MIMLISTERS GO FACE-TO-FACE Q: What has 800 brains, 25,000 years of meeting management experience, and a big mouth?
A: The hottest place for meeting chat in cyberspace, the Meeting Industry Mall's listserv, better known as the MIMlist.
If you don't know what we're talking about, crawl out from under that rock. With more than 800 members from both the meeting planning and supplier sides of the industry, MIMlisters, as they call themselves, chat online about everything from hotel negotiations to creative welcome gifts.
And in a new twist, members are emerging from behind their computer monitors to meet face-to-face at industry events. How can they spot one another? MIMlist badge ribbons are the private handshake of this active online community, the nod of one MIMlister to another.
The invention of Rodman Marymor, CEO and founder of Berkeley, Calif.-based Cardinal Communications, the MIMlist was launched in March 1999. The discussion is strictly noncommercial, with a well-known enforcer. Marymor enlisted his long-time friend Joan Eisenstodt, a Washington, D.C.-based meeting planner, as "listmistress," who rules with a white-gloved fist. As the self-described "princess of protocol," Eisenstodt is on top of any violation of listserv policy, such as attempts to mine subscribers for e-marketing purposes. No one's been thrown off the list yet, but Marymor says it's come close a few times.
So what do 800 meetings industry people talk about? You name it. Current events, business news, and the great dot-com brain drain are perennial subjects, as are questions about tipping,, and . Some-times humorous, sometimes serious, MIMlisters are likely to have an answer to any question imaginable. Eisenstodt remembers one obscure request: Where do you find those cocktail party clips that go on plates to hold your drink? Immediately, four people offered an answer, she says.
Eisenstodt is happy to take some of the credit for the listserv's success. She reads every single posting, which takes her up to four hours every day. "It's a passion," Eisenstodt says. "The things you love, you fit them in. I've always wanted my own salon, and this is it."
To join the chat, register at www.mim.com/mimlist.
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is positioning itself as an attractive venue choice for meeting planners - a rental discount of 40 percent launched last year has been extended through June 2001. The move, says HKCEC's Director of Business Development Allen Ha, is one that will keep the facility competitive in a growing destination market. Among the other incentives, HKCEC has frozen all rental rates through December 2001. For more information, visit HKCEC on the Web at www.hkcec.com.hk.
It's boom times for medical shows, which are showing the highest growth rate in two years, according to Tradeshow Week's "Semiannual Medical Show Report." The overriding factor, say show managers surveyed by Tradeshow Week, is strong seminar programming.
Some of the fastest-growing shows held between January and June 2000 were Health & Safety 2000, with a 50 percent increase in net square feet (see related story on Pri-Med, page 37); Pri-Med South, climbing 32 percent in net square feet the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, increasing 26 percent in net square feet and 41 percent in attendance; and the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, which increased 46 percent in net square feet and 47 percent in attendance.
Other highlights of the report: - Overall, medical shows grew 6.3 percent in net square feet in the first half of 2000.
- Exhibiting companies jumped 4.6 percent, double the growth of last year.
- Attendance was up at nearly half - 48 percent - of all medical shows.
- Of all the medical shows reporting, 71 percent were managed by their sponsoring organization.