MPI Perspective - October 2008 - (Page 8)

Fast Buckle up, meeting professionals. Technology is setting the pace of planning at light speed as ever-evolving applications streamline the process every step of the way, from inception to execution. By Amy Drew Thompson Budgeting and site selection and social networking, tracking attendance and exhibitors, room inventory and ROI … it’s enough to make your head spin. And to think, until recent years meeting and event planners have been doing all of it sans technology. Ask just about anyone, in almost any field, how they did their jobs before the advent of cell phones, e-mail and the Internet and they scratch their heads. They know they did it. In fact, they were good at it. But it’s almost impossible to remember how—and harder still to imagine doing it now that we’ve got all this scrumptious technology to enlist in the name of outstanding meetings. But in a universe with literally hundreds of different options when it comes to event and meeting planning software, one where technology is changing all the time, how do you choose? 8 | MPINCCperspective | VOL. 27, NO. 2 “First, you need to know the specifics of what you want that software to do— and why you are doing it that way,” says Patricia Zollman, CMP, and regional director for HelmsBriscoe in Danville. “Then, you need to know what reports you will need the software to produce.” As Zollman’s company specializes in site selection, “[Founder and CEO] Roger Helms recognized that technology was going to be a large part of our success,” Zollman explains. “We started out trying to develop our own technology in house in 1999. Later on we formed partnerships with StarCite to develop a product specifically for our use that we call HB Express.” What began with faxing the RFP in 1997 evolved into an in-house RFP system and finally, the end product. “We have a database of 90,000 hotels worldwide that we can send the RFP to,” says Zollman. “The responses from the hotels are stored

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - October 2008

MPI Perspective - Ocotber 2008
President's Message
Spotlight on Audio-Visual
Connecting with - Mitchell Bakst, CMP
12 Technology Trends in the Meetings and Events Market
Corporate Social Responsibility - Good for Whom?
Member Pearls
Chapter Chatter
Destination Spotlight - Sonoma Country
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - October 2008