I couldn't have said it better: "It didn't begin to feel like I was part of the association until I came to the Summit. This is the shot in the arm I need to get through the year." This from a first-time attendee at the annual meeting of the Computer Event Marketing Association, speaking to CEMA president Karen Zunkowski, senior manager, trade shows and operations at Novell, Inc., Orem, Utah.

CEMA hosted its late July Summit--its ninth--in Mont Tremblant Quebec. Like the IT industry from which attendees hail, the event has the power to change the way people think about the work they do--and the way they do it. Not so much a meeting planning association as a confederation of tech industry marketers who use meetings as powerful communications tools, CEMA has a roster peppered with titles like marketing communications manager, event marketing manager, manager of trade shows and seminars, field event marketing manager, and trade show manager.

To us, the stars of CEMA are the event managers--the folks handling seminars, customer conferences, user group meetings, and other proprietary events. These are the people we traveled to the CEMA meeting to talk to. Trust me, it was worth the trip. These are people who share our vision of the power meetings have to drive the marketing/branding/customer relations effort, not to mention motivate, reward, and build a company culture. And as a bonus, they're using the latest technologies to get the job done.

Yes, the meeting was a shot in the arm for us, too. A shot that has energized us to keep bringing you behind the scenes at the events that are delivering the IT revolution to the world.

For more on the Summit, see our wrap-up on page 77, or visit the CEMA Web site at www.cemaonline.com.