by Art Pfenning | January 01, 2004

Computer technology has changed the lives of meeting planners (not to mention the rest of the world) drastically in the past 10 years. To find out how satisfied planners are with the software they use to track their event data, M&C and NTM Research conducted an online survey in November.
   More than two-thirds (68 percent) of the 352 meeting professionals who responded report  using some sort of software to track meetings data, but a surprisingly large number 32 percent are still using paper. 
   No one meetings-specific system is prevalent among those who use software to track meetings data. The program cited most often was Peopleware Pro; 9 percent of those polled use it. Of the 239 people who wrote in a type of software they use for meetings other than the choices provided on the survey, 10 percent named Microsoft Access, Excel or both.
   Two thirds of respondents are satisfied with their current software. Almost half (48 percent) were formally trained on how to use it, but almost as many (45 percent) trained themselves. 
   Thirty-seven percent make good use of their system’s entire functionality, yet a larger 47 percent of those polled take advantage of only the parts of the system they need. 
   Despite a relatively high satisfaction with their tracking software, 38 percent say they would switch if they could. Still, among the remaining 62 percent who would not switch, 80 percent say there is not enough money in the budget to make a change, 32 percent note their IT departments will only support the current system, and 26 percent still want to learn more about their system’s capabilities.