Two CVB Veterans Jump to Dot-Com Side "It's a dot-com Wild, Wild West out there," according to Jerry P. Schreibeis and Debra R. Smucker, two Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau veterans who have left their bricks-and-mortar world to join the high-tech frontier - a growing trend in the meeting industry.

With two decades of national CVB sales experience between them, Schreibeis and Smucker are in on the ground floor of a new venture of Pittsburgh-based Software Management Inc. called ConventionNet, a totally Internet-based meeting and convention venue. ConventionNet won't launch until the end of this year and has no clients yet, but the company is looking first to association meeting planners.

Even though the product is not defined, "There's a guinea pig out there who wants to give it a try," says Smucker.

The pair is banking on the vision of Paul Franke, president and CEO of SMI, and no stranger to the convention business. SMI provides CVB back-office software systems to more than 60 CVBs, including Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco. Franke's ConventionNet venture is rooted in an untapped segment of association members who don't travel to meetings. And in a radical departure from what we now see on the Web, ConventionNet is looking to makers of video game consoles that can be tied to the Internet with virtual headgear and gloves, digital television and telephony technology, and the widespread availability of broadband to create a walkabout cyber-based convention.

- In the June issue of Association Meetings, page 24, it was incorrectly reported that is wholly owned by Galaxy Information Services. Galaxy and the e-products division of Third Millennium Communications Inc. merged to create a new company known as, which is wholly owned by New York City-based The Official Information Company.

- Sandy Biback, CMP, author of the article entitled "99 Ways to a Better Bottom Line," which appeared in the August issue, is president of Imagination+Meeting Planners Inc, Toronto, (416) 694-7121 or

- We incorrectly named the Baltimore County Convention and Visitors Bureau as one of the convention bureau winners of AM's Inner Circle Awards in the August issue. The correct winner is the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association.