About 450 people the 2014 OpenSim Community Conference on 8-9 November 2014, hosted on OpenSim servers residing at UCI. The OSCC is the largest international research conference held exclusively within a persistent, online virtual world. The OSCC had a peak of 159 simultaneous participants during Philip Rosedale’s keynote address, which he delivered simultaneously logged in at the conference and at his new virtual world platform, High Fidelity. Prof. Steve LaValle from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Oculus VR Inc., also attracted a large crowd, about 120 people. The UCI OpenSim server, under the direction of Prof. Crista Lopes, performed flawlessly, even during a weird “intervention” from some machine in Moscow at some point, which was promptly blocked.
The sessions were also recorded on streaming video, and are all available at ustream:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/oscc3 (main track)
So if you are new to virtual worlds in general, or to OpenSim in particular, consider browsing one or more of the videos to see what a virtual conference looks like, how it works, and how its similar or different from conferences you have attended.
Last, it was also noted that the carbon footprint for the OSCC in total is much smaller than compared to having 450 people engage in air and land-based transportation to get from their global homes to a specific international conference destination. Some people also enjoyed flying around within the virtual conference site too, without requiring airline reservations, flight delays, or travel reimbursement processes.