June 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio June 2002 Current Issue
June 2002 Tech filesPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:


BY Bob Walters

Some comprehensive bookmarks to add to your favorites file

We all know the Internet is a phenomenal resource that grows exponentially each day. The problem is, when you look for something by using a search engine, you often wind up with hundreds or even thousands of hits.

To help you take advantage of the Internet and quickly find pertinent information, here are a few sites you’ll probably find helpful in both your day-to-day life and your chosen profession.

No matter what details you need, there’s a Web page with the goods. The general information search engine on everyone’s favorites list is Google (www.google.com), but you might want to try two others that arrange the results in categories or grouped under headings: Vivísimo (www.vivisimo.com) and Teoma (www.teoma.com).

One of the best sites for comparison shopping of electronics, from PCs to home theater systems, is CNET (www.cnet.com), a network of sites that consolidate their information into a single source. Most of the reviews are powered by ZDnet, and technology headlines can be accessed by clicking on their “display on desktop” feature, which creates a sidebar you can update anytime for links to the latest technology news.

This column has reported on wireless networks and communication standards. With the changes taking place in items such as cellular phones, wireless information services and now home wireless systems that can control everything electronic, it’s good to stay current on developments. Palo Wireless (www.palowireless.com/i802_11/news.asp) is a great starting point, offering announcements and reviews. Pay special attention to some of the piracy and privacy issues: It’s pretty easy for the wrong person to pick up wireless data.

At this point, all the major associations and industry publications have an online presence. It looks like online publishing will see a surge this year, as many of the listservs have discussion threads about moving newsletters, monthly magazines and technical journals online. The American Society of Association Executives (www.asaenet.org) and Meeting Professionals International (www.mpiweb.org) both do a great job with their electronic newsletters and links to the full articles. The most comprehensive listing of industry-specific sites has been developed by meetings technology consultant Corbin Ball (www.corbinball.com). This resource, updated frequently, has links to associations, CVBs, technology vendors, listservs just about anything you could possibly need. Ball also offers a newsletter and posts several of his meetings technology presentations online.

One of the longest running sources for information on meetings technology is EventWeb (www.eventweb.com), which started as The Meeting Software Review and has migrated to an online newsletter and listserv. You can review past newsletters on the latest technologies and techniques, as well as reviews of helpful tools and services for managing events.

MeetingMed (www.meetingmed.com) was created to monitor and improve emergency planning for corporate and association meetings. Through affiliations, alerts and news services, the site offers information and guidance for dealing with all aspects of medical planning and emergency assistance. Planners might want to stay abreast of the efforts under way for standardizing the terms and technologies used in the meetings industry. The Convention Industry Council is leading this charge; read about the APEX Initiative at www.conventionindustry.org/apex.htm.

Bob Walters, based in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, is the founder of Phoenix Solutions and developer of MeetingTrak software.

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