by Sarah J.F. Braley | November 01, 2007

It’s not your father’s Internet anymore, but are planners taking advantage of the new wave of social-networking tools available for their meetings? No, according to a survey conducted last month by M&C. Of the 118 respondents, just 24 percent understand the term Web 2.0, 29 percent have heard of it but aren’t sure what it means, and 47 percent are unfamiliar with the term.

chartWhen asked about Second Life, a virtual world that is a major online meeting place, only 2 percent of planners surveyed visit regularly, while 68 percent aren’t sure what it is. Two percent have set up virtual gathering areas in Second Life, have held online sessions there, maintain a presence there for their organizations, and have researched potential speakers and entertainers there, while 3 percent go there to chat with industry colleagues. However, fully 93 percent do not use Second Life for any event-related tasks.

More respondents are familiar with video-sharing sites like YouTube and use them for activities such as viewing speaker or entertainer demos (10 percent) and uploading conference videos (6 percent). Still, 83 percent don’t use such sites.

Thirteen percent of respondents use mashups -- sites that add public content, such as Google maps and YouTube videos. However, 79 percent aren’t using this technology.

chartWhile the majority of the sample (65 percent) aren’t sure whether Web 2.0 tools will play a larger role in event planning, an almost equal group (59 percent) believe they need to learn more about these technologies so they can incorporate them in meetings.

Even broken down by age, the results consistently show planners are not yet using Web 2.0 tools.