One of the great benefits of using web conferencing as a conference presentation tool is the way that the text chat panel can be used as a back channel to allow participants to share comments, queries, links and so on, while the presentation is taking place. Rather than acting as a distraction, the back channel provides added value to participants.
Increasingly we’re seeing facilities provided to allow participants at face-t0-face conferences to enjoy the same benefits. There’s Twitter of course, but for those without Twitter accounts, or who get tired of entering hash tags to identify the meeting they’re attending, there are new forms of instant chat rooms which allow a back channel to be set up within seconds. I’ve just tried two:
For maximum benefit, as a presenter you should have equal access to the channel, which takes some organising. See Olivia Mitchell’s How to Present While People Are Twittering.