Is there a place left for in-house logistics planners? Not at Nortel Networks. In fact, “The only events people at Nortel are vendor managers. There aren't any logistics planners here anymore,” says Caroline Pund, the company's senior manager, marketing events, who talked to TM earlier this year just as the company was rolling out a new online meeting consolidation system.

The Nortel article, written by Editor-at-Large David Erickson, provides an inside look at the strategy and technology behind the system. And as I read about Nortel's potential for cost savings and consistent messaging, it felt as if I were looking into a crystal ball. Online administration and outsourced logistics: Is this the future of meeting management? Judge for yourself by turning to page 26.

Outsourcing was among the trends cited by panelists at Meeting Professionals International's recent educational conference. I read with interest our reporter's account of a session that chronicled industry changes as a result of terrorism and the down economy and couldn't help but be pleased. (See story, page 14.) Of the nine trends cited, this issue deals with four of them directly. In addition to an increase in outsourcing, the MPI panelists saw the following trends:

  • More electronic marketing to boost attendance

    Check out our story on POPstick (page 119), a company that creates personalized, interactive e-invitations that can be tracked and monitored. Wyndham is winning kudos for its e-marketing effectiveness, and it's a story worth watching (page 157), as the chain soon plans to roll out an online meeting planner profiling system.

  • Increased use of virtual meeting tools

    In our Meeting E-volution feature (page 160), technology observer Kevin McDermott walks readers through changes in four e-conferencing provider segments: webcasting and infrastructure, collaborative software, production services, and videoconferencing.

  • More patriotic content

    In our Event Planning section, we've got a list of hot speakers who address today's political and leadership challenges with a post-terrorist perspective. (See page 32.)

Of course, we've got more than that. Don't miss Jed Mandel's advice on contracts in a buyer's market, the guide to negotiating with convention centers, or the report on tech company briefing centers' experiential marketing efforts.

What's the biggest challenge in your job today? Let us know, and we'll cover it. Enjoy the issue.