Thanks Colby, And thank you Silvia (our most excellent moderator),
I'm one of the mostly silent SCOPE audience who are sometimes classified as lurkers. So I hope you don't mind me jumping in here and broadening Colby's question. This is one question which seems to be driving the economics of convergence between broadcast/streaming and interactive media. There are quite a few of my regular groups having discussions about this at the moment.
It's not about being black and white - online only or F2F only - about this. It's more about coming up with a combination, and routine, which blends the best of both.
A couple of ideas. You'll see on the M&L threads talk about "flipping the classroom". I've posed the concept of "flipping the conference". i.e. The lectures put up before the F2F, and questions compiled, if not answered, beforehand or after the F2F(s).
So far as the goodies/technology used, I'm trying very hard to get the managers of different NREN networks to collaborate in order to support global (disciplinary) groups rather than just focussing on National institutions. I know SCOPE is close to a local Educational Technology Users Group, so this about broadening their "scope" in order to get some economies of scale, or more practically, reduce the reinvention of non-interoperable National tools. (like video conferencing).
Running a series of inter-continental F2F conferences, which share the same online spaces and tools, might help remote communities agree upon some standard goodies while identifying the new, sustainable, economics of conferencing.