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Mice Net : February 2010
mice.net 15 news Do you need to employ a "chief listener" and an online content writer? Can you overdo the interactive twittering and online networking during sessions and lose control of the agenda? Does it matter or do you need to "curate" the information on your community? Should you consider a "no laptop" zone? Is twitter just a fad? With WiFi and laptops, do the media actually need a press room? Pathable won the EIBTM WorldWide Technology Watch Award (www.pathable.com). It is a social network software to enhance conference communication. MPI used it for its last conference. It seems obvious that future conferences and events will all need to provide some sort of pre event and ongoing network system to meet participants' expectations. Maarten Vanneste continues to grow his Meetings Architecture movement. For the uninitiated, what started as a small movement to lift the intellectual bar in meetings design led largely by a Belgian called Maarten Vanneste has now morphed into a book, a series of seminars run around the world, a "Meetings Architecture Manifesto" paper, a website (www.meetingarchitecture.com), a Facebook page, and regular gatherings of fellow travellers around the world. One such dinner took place at EIBTM and attendance at this gathering is a testament to the movement's growth, plus the power of Facebook! More than 60 senior industry people from around the world eschewed the many sponsored hospitality events on offer, paying 40 Euros to mix with other like-minded people. Each year EIBTM commissions Prof Rob Davidson from the University of Westminster to produce a report on Industry Trends and Market Share. It is secondary research but provides a wrap on trends taken from a variety of sources over the past 12 months and is worth a read. The full report can be downloaded from www.eibtm.com. Not surprisingly, Davidson says "in a challenging environment, the winners in 2010 will be those suppliers who offer exceptional value and service and those destinations that target a diversified business base where downturns in one area of the meetings industry can be compensated for with opportunities in other areas." The report is optimistic about the outlook, although emerging economies tend to come off better than more developed European or North American ones. Recovery is likely to be slow and bumpy. Extravagance is still to be avoided. City hotels and conference centres will have the edge over resorts for meetings. It confirms what the industry already saw for itself: corporate meetings and events, including incentive travel, have been hardest hit. Interesting to note the growing SMERF market (social, military, educational, religious and fraternal market). Many corporate buyers have sought a technological solution to help them cut costs which has seen greater use of alternative meeting methods, including webinars, videoconferencing and web-based learning tools, as a way to control meeting and travel costs. Davidson reports that the economic downturn has not significantly reduced companies' concern to consider the impacts that all of their operations, including meetings, have on the environment. Young professionals forum ICCA ran its annual Forum for Young Professionals pre-EIBTM for 20 lucky sponsored participants from around the world. They hailed from 13 different countries. Winners of the group exercise, announced at EIBTM, included Business Events Sydney's Bethany Teulan. All five winning team members receive complimentary registrations to ICCA's 2010 Congress in Hyderabad, India. ABOVE: This is an industry which loves awards and can't seem to get enough of them. EIBTM hands out many each year, but this year the canny boys from Ovation Global DMC launched their very own award. Ridiculously tagged the "Huggability Award", Ovations cleverly designed a strikingly simply black booth decorated with pink bears, the award symbol. The winner was the popular and charming Rob Davidson from the UK, with a long list of runners- up. But the true winner was Ovation Global.