" Sometimes the great technological solution isn't the great technological solution," cautioned Michael P. O'Connell, director of meetings and convention services, Radiological Society of North America, Oak Brook, IL, speaking at the Meetings and Exhibitions Technology Conference (METCON) this April.

"Planners are so persnickety about the ways they want things done," he observed. To figure out which package will suit your particular needs, he suggested leasing rather than purchasing software. "You can decide if you really want it," he said. "You can walk away." That option is helpful even if you are considering designing your own software.

A new way of doing things is not necessarily better, O'Connell added. If you've always kept track of certain details on index cards, for example, maybe that is the best way for you. Paraphrasing Freud, he joked, "Sometimes an index card is just an index card." --TH