the world. I might or might not be wearing shoes.
  • When I am on-site in a physical location (wearing pants and real shoes) and participants are also on-site (also wearing pants and shoes), I say “in-person”.
  • I say “hybrid” when some participants are in the same physical location and others are participating remotely.

We are all “live” in these three scenarios no matter where we are physically located.

That’s all….


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