Sunday, December 14, 2008


In answering the question what is the value of going through the process of blogging I have to be totally honest... it's not my favorite. I think I might prefer blogging if I felt like I really had something to say or that I was truly passionate about. That is not to say that blogging is not valuable and I truly prefer reading others blogs over writing one myself. Thus far however, I have not attached myself to any professional blogs which I love but do enjoy them when I am searching for individuals opinions on certain topics.

I do think that the process have proved valuable. I really enjoyed looking into technologies that I was not aware of and reading my peers blogs and seeing what they came up with. Even though I may not become a blogger myself I know now that I will constantly tune into others blogs so that I can be on top of the changes in my industry. The most important thing I have learned is that technology is ever changing and something I really need to focus upon. Because it is quick to change, it is absolutely necessary to without fail understand how and why things are changing and be prepared to revolutionize my work with the best technology available that applies.

The two coolest technologies I have come to understand throughout the semester are Twitter and Digg. I look forward to using Twitter in my events as I enter the industry and indulging myself in news tailored to my liking in Digg.

Thanks for a great semester!


As someone who is probably the most critical of our industry and social networking I decided to look into Pathable which we briefly discussed last week. Throughout the semester we have considered several social networking sites including facebook, linkedin and iMeet but pathable is the newest and again specifically designed for the events industry.

Pathable is unlike these other social networking sites as it is intended specifically for certain a certain conference. A planner has the opportunity to build their own personal networking site for their conference using this service, quotes are not available online. The homepage for your event will have pictures of your most recent RSVP's, statistics regarding who is attending, the opportunity to converse on a wall page and to follow attendees facebook and twitter accounts.

Okay so here is where the "creepy" or "stalker" action comes into play... you can search people interests learn more about them, find links to their twitter, facebook, linkedin pages, message them or check out the matches the page suggests you meet online or at the conference. To me, not so creepy, I think its a really cool idea like a facebook just for your conference!

You can also manage the schedule, event marketin, profile of speakers and a chatroom for attendees to talk before the conference. Of course, the service may also be used on cell phones. This is similar to SpotMe where you can check out the schedule, search the event, look up attendees names and photos however it only works with an iphone apparently. But if you dont have one you can print this info before the meeting, not very green.

Overall, I think the service is a great idea and something that planners are more than likely to invest in. First of all I would like to have an idea of exaclty how expensive the service is and how many attendees it can manage at a time. Also, if it only works with the iphone that is a serious problem at least for some groups. In knowing your group this service may not be the best if they are traditional business with blackberry's or not very technology forward at all. The industry is seriously in need for such a tool and I look forward to watching it launch.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


It seems that John Pino, founder of StarCite, has heard our classes prayers for a social networking site targeted specifically toward meeting professionals.  In the article "StarCite Founder Launches Social Networking for Meeting, Event Planners" on MiMega Site Pino talked about the need for industry specific networking and the impact that it can have on the industry as a whole. Having just recently left the beta phase, and initially debuting in August, the site has already attracted 2,000 members. The article does not specify how many of these partifipants are suppliers vs. planners. 

The site allows you to network online much like facebook in that you create your own circle of friends and who can and cannot see you. Like LinkedIn the site allows you to contact "the world" with any questions regarding the industry which any member can access. The cool feature of this site unlike other social networking sites is the opportunity to rate and discuss experiences with a specific supplier. This will provide a platform for planners to connect regarding pros and cons about suppliers, properties and  experiences. Interestingly, the site profits by attracting suppliers in which to market themselves toward meeting professionals. This direct marketing approach will allow for suppliers to reach out to planners directly rather than using other more traditional means of marketing. 

As you know I feel strongly about the opportunity to job search through social networking sites which this one does not yet supply a forum for. I have signed up for the free service and look forward to watching it grow and adding a follow up blog of my opinions on the site. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Google 411

Are you totally tired of being the only person without internet service on your phone (and are you totally grateful that you JUST got text messaging)? Without the internet or a phone book how do you figure out the phone number of a restaurant, museum, store or whatever your looking for... well 411 of course! So when using this service it used to cost $1.25 to be connected to the business you are trying to reach. More recently 411 created free 411 where you were forced to listen to about a million advertisements before you were given the phone number and disconnected. 

But Google who seems to perfect everything has launched their own free 411 service 1(800)GOOG-411. The feature has all of the same elements of the original 411 in addition to the opportunity to have the information texted to you and work with the matching feature of any mobile phone to map the location. In terms of advertising, Google has not yet incorporated advertising (and I hope that they don't) of course without advertising it is difficult to make money on a free product. Finally, it is simple to block your calling information so that Google and businesses you connect to do not receive your phone and personal information. 

As an events professional this is really beneficial. When away at an event you have to be resourceful and sometimes your own little CVB. With the resource of your cell phone your have the opportunity to figure out resources within the city just by calling Googles 411. If you don't know the business you are attempting to call you can request "French Food" or "Zoo" and receive a listing of all such businesses in the area. 

What will they think of next? 

Sunday, November 16, 2008


GUESTROOM 2010 is an innovative and intriguing twist on the traditional hotel experience. 2010 was conceived by an organization HITEC and continues to be constantly updated and perfected. 

Living Space 
In designing the perfect guest experience HITEC has considered every every aspect of a guests wants and desires during a hotel stay. Within the living space of a 2010 guest room is a desk with laptop, a unique efficient SONY OLED television, Wii system including a Wii fit and an intercom system rather than a phone. 

Each of these elements are to satisfy a guests needs in considering the fact that hotels are often a home away from home or a home office for a period of time. By incorporating both technology guests are accustomed to having and are unique will truly enhance the guest experience according to HITEC. The reason for doing without the in room phone is two fold,  first of all, each guest will have their own a cell phone. 2010 hotel rooms will have keyless door entry using ones cell phone in conjunction with IBM's VingCard technology. Secondly, individuals who one cell phones are less likely to use in room phones which end up as a cost for a hotel rather than a revenue generator. Instead 2010 rooms will feature an intercom which is connected directly to the front desk and eliminates the need for an in room phone. 

I know that when I stay at a hotel the first thing I do it jump in bed and turn on the TV. 2010 rooms will allow guests to control their stay from the TV. From the TV guests can control in room amenities like temperature and lighting in addition to hotel services like ordering room service. (I know for me this would be REALLY exciting). Additionally the bed in these rooms is the extremely unique 21st Century Bed Technology. The beds are made up of thousands of pieces  which are supposed to contour to the precise needs of an individuals body. This makes the home away from home experience much easier. 

There are numerous other elements of technology included in these rooms including Amazon Kindle, LUX ART & DESIGN, infrared Minibars' and many more. The room as mentioned is designed solely to increase guest experience. I think a hotel which adopts GUESTROOM 2010 will certainly have a place in the hotel industry. Information that has to be considered is the amount of money required to produce and stay in such a property. Additionally each of these technologies is very innovative however, as we know, technology is ever changing and technology which wows us today will not do so tomorrow. Thus, how can a property afford to keep up with current technology and continue to wow and please guests. Also, I admit some of the technology is really cool and sounds fun but do we really need it? How much will a guest use all of the conveniences provided to them in such a room?  It will be interesting to see if and when a property chooses to adopt the GUESTROOM 2010. 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Technology Updates - Boomers vs. Millennial's

As most of you are aware I am always interested in different generations and their relationship with technology, in particular the technologies we have been studying throughout the semester. As a side not this blog is not fact based but instead based solely upon recent experiences with my family, friends and coworkers. 

LinkedIn & Facebook
Last evening at dinner a family friend asked me to explain LinkedIn because he was sent a friend/network request. I explained the social networking capabilities including building an online professional network. The network I told him allows you to keep in touch with business professionals and enables you to network with people you have always wanted to meet or maybe would not have met without the service. I asked him if he was considering joining and he said absolutely not. He explained to me that his method of networking is much more about personal face to face relationships and went on to tell me that he rarely uses his e-mail for business and when he cannot meet his clients has a phone based relationship with them. 

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I myself registered for LinkedIn and have yet to find it very fulfilling. As much as it is about social networking it is not a fun website to visit where you are keeping in touch with people you are friendly with. I think what Facebook has done right, and why so many people have joined, is that it has become a portal for professional life and personal life where you look forward to signing in and checking out what friends and colleagues are up to. 

Recently my entire team at my internship have signed up for Facebook. It has made the office dynamic very interesting firstly because if you are friends with your coworkers the material you have on the website must be appropriate and secondly because what we do on Facebook tends to consume our conversations with one another. When I asked my coworkers why they joined they said so that they could stay in touch with high school friends and former coworkers. They told me that upon joining they were amazed by how many of their friends were already on the site and the applications it provided. 

This made me wonder, is it that social networking websites are generational or that some are just way better than others. My next study is to see if my mom or dad will sign up for the service and see what they think... 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Politics and Facebook

Facebook has become the premiere social networking website and has played a significant role in this years presidential election. I have noticed, as I am sure many of us users have, that our friends have constantly updated their status, page, groups, photos, videos and events to include politically charged information. Facebook has really set out to encourage Millennial voters to become engaged with politics and really take a stance on this years campaign. 

Today, the site has created a special "Today is Election Day" page. Upon signing into the site the page is automatically advertised and shows how many users have stated they voted today currently it is at 368,802. The page also also allows you to take a stance by choosing a gift supporting Obama or McCain, helps users identify their polling place using Google Maps and notifies individuals that it is still possible to register to vote today in several different states (Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming). Also, users can update their status stating that they have voted or "donate" their status to encourage users to vote for a specific candidate. 

According to the NDN blog, millenials are going to play an integral role in this years election and if they do in fact get out and vote will provide a great advantage for Obama. "I was on Facebook (for work purposes of course), and noticed that more than half a million people have signed now up to have their status automatically updated to display a GOTV message. Users can choose whether the message says to get out the vote for Obama, McCain, or just to get out the vote, and then pass the word on to up to 40 friends at a time." According to NDN's findings 69% of the people who signed up for the GOTV message choose to support Obama while 16% supports McCain, and 9% of just get out the vote messages. 

It will be interesting to see the impact my generation actually has when today is over. I am particularly curious about the findings facebook users update versus how many people actually vote.