More than 600 meeting professionals are expected to attend NEMICE 2000 (New England Meeting Industry Conference & Exposition), which takes place April 13 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The exhibition will showcase more than 300 meeting industry suppliers from around the world.

A keynote address by Michele Hunt, president of management consulting firm Vision & Values, kicks off the day. Educational sessions include topics such as technology tools and trends, negotiation strategies, and adult learning principles. New to the educational roster this year: a luncheon roundtable discussion for veteran meeting professionals, led by MPI Chairman Ed Simeone, CMP.

NEMICE is sponsored by the New England Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and 11 other meeting industry associations. The conference is free to meeting professionals, and special Boston hotel rates are available. Call (978) 670-1473.

insurance notes * Here are the Million Dollar Round Table's latest production requirements: Financial services professionals must earn at least $60,000 in eligible commissions to qualify for the 2001 Round Table. At least 60 percent of commissions must come from "core" products. Noncore products include group and individual health, long-term care, individual pensions from nonlife companies, and mutual funds.

A New Dose of Experience and Creativity for ICP By now, readers of ICP should have noticed a name cropping up with increasing regularity in these pages--Regina Baraban. A longtime contributor to all of the Adams Business Media meetings magazines, Regina recently joined ICP as executive editor.

With 25 years of magazine editing and writing experience in the design, hospitality, and meeting industries, Regina becomes a valuable and creative partner in fulfilling our mission. You'll see her influence especially in this section, "Front Pages," which she takes over managing with this issue.

Reach her at (603) 679-4320 with your article ideas, case studies, or news briefs. And expect to hear from her!

EXECUTIVE MEMO Can Distance Learning Work for You? The dizzying pace of change in today's marketplace means that products must get developed and out on the street quickly, ahead of the competition. So how can you bring a far-flung sales staff up to speed quickly and thoroughly?

One answer is distance learning: that is, using technology to deliver training to remote locations, sometimes simultaneously. KRM Information Services, Inc., an Eau Claire, Wisc.- based provider of virtual conferencing services, offers these tips for an effective distance-education strategy.

1. Identify the tech skills of your sales staff. Do they have Internet access? At what speeds? Do they use e-mail daily? How quickly do they adapt to new technologies?

2. Select a delivery medium with a "wow" factor that also communicates your educational content. Data conferencing, says KRM president Rick Olson, is a good example. It requires only a 28.8 modem, but allows real-time, interactive meetings on the Internet. "The wow factor is the ability to use PowerPoint slides, real-time polling, whiteboarding, and application sharing," says Olson.

3. Decide what's best for your bottom line. Before investing in the hottest new technologies, evaluate the alternatives and break-even points.

Contact KRM at (800) 816-2640 or go to www.krm.com.