86 Meetings & Conventions • mcmag.com March 2018
PLANNERS ARE MORE DEPENDENT THAN EVER
ON TECHNOLOGY; HERE ARE SOME OF THE TOP
TOOLS AND TRENDS TO WATCH —BY MARK CHESNUT
LONG GONE ARE THE DAYS when the idea of a high-tech meeting
was considered cutting edge. Today, it’s simply a necessity in order to stay
efficient, effective and competitive. But what types of technology are most
crucial for success in today’s meetings, and what does the future hold?
Maintaining a solid grasp of the answer to that question is vital for
meeting planners today, according to Lorie White, director of convention and meeting sales at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls,
N. Y. “Planners have had to become business event strategists,” she says.
“They’ve become the futurists of the industry.”
Indeed, experienced meeting professionals are now adept at mastering the possibilities of technology, according to Jennifer Kingen Kush,
vice president and executive director of the Digital Experience Institute
at the Professional Convention Management Association in Chicago.
“Technology has evolved from being the ‘shiny new object’ in the business
events industry to strategic tools that help enhance event experiences and
audience engagement, while generating critical data to help create both,”
she says. “We use technology to amplify our reach, to design meaningful online experiences, extending our education and resources to help
business event strategists everywhere.”
Jeannie Griffin, vice president of product and technology solutions at
Chicago-based BDC Meetings and Events, comments that her view of
technology has evolved over the past few years. “When we first started to
provide technologies to the marketplace, establishing a simple registration website felt like a big win over paper/fax and email invitations,” she
explains. “Technology is used differently now because the focus on what
we are really getting out of meetings is shifting. Instead of looking at
EvERyONE’s a littlE BERKElEy
We’re a city of freethinkers and dream chasers, innovators and game changers. From concept to
conference table, ideas are always growing. There are no limits when you allow yourself to be a
little Berkeley. So go ahead, challenge convention, meet in Berkeley.
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