Technology Meetings magazine is like the computer on your desk: If you look behind the scenes, there's a mass of connections that allows energy and data into the machine. One of the connections we've valued most at TM during our start-up phase is with an advisory board made up of high-tech industry meeting and event managers and hospitality industry executives. For our first meeting in March, advisory board members flew in from around the country and gathered at Boston's Hynes Convention Center to take an early look at our content, critique it, and tell us what they thought was right and wrong.
It was our own small user-group conference, and it confirmed for us that high-tech planners face a unique set of challenges: intense connectivity and audiovisual needs, short lead times, extraordinarily high production standards, and a head-spinning pace of change in their industries. But while our board members are challenged, they also are empowered. The technology industry, it seems, understands the immense power meetings have to keep products competitive and to train and retrain talented employees.
Advisory board member Terry Gumas said it well. "Technology meetings are different from those of other industries. We typically have a business reason for meeting--for example, a customer-set to educate or a new product rollout--and all the steps we take [in the meeting planning process] stem from that business reason." Gumas, president and CEO for IDG World Expo, said that a great meetings publication should include case studies that explore a meeting's business rationale and how that rationale drives the planning process. We agree, and we have.
Thanks to all the planners and suppliers for their guidance. We will continue to turn to them as a sounding board, and to you, too, we hope, as we develop this publication to meet your needs.