There's no end to how technology will continue to change our meetings. Just look at this month's cover story, about a town meeting of 600 New York City residents, politicians, and business leaders who came together to brainstorm about the redevelopment of downtown and the future of the WTC site. At the meeting, participants at each table used laptops to send ideas to a control center in the room. The staff at the control center identified the strongest patterns that emerged from each table and reported back, using big screens in front of the room, at strategic points during the day. Audience members used automatic polling keypads to answer questions, and because the organizers had gathered demographics on attendees before the meeting, they were able to break out answers based on where people lived as well as their race, gender, and age. Participants left with a preliminary six-page report, complete with statistics and analysis. All from a single meeting.
We're finding that more and more of our content has to do with how emerging technologies like these are changing the dynamics of our meetings — and how we plan them. So we've decided to incorporate our sister publication, Technology Meetings, into CMI, beginning with the July issue. What this means for you is 16 pages of technology news, commentary, and features, edited by the person who knows that side of our business better than anyone, TM's former editor, Susan Hatch. Look for “The Dummies' Guide to Connectivity” (sign me up for that one!), a report on what has happened to the meeting industry dot-coms since the bubble burst, and an interview with the founder of ConferZone (a major player in e-conferencing). In August, look for what promises to be the industry's most comprehensive list of Web sites — every bookmark you'll ever need on every subject you can think of, from site selection to luggage locators to currency calculators.
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