One + January 2011 - (Page 24)

THE Thoughts+Leaders What one trend will most affect the meeting industry this calendar year? Mike Deitemeyer President Omni Hotels Jeffrey W. Rasco, CMP Founding Partner and CEO Attendee Management Inc. Incentives are Back In A new survey from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) finds that economic trend lines for the incentive industry have stabilized and are on an upward swing. Survey respondents predict that the incentive business will improve in both 2011 and 2012. Participants (incentive providers, corporate incentive travel buyers, incentive suppliers and others) were asked about trends related to travel programs, merchandise non-cash programs, budgets for 2011 and other issues of interest to the industry. Key findings: • 68 percent of respondents are more optimistic and consider the economy as having a “more positive” impact on their abilities to plan and implement incentive travel programs when compared with 2009 results. • 52 percent of survey respondents anticipate no change with respect to travel program destinations in 2011. • 44 percent of respondents see an increase in budgets for travel for 2011. Overall, survey respondents predict that business will be better for the incentive industry—68 percent say it will be better in 2011 and 77 percent say it will be better in 2012. However, there is still work to be done in terms of communicating the value of incentive programs to stakeholders and to the media. Only 11 percent of survey participants indicate that they feel the industry is “doing enough to demonstrate the business value of incentives.” — BLAIR POTTER The growing role of technology and social networking will have a significant impact throughout the meeting industry, from how we listen and respond to planners to the ways we engage with them virtually and face-to-face. We are establishing new ways to interface with planners via social media channels and find many of them utilizing these outlets to gain The convergence of smart phones, the green meetings movement and improved software is reshaping meetings. That expensive, treeunfriendly meeting program just doesn’t seem to make as much sense as an electronic guide. A few years ago, you might have needed a certain Read more stories at core information and seek counsel and recommendations from experts and peers. More and more, we also find ourselves connecting with planners via professionally oriented social networks such as LinkedIn. Technology and social networking will have a considerable voice in the future, but face-to-face meetings will continue to be one of the most effective ways to network, learn and interact with colleagues, peers, suppliers and clients. PDA or phone to navigate a mobile conference guide, but new versions are Web-based, enabling any phone with Internet access to retrieve data. Quickmobile provided excellent examples at MeetDifferent in Cancun and the World Education Congress in Vancouver. Sherpa Solutions’ ActivTouch guide was the winner of EIBTM’s annual technology innovation competition. Runner-up Ootoweb has a do-it-yourself model that could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in production. Certain Software’s version 6.0 even has a build-it-yourself guide. Technologies like these will continue to make a difference in the meeting industry. 24 one+ 01.11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + January 2011

One + January 2011
Energy of Many
The Future is Sharing
Strategic View
Fans, Dry Ice and a $600 Extension Cord
Top Spots
Job Resolution
The Laws of Attraction
How Bazaar
What’s Cooking in 2011
Another World at Our Feet
Middle East Central
More Than Amusement
The Future Looks Brilliant
How to Develop a Virtual Event
Tales of Adventure for the Newly Independent Planner
Idea Man
Your Community
Making a Diffrence
Until We Meet Again

One + January 2011