At this year's EICAR conference, my friend Eddy Willems demonstrated a virtual version of the conference taking place in Second Life. It seemed a little sparse compared to the real event, and showed considerably less drama than Neal Stephenson's vision, but was nevertheless an interesting experiment in future directions.
SC Magazine UK recently announced another step along that road: its Virtual Summit on Nov. 3 will offer "live webcasts, videos and exhibitors all in a virtual world..." On entering the virtual exhibition hall, visitors can view live videos, download white papers and network with other visitors and SC Magazine UK staff, while in the virtual auditorium they can hear live webcasts.
I haven't quite worked out how you blag free t-shirts, stress balls and USB thumb drives, and I haven't yet persuaded Brad Pitt to model for my avatar (though I do have an offer from Homer Simpson). However, the program promises enough of interest – including some cybercrime-related topics – for me (and quite a few other people) to have registered for several sessions already.
Now, if I can just locate the bar...