Connections - Summer 2016 - (Page 26)

> meetings thought leadership BY AMY DREW THOMPSON Site Unseen? Make a Pilgrimage ADVENTS IN TECH have certainly made checking out an out-of-state venue easier, from virtual tours to beautiful photography-even apps like Skype that allow facility managers to show planners what they have to offer in real time make for faster decision making. That said, before contracts are inked, site visits are still in order. From staff concerns to accurate room specs, load-in specifics and the overall flow of the room or rooms, seeing things as they are, in the space, isn't much different than arguing for the importance of meeting face-to-face versus virtually. What could be a breathtaking space could have views that are less than stellar when you were hoping for sweeping vistas or an indoor-outdoor smash. Talking Tech: Oculus Rift ALRIGHT, FIRST THINGS FIRST: cool name. But will the sci-fi street cred carry into the meeting room? Signs point to yes. Sure, the Oculus Rift, with its custom optics and immersive views is rife for gamers to latch onto, but it has business applications too. Imagine being able to bring folks from all over the city, state or world into your meeting-throwing wide the doors of communication as we know it as attendees each enter a digital conference room where avatars can meet, network, discuss, create. Yes, face-to-face is important, but is it all-important in the face of travel budgets, environmental concerns and time restraints? This technology, as it develops, could be the linchpin in creating a central meeting space that's as easy to get to as slipping on a pair of shades. Same goes for member education. Online learning still hasn't superseded real-time interaction, but the Oculus Rift can create equivalent spaces, allowing students to go "off-site" for field trips and engage in real-time, classroom-like discussions. 26 > Summer 2016 Site visits allow planners and venue staffers to talk real turkey, conceptualizing the meeting or event and planning the best ways to use the space available. Planners who rely on hotel ballrooms too much could find favor in something more urban-a warehouse with a great vibe in a neat neighborhood, a local fun-park that brings whimsy and activity to un-button a traditionally buttoned-up demographic. Being on-site will help you talk through ideas with staffers, allowing for evolution and easy visualization. It's well worth the investment in time and money. The peace of mind you'll find will translate to confidence and excitement when the attendees begin to stream through the door.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Summer 2016

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
Keeping Up with Technology
Achieve More by Connecting the Dots for Your Association
5 Ways to Meet Virtually
How to Enhance Your Events with Mobile Games
Overtime Rule Released: How Associations Can Prepare
The Humor Rules for Business Presenters: How to Be Funny, Not Offensive
ATHvengers Assembled at the GSAE Annual Meeting
GSAE’s July Luncheon: Photos
Meetings Thought Leadership
Destination: The Emerald Coast
Choices: Beyond Mentoring
Index of Advertisers

Connections - Summer 2016