Event planning in Second Life shares some of the challenges of real world events – invitations, timing, venues, keeping guests amused and interested – yet due to time differences, lag, full spaces and new interfaces — it has its own unique set of challenges.

Communication becomes vital to Second Life events and while technical issues and restarts are going to be beyond your control, the issues of time and space can be managed with two wonderful tools.

Control space 

First, the SLURL generator. Second Life URLs (SLURLs) create a hyperlink that your guests can click on to go to the EXACT SPOT in-world where your event will be held (or close to it so latecomers won’t disturb proceedings).  To create one, you will need the correct name (spacing and case sensitivity important here) of the place where the event is taking place and the X, Y and Z coordinates.  The coordinates are in a hard to read blue front on the dark grey tool bar near the top of your SL screen.

Next, go to the SLURL builder at http://slurl.com.

Enter in the name EXACTLY as it appears at the top of the screen in SL.  Then, enter the coordinates in the order they appear.

For instance, the island of jokaydia offers great conferencing facilities and resources for educators.  If I want you to meet me there, I’ll create a SLURL as near as possible to the conference area and provide signage to the event.

I’d go to the spot I want you to teleport to, and would look up at my screen and enter the name (jokaydia and the coordinates 100, 150, 23).  Here is the SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/jokaydia/100/150/23/

Note that I didn’t enter “jokaydia island”.  If I’d done that, the SLURL wouldn’t work.

You’ll be able to tell if it works when you click the GO button at the end of the field with the generated SLURL.  If you see a Google maps image of the location with the Teleport Now link – you’ve entered the information correctly.  Test it to make sure it works by logging into Second Life and going to another location.  Then click on the link in the SLURL window.

Control time 

Now – how do you tell guests what time an event will start when they are coming from God knows what time zone(s)? You could just provide SL time – but that puts an unnecessary added burden on people.

The answer is the Fixed Time World Clock, located at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedform.html. Set a base time in whatever time zone makes sense to you -Second Life or your own.

So, if I wanted you to meet me in Second Life at 7pm, 1 March 2008 Second Life (San Jose, CA) time – I would enter that date into the Fixed Time World Clock and get the following fixed URL: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=1&month=3&year=2008&hour=19&min=0&sec=0&p1=283

I would provide this URL to you and wherever you were in the world, you would be able to see the time relevant to 7pm, 1 March 2008.  A lot easier than asking you to figure it out for yourself, eh?

Communicate with off-worlders 

Finally, I’d suggest a way for people to reach you outside Second Life, in the event they have log in problems, home crises emergencies, etc.

A couple of options include setting up an instant message account with skype, AIM or Messenger for your events (apart from your private account) and making that information available prior to the event. 

Another would be to crack open a web-based email account and have that running during the event so that you are accessible to the less web savvy.

Final thoughts on Second Life events

Creating an SL account, creating an avatar and learning how to move it around can be really time consuming.  If you’re having a large-ish event, plan a practice session for your guests prior to the event and on the day, make sure there are some helpers who can provide one on one assistance.

For high profile events, I’d strongly suggest having a secondary delivery platform  such as web conferencing software available to those who just don’t have access to the bandwidth and/or computer processing grunt necessary to make Second Life an enjoyable experience. It will also save you in the event that Second Life’s audio streaming or voice tools let you down on the day.  You can then quickly switch over to your backup. Unless, of course, your product relates directly to Second Life.

Which brings up the final point: make the use of Second Life relevant to your event.  Why put your guests through the paces of creating an account and learning how to move an avatar around if all they’re going to do is sit the avatar down on a seat and watch your avator deliver a slideshow or introduce a video?

Include activities that make use of the immersive nature of Second Life such as networking, role playing, interacting with a 3D representation of your product or service, a collaborative building activity or even dancing.

It will make your event far more memorable — and help your presentation cut through the noise and blur of the dreaded bullet point burnout of traditional communications tools.


  1. Another easy way you can create SLurls (and avoid making typing mistakes) is to use Ordinal Malaprop’s SLurlchatter HUD, available for free at SL Exchange – http://tinyurl.com/2ozt4a

    You can shorten those unwieldy long URLs from the Fixed Time World Clock by using the ‘Create short URL to this page’ link at the bottom of the page, so the example you’ve given ends up as http://timeanddate.com/s/qpg

  2. Oooh – thanks for the added insights. Shorter is better for sure!

  3. For “Control space” there are in-world tools faster and more powerful than slurl.com