Internet Intro The Boston Marriott Hotel/Copley Place, located as it is in one of America's top technology meccas, is proud of its wired status. So when you come in to the hotel to talk about a meeting with Internet connectivity requirements, you get this little spiral-bound 20-page booklet that gets you up to speed on the Internet. Prepared by Florida-based Luxart Publishers, it gives you, in straightforward English, a short course on what the Internet is and how it works. The booklet has possibly the clearest explanation of packet-switching (the way information moves over the Internet in little packets of information) we've ever seen.
Simple charts and text explain such arcana as domains, URLs, and servers. At the end there's a short directory of useful and entertaining Web sites. Refreshingly, there is not a single word of hype about the hotel. For information, call Dave Keamy, CMP, director of firstname.lastname@example.org the hotel (617) 578-0616 or e-mail him at
This little tchotchke from Professional Marketing Services, Westport, Conn., is a duster for your computer screen. It's pretty good at removing cat hairs, too. It comes in 14 colors and can be printed with your corporate Web site address (the sample has a line drawing of a man with a very large grin). At 64 cents a thousand, it's an economical promotional giveaway. For information, call Marty Bear at (203) 259-4460 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Holly Hilliard, who organizes software training seminars for veter- inarians, had an inspiration. Why is it, she asked, that meeting rooms don't have an SOS device for when something goes wrong? Sure, a planner orcan pick up a phone or leave the room to talk over on a walkie talkie, but that can be disruptive. Hilliard envisioned something much more unobtrusive and immediate. You might call it a panic button. She calls it the Meeting Monitor.
Working together, Hilliard and her husband Steve, general manager at the Radisson Hotel Philadelphia Northeast, created the Meeting Monitor. It's a hand-held wireless device--basically a tiny programmable FM transmitter--that pages a specific conference services or AV person. While it would be convenient if a planner could arrive on site and hand out the transmitters and monitors, a hotel must buy and connect the system. Not surprisingly, the first Meeting Monitor was installed at Steve Hil-liard's property last spring and others have gone into the Radisson Hotel Roberts in Muncie, Ind. and The Park Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. The Crowne Plaza in Dayton, Ohio should be online soon.
Complete systems start at $1,999, large enough to monitor five meetings, and go up from there. Contact HH Technologies at (609) 488-8255, steve@meetingmonitor. com, or visit the company Web site www.meetingmonitor.com.
* STRESS REDUCER Feel like you could just kill somebody? Should you wait for the moment to pass? You could go to www.calvert.com/sfdt/sfdt.html, home of Stick Figure Death Theater, created by Baltimore-based Web designer and trombonist (and sick mind) Matt Calvert.