Successful Meetings - October 2008 - (Page 32)

Conference Centers TECHNOLOGY FOR MODERN MEETINGS Conference centers wow meeting planners when it comes to technological innovations By Michael Goldstein “Conference centers offer a 24-hour meeting experience that does not begin or end in the meeting room, but promotes the exchange of knowledge, in the dining room, at the coffee break, and throughout the property,” says Neil Pompan, president of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), based in St. Louis. Technology is a key tool conference centers use to differentiate themselves from other venues and make this exchange of knowledge happen. “Conference centers have more up-to-date technology, generally,” than a hotel typically offers, says George Odom, senior director and head of meetings consulting for Advito, a Dallas-based travel management consultancy. “LCD projectors and screens, Wi-Fi, built-in sound centers— conference centers have all the AV built in, because they’re built for the meetings [market], while hotels are designed to be as flexible as possible.” But “technology doesn’t just mean projecting a better image,” says Pompan. “Technology touches everything. Hotels provide technology on demand. Conference centers don’t wait for you to ask for the technology you need to have a productive meeting.” TECH TODAY “Technology used to be simply AV, but that’s old thinking. Wireless and wired high-speed Internet access, combined with wireless printing, is a very big deal,” Pompan adds. “You need a wireless environment with high-speed access, you need communication throughout, you need touchdown stations throughout for attendees to plug in their laptops, log on to the property website, and print on demand. The facility’s website will even give you instructions where to go to pick up your printout.” Eric Terry, vice president for sales and marketing at Benchmark Hospitality International, in The Woodlands, OCTOBER 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS PHOTO: CORBIS 32

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - October 2008

Successful Meetings - October 2008
Editor's Note
Supplier News
On the Record
Planner News
Planner Spotlight
Personal Success
Technology Talk
Food &Beverage
Tools of the Trade
On Site
Technology for Modern Meetings
A Tale of Two Cities
A Cast of Thousands
Places & Spaces
Mexican Destination Resorts
New Orleans
Lake Tahoe / Reno

Successful Meetings - October 2008