Ed Simeone, CMP, has been named 1998-99 president of Meeting Professionals International. Simeone has served on MPI's international board of directors since 1996 and currently serves as MPI's vice president of finance. Simeone is manager of worldwide events for EMC Corp., a data warehousing company in Hopkinton, Mass.

Pacific Agenda, a meeting service company specializing in corporate and incentive groups, has announced two staff additions. Dale Y. Hamakawa has come on board as national manager in the company's San Francisco headquarters. He previously had been with California Host, a San Francisco DMC. Kimberlee Hall has been named sales manager, and will be based in Monterey. An 18-year veteran, Hall most recently was vice president with Pacific Host, a Carmel, Calif.-based DMC.

Robin Reynolds has been appointed sales manager with Concepts Meeting and Trade Show Management Inc. in San Diego. Reynolds, who will serve telecommunication industry clients, formerly was senior sales manager for the Morgan Run Resort and Club, also in San Diego.

The Austin (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau has appointed Christina Jones national sales manager. Jones will head the bureau's new office in Washington, D.C.

VAT rates at four VAT-friendly countries that allow a 100 percent refund:

Germany 16 %

United Kingdom 17.5%

Netherlands 17.5 % (6 % on accommodations, shipping, and travel)

Sweden 25 % (12 % on accommodations, shipping, and travel)

* Two out of three presenters have had show-stopping problems with their presentation systems.

* Three-fifths of those problems are computer-related.

* Only 53 percent of presenters carry back-up materials for computer-aided presentations.

* The source of problems in computer-aided presentations are about equally divided among hardware, software, and compatibility issues.

Source: Presentations magazine online survey results, published in the September 1998 issue.

In our last issue, we misspelled a name--on the cover, no less--and got a title wrong. It's Kristie Jones, not Christy, who is director of marketing for Prism Solutions. Susan Ashbrook's title is event manager, not marketing communications specialist. Corrected versions of the story appear at our Web site, www.meetingsnet.com/technology.

A WHOLE LOTTA JAVA WWW7 is claiming the record for the largest Internet cafe ever. With 130 computers as well as other connections for laptop computers, more than 172 WWW7 attendees were hooked up to the Internet at once during the April 1998 conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The network for the cafe was supplied via microwave link connecting the convention center to the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland.