MEET OTHER MEETING MOMS IN GROWING INDUSTRY GROUP Juggling the demands of a career and family isn't easy for any woman, but a group of women in the meeting planning industry has found that getting together to share concerns and coping strategies helps. The group, called Meeting Industry Moms (MIMs), has been so successful that founder Linda Kirk says it might go national.
Director of sales for the Howard Johnson Hotel at Washington's National Airport, Kirk says the group has grown from about 20 women at its creation five years ago to its current membership of 100. Members pay $15 annual dues and meet monthly, alternating between venues in Virginia and Washington, DC.
MIMs was established when Kirk and several colleagues (meeting planners and suppliers) were pregnant and became first-time parents at roughly the same time. As the children have grown, topics have expanded to reflect new issues, such as choosing a private school. But new moms and their concerns are still very much a part of MIMs, Kirk notes.For information, call Kirk at (703) 684-7200.
TECH TRENDS * Dallas-based Pegasus Systems, Inc., recently released Corporate TravelWeb, a Web site designed to give corporate employees direct reservations access to preferred hotels while maintaining corporate travel policy parameters. The North American unit of Siemens AG and its travel partner ITT Sheraton Corp. are the first to use the new system. Siemens employees access Corporate TravelWeb through their corporate intranet and can book rooms directly with Sheraton at Siemens' corporate rate 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world.
* Look out for kiosks in the New York-area airports that offer Internet access and a chance for travelers to check e-mail on the road. John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia International Airport, and Newark International Airport have begun installation of more than 100 kiosks in departure areas and some arrival areas.
* Why not use the computer screen as a promotional tool? IncentiveScreen is a computer screen saver designed to motivate incentive qualifiers with text, photos, sounds, and animations about an incentive program. Those planning an incentive trip to Thailand, for example, can entice participants with images of Buddhist temples and the exotic sounds of traditional Thai music. Offered by ScreenShop Software in New York, the screen saver can be customized with such features as qualification updates or special announcements. It can be downloaded from a Web site or delivered via e-mail or disk.
* A new online service calledExchange, offered by Chicago-based Hinda Incentives, allows corporate executives to design their own online incentive program--including everything from program rules to promotions to award fulfillment. Participants can then pay a virtual visit to the site to check their qualification status, shop for awards, and order travel certificates.