If you are involved in decision-making for event technology products and services for your organization, you’d probably love networking with like-tasked planners. That’s the premise on which TeccSociety is based. A combo membership organization and tech vendor directory, TeccSociety is led by Stephen Nold, president, who is a consultant, speaker, and former president of Tarsus Advon, publisher of News Network and the MeetingTechOnline portal.
TeccSociety worked on its launch with a group of “foundational advisors,” including meeting professionals across industries and event technology experts. “We gathered innovators and entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to move the events industry forward,” Nold says.
AdvisorTodd Zint, CMP, CMM, head of meetings and event strategy, NFP,highlights the networking opportunities of TeccSociety. “Everybody’s really asking the same questions: ‘What are the best technology options around? How are people using them successfully? How do I stay on top of what’s new?’ TeccSociety’s goal is to bring the answers together on one platform.”
In addition to the Web site, which ultimately will feature articles, blogs, and research on technology topics, TeccSociety will host live events. The Circle of Influence Summit is planned for November 11–13 in Las Vegas. Other events will include Signature Tours, designed to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the event technology being used at an actual conference or trade show.
Compare and Request
A core feature of the TeccSociety Web site is its technology vendor directory, TeccDirect. While vendors pay to be listed, they also are vetted by TeccSociety. Their profiles include the same information—such as which meetings industry organizations they are affiliated with and what types of customers they have, in addition to their capabilities and primary focus—to make it easy to compare companies at a glance. Using the Web site’s “RFI Wizard,” TeccSociety members can send requests for information to vendors they select, knowing the RFI is going to exactly the right person and not to a general mailbox.
That’s because Nold personally visits with every vendor and participates in a product demo before the supplier is included in the directory. “We are being very selective in the suppliers that we are listing,” he says. “Rather than trying to be comprehensive and list every single supplier in the industry, we are seeking best-of-breed suppliers, ensuring that we offer the optimal technology available in the industry.”
Some vendors that planners might expect to see but that aren’t in the directory yet may be coming soon, he notes. “This is a very time-consuming process and we have not been able to connect with everyone yet,but we wanted to introduce the Web site as we continue to build our database.”
Nold expects to have about 100 suppliers in the database by the end of the year, recognizing that it’s only a fraction of the technology choices available.“In addition to our own research, we rely on our members to tell us who they think should be involved,” he explains.“I am receiving two to three recommendations a week.We have always intended this directory to focus on quality, never quantity.”
Certification in 2014
TeccSociety is developing a certification program to be launched in early 2014. “The certification will give individuals in our community the chance to build a career path based on their knowledge of the technology tools,” he says. TeccSociety will incorporate feedback from members who attend the Circle of Influence Summit in creating the certification program.
Members must have one year of experience in the meetings industry and must be involved in the decision-making or procurement of event technology products and services for online and/or on-site communities. The membership fee is $250 per year, but access is free on a trial basis through October 15.