December 01, 1997
Meetings & Conventions: Real-Life Reviews Great Meetings! Current Issue
December 1997
Great Meetings!1.0, by JCML Group Ltd. (401-726-2883)

Created for insurance planners, a version designed for the general meetings manager is due out first quarter 1998. This overall meetings management system works well on a network.

Price: $4,850 for a database of up to 200 people to $9,500 for databases of more than 1,000 people.

Michael Burke, conference and travel consultant, All America Financial, Worcester, Mass., plans 60 meetings a year for groups of 30 to 700 and has been using Great Meetings! for two years.

  • How do you use Great Meetings!?
    I use it for everything: registration, rooming lists, ground transportation manifests, confirmations, table tents, name badges and to track changes.
  • What is its greatest strength?
    It helps keep me organized, and the database is great.
  • What is its greatest weakness?
    I'd like the confirmations to produce more quickly, and I'd like to be able to print just the confirmations that have changed, which I can't do now. I'd also like to be able to track changes to ground transportation; it doesn't print out an update.
  • How would you improve the software?
    It's about 85 percent of where we'd like it, but they need to go a little further. I'd like to be able to create Word documents and merge them into Great Meetings!, and to send e-mail from the program.
  • Georgia Brown, associate consultant, Meetings and Travel, Provident Companies Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn., plans about 20 meetings a year using Great Meetings! for an average of 50 to 100 people and has been using Great Meetings! for six years.

  • How do you use Great Meetings!?
    I use it to keep track of the meetings while they're going on. It creates a database of our sales force, and I just select from it and register people for the meetings. We go in and add the hotel and airline information, and the system produces a rooming list and an airline arrival and departure list.
  • What is its greatest strength?
    Being able to keep the data file on everybody who attends your meetings, so you don't have to figure out who the spouse and children are, who smokes and who has dietary restrictions. All the information goes in once and stays there. It also keeps a history of each person's awards and qualifications.
  • What is its greatest weakness?
    It doesn't give you a lot of flexibility with name badges -- it has pretty much one configuration.
  • Joan Mahon, senior meeting planner, The New England, Boston, plans 30 meetings a year for groups of 20 to 1,200 and has been using Great Meetings! for two years.

  • How do you use Great Meetings!?
    We started out using it for our incentive programs and are now using it for all our meetings. It's a great tool for rooming lists and attendee lists. It's easy to learn. We have historical data on our attendees in it, including records of awards they've won.
  • What is its greatest strength?
    Its reports. They're pretty canned, but you can put them into WordPerfect and manipulate them from there.
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