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Mice Net : February 2009
technology Concorde, Skylab and other space exploration vehicles – all of which have two things in common. They have all crash-landed at least once and they were all part of the grand tender process that encourages the use of the cheapest parts and construction methods. Sit in my seat and tell me that is right.” - John Glenn – astronaut commenting on the wreck of another Challenger Space Shuttle. I also am constantly asked about virtual meetings and if they will eliminate face to face meetings. The answer is that I hope not – at least in my lifetime. Face to face meetings remain the best way to educate – both formally via presentations and informally by being able to ask questions, share nuances, get a feel for the audience and networking with like minded people. Video conferencing has its place but it can’t replace the spontaneity that happens at face to face meetings, not to mention the chance encounters, problem solving over a few drinks, and simply being there and taking it all in. But face to face has a cost and disturbingly there is a trend (particularly in the US where ubiquitous, low cost, high-speed broadband exists – it does not yet exist in Australia) to replacing some meetings with on-line ones. That is bad news for first tier providers like hotels, airlines, meeting managers, themeing companies, caterers, exhibition companies, etcetera, and more bad news for the second tier - taxi drivers, restaurants, and retailers. We must fight this trend here and promote the values of face to face meetings. Consider the following. Computers cannot: • Tell us what the client really wants – only what standard offerings the client has reluctantly booked. • Convince clients that the meeting outcomes (KPI’s) are more important than the cost. Would spending a little more give you a much better outcome? • Build relationships and trust – they sell on price, I buy on trust. • Replace human spirit and endeavour. Ray Shaw is an accredited meeting manager (AMM), IT journalist and chairman of Event Planners Australia. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eventplanners.com.au. To continually create the best events, functions, launches and parties, you need a constant source of ideas and inspiration to make it all happen. ECQ will provide anyone organising events, big or small, the opportunity to gain ideas and contacts. Event ConneQion Expo is your ticket to success. APRIL 1 & 2, 2009 BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE, SOUTH BANK Register for FREE at WWW.ECQ.COM.AU Supported by: Official Platinum Media Partners: Official Media Partners: (02) 9452 7575 www.expertiseevents.com.au Organised by: mice.net 65