With a virtual memberships, one still feels up to speed about what is happening. Additionally, she is still able to contribute online to discussions. It is gratifying that local members still know who she is. Even local members she never met in person can recognize her. They see her name and contributions online which is rewarding.
The number one downside to virtual memberships is a feeling of disconnection that is common. They often feel as though the main community is wherever the physical community is and remote members are not a part of it. Virtual coworkers often adopt a passive stance because of this. As a result, they do not actively contribute to the community online and tend to only read the conversations. Additionally, it is harder to strike up a conversation digitally. When you are not crossing paths, there is no in person excuse to start talking to someone. Many virtual coworkers are afraid of putting themselves out there in fear of being rejected from the community.
It is important that attendees are comfortable enough with one another to upgrade the level of dialogue. We learn the most from people who are different from us. To maximize the learning, you want your event to be as accessible as possible.
Additionally, not everyone knows what coworking is. Indy Hall did not want to make the conference so coworking centric. That way, no one would be too intimidated to join in.
There is also an appeal for a virtual conference. The appeal is that you do not have to travel or pay for accommodations. A virtual conference keeps things very simple and costs minima.l