We all know how to use search engines. And we all know about industry-specific Web sites. Now, with the introduction of www.expoworld.net, we have a search engine that looks for industry-specific sites. Web sites about Web sites are, naturally, called metasites, and expoworld.net, which opened for business in June, is on the way to becoming a metasite for "corporate meeting planners, producers, exhibit managers, conference developers, convention coordinators, strategists, industry suppliers, and a multitude of other professionals," according to the site blurb.
The site offers a pull-down menu of search categories. At press time, these included multicountry-, country-, and industry-specific search tools; general and specific event suppliers (somewhat misleading: there is no turnkey event creator listed, just the usual stuff like destination management companies, airlines, and rental car companies); and search tools for finding conventions and expositions. In June, there were 415 companies in the event resource directory. Updates are announced by a monthly newsletter e-mailed to visitors.
Whether you need to fill a post in your meetings and events division, or are hunting for a job yourself, check the meetings industry job placement Web site launched this spring by The Meeting Candidate Network, Inc. The site, www.meetingjobs.com, gets high marks for clarity and speed, as well as its worth-a-bookmark content.
The Web site has four basic areas: see job listings, see resumes, post a resume, or post a job (the latter costs $50).
When the site was reviewed in mid-May, there were 54 job postings, seven of which had been added within the month and others dating as far back as February. The site is easy to navigate. It took less than a minute to learn, for example, that the American Museum of Natural History needs a director of event and conference services and that Smith, Bucklin & Associates needs a convention manager. A click on an available job brings up the particulars: date posted, date available, company (often not included because a search firm is involved), description of the company and the job, qualifications and education required, salary range and benefits (this is often left open to), whether or not a relocation package is available, and information on how to apply. While the site lists jobs from around the country, most are on the East Coast. Not all jobs are for planners; some are for hotel sales and marketing specialists.
For an employer trying to find a qualified hire, the process is almost as simple. In mid-May, 60 job candidates had registered their electronic resumes. Employers can scroll through a list that shows the job title and location each candidate would like to find. Clicking on the candidate's job title leads to details of his or her experience, education, availability, and willingness to relocate.
The job bank can also be found at the Meeting Industry Mall, www.mim.com, or call Meeting Candidate Network President Dawn Penfold at (212) 689-7686. For incentive industry related jobs, call Todd Englander at (212) 579-6023.
Arriving at an overseas airport with some local currency in your wallet is a good idea. Most U.S. banks, though, don't stock lira, schillings, or yen. One answer: International Currency Express, Inc. (ICE). The company runs a mail-order currency service, called Currency Rush, and a Web site.
The Web site, www.foreignmoney.com, posts the company's current rates for 22 currencies. You can't actually buy currency online, but there is an e-mail order form that gets you a call back from a representative who can take your order.
ICE rates are competitive, particularly for European money. You'll pay a $12 flat fee for service and shipping. Off line, call (888) 278-6628.
If you've ever wished you could save the experience of visiting your exhibit booth--or the exhibits of technology partners at your corporate show--there's a New York City-based company called the.NAK.group that is ready to put the whole thing on CD-ROM; its service is called ShowCD.
A sample CD-ROM offers up a map of a huge exhibit. A voice-over prompts the user to click on an exhibit on the map, which leads to a brief video clip of a product in action on the show floor, accompanied by another voice-over describing the product.
ShowCD also shows off the NAK.group's ability to shoot video on location, and proves it is possible to get a lot of audio and visual information on one disk.