Successful Meetings - December 2008 - (Page 8)

Editor’s Note > By Vincent Alonzo Tech-Neanderthal I admit that when it comes to technology, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. I’m not an early adopter, or even a follow-the-pack joiner. I’m more of a last-holdout-to-give-in type. If I had lived during the cave man days I’d have been the last hunter-gatherer to wave my Brontosaurus burger over the fire. But there I was registering at the 47th International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) Congress & Exhibition in Victoria, B.C. in November, totally unaware that I was about to enter the modern world of being a conference attendee. The volunteer behind the counter handed me my badge and a bag full of registration materials. Nothing unusual there. Over the years I’ve collected enough badges to retile the roof of a house and I’ve got enough bags to haul half the Library of Congress. But then she handed me a rectangular piece of technology about half the size of a video cassette. It was a Spotme networking pad. I put it down and stared suspiciously at the device like one of the apes confronted by the obelisk in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I threw a stick at it. Nothing happened. I crept up cautiously and touched it—then quickly jumped back. I was still okay. Then I picked it up and tried to use it. In no time I was sending messages, exchanging electronic business cards, accessing session presentations, locating other attendees, and voting in instant response sessions. I was participating in a panel discussion on the state of outbound meetings from North America and the device made it much easier for me and my fellow presenters to find each other and organize a presession meeting. During the conference, Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, contacted me through Spotme and asked if I’d moderate an informal round table discussion of U.S. destination marketing organizations about how they could better attract international business to the U.S. Of course I agreed and through the technology, Joanne Joham, ICCA’s regional director North America, was able to put the round table together in an afternoon. In the end, the Spotme technology really enhanced my conference experience. I don’t know if it’s made me a complete convert, but I didn’t hate it. And from an old school hunter-gatherer like me that’s saying something. On page 33, Senior Editor Andrea Doyle takes a look at Spotme and a number of other pieces of technology that are changing the way trade shows operate. It’s a must read for anyone who plans or attends any type of event. Because like it or not, it is the future of meetings and events. PUBLISHER: NELLA VELDRAN vice president and group publisher, travel group, (646) 654-7325, VINCENT ALONZO editor-in-chief, KINLEY LEVACK managing editor, CORRIE DOSH destinations editor, ANDREA DOYLE senior editor, NANCY LAZARUS research director, CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: RAYNA KATZ, WILLIAM NG, MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN, TOM MCDONALD NEELAM MATHEWS (ASIA); ED SCHMIDT JR. (FLORIDA); HEIDI WALDROP BAY (WESTERN U.S.) ART (646) 654-7348 DON SALKALN art director, PRODUCTION (646) 654-7293 GRACE CASEY production manager CUSTOM PUBLISHING (646) 654-7360 MARILYN MOORE editorial director; ALISON GOLUB executive editor; KAREN GINES executive editor (performance); SARAH VEIT associate editor; DENNISTON BROWN creative director; MICHELLE TROPIANO art director; JONATHAN CHANG associate art director; TESSA SESTINA associate art director INFORMATION MARKETING (646) 654-5879 TRACEY associate director, audience marketing, SUBSCRIPTIONS (847) 763-9050 MARKETING (646) 654-7263 JENNIFER PEPPER STAM senior marketing manager, travel group, ADVERTISING (646) 654-7327 FOR THE NEW YORK OFFICE REPRINTS The YGS Group, Jenny Kintner, (800) 324-2930, For one-time use of our content: Barbara Grieninger, (646) 654-4675, LIST RENTAL (646) 654-7220 MICHELLE WIESNER EDITORIAL OFFICES: 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, (646) 6547361; fax (646) 654-7365; DWYER 8 DECEMBER 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS

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

Successful Meetings - December 2008
Editor's Note
Corporate Events
On the Record
Planner Spotlight
Personal Success
Technology Talk
Food & Beverage
Professional Development
Quick Tip
Tools of the Trade
On Site: Retire Those Tired Power-Point Slides
On Site: 12 Tips for Thriving on a South African Safari
Deep Impact
Recession-Friendly Speakers
Showing Off
Hawaii Insert
Places & Spaces
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Fort Worth
South Florida

Successful Meetings - December 2008