What you said in response to my contribution to your editorial, makes a lot of sense. I confess I hadn't even thought of what the impact is for organizations hosting virtual events. I am sorry for having not even considered that. My bad.
The first thoughts that come to mind, in addition to my not having considered the impact upon hosting companies/agencies of virtual events and apologizing for that, are these:
I now see how some companies cannot sustain, indefinitely, free virtual events. That saddens me, because as I've said I'm one who won't be able to go to any in-person events. And I'm certain that there are several other people in the same boat as I am. But what you said makes sense. I'm only now thinking of this situation, so my first thoughts aren't going to be the best. Perhaps some sort of intermediate solution can come about. Something like those who cannot go in-person, can still pay something, agreeable to them. What I mean is that I'm sure many people like me, will have to foot the bill themselves, since the companies/agencies they work for won't. The MS Ignite 2019 event I went to cost my employer something like $5K (if I remember correctly). That's not counting flying, room, and board, etc. Anyway, there's no way I could entertain the thought of paying $5K to attend any event, in-person or virtual. Something, much cheaper, would have to be settled on.
I get that Red-Gate is between a rock and a hard place. Especially since they've only recently taken over the PASS conference. I'm just advocating for those of us who cannot make in-person events. I don't want us to slowly sink into irrelevance again.
Also, you make a good point that regional events, like a SQL Saturday is good. Some places have better luck than others at this, than others. In my region there's not been a SQL Saturday in 3 years, I think. Maybe longer. Lots of reasons for that, I won't go into. The local .NET user group, which I helped form, hasn't had any local event in many 10 years. Before INETA died, we stopped having any events. Again, lots of reasons which I won't go into. However, I guess just because we have a tough time of it doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't too. We're just out of luck, I guess.