The dozen or so products, ideas, and Web sites on these pages are just a blip on the technology horizon. Want more? Two prominent meeting in-dustry organizations, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), have teamed up to deliver METCON (Meetings and Exhibitions Technology Conference). This new venture will debut next April 9 to 11 at the Rosemont (IL) Convention Center with three days of workshops, speakers, and exhibits.

But don't call the trade show a trade show, says PCMA's Chief Operating Officer Bill Myers. Call it instead the Technology Demonstration Center. "Everyone who exhibits will be required to educate attendees through a demonstration. Suppliers aren't filling out exhibitor registration forms; they're submitting an 'Application to Demonstrate.'"

In addition to a learning-oriented, hands-on exhibit floor, METCON's designers are planning 28 workshops focused on technological solutions to meeting planners' problems. Among the subjects on the roster are

* Powerpoint and other presentation software,

* the Internet as a meeting planning tool,

* survey and evaluation technology,

* how to evaluate your computer system,

* privacy, security, and legal issues,

* Windows 95 for executives,

* registration software,

* desktop publishing, and

* teleconferencing.

"It's exciting to fill a niche and it's exciting to have PCMA working together with ASAE, two associations known for their separateness," says Myers, who expects 500 attendees for the first year of the new conference, of which 400 will be meeting executives.

For more information on METCON, you can contact PCMA at 100 Vestavia Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35216; (205) 823-7262.