Today I watched parts of the Amplify conference being held in Sydney this week via UStream. There is an excellent line up of international speakers and the conference covers technology, innovation, mobile, social and everything in between – definitely worth a look for some of the more interesting sessions (like Jeremiah Owyang’s ‘Get Social or Die’).

The conference is live streaming free over the web for the duration of the conference. Admittedly the quality is not HD and the camera is situated at the back of the room so you can’t see the presentations, however you can clearly hear the audio and there is promise of high res video of the speakers to be posted up on the website the following day.

Which leads me to wonder – does offering free live streaming diminish the number of conference attendees? If you don’t live in the same city as the conference venue, or don’t want to travel, or even don’t want to fork out the AUD $4,400 for a ticket to the 5 day event, then its win win if you watch it online at a time that suits you or even live.

By following the hashtag on Twitter you will get chance to interact with others who are either attending in person or watching from afar, and engage in some healthy debate!

You won’t get access to the presentations and you will miss out on the networking opportunities or the chance to mingle with some excellent overseas speakers but you will probably save a lot of time and a lot of money.

It’s a cluttered conference/event market so its hard to choose which you want to spend your hard earned training and development dollars on. So if there is an option to watch online at a time that suits you then will you pass up on that conference and instead choose to invest in another that doesn’t offer that option?
Live streaming/broadcasting didn’t seem to harm the live sporting events.

What would you do?