by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | May 01, 2007

The MeCo MansionOn screen: Meco's virtual cybercafe

The Meetings Community (MeCo), a listserv launched about 15 months ago, is taking its approximately 1,400 members into a new virtual realm with the MeCo Mansion (, which launched April 1. Designed by MeCo creator and moderator Dan Parks, president and CEO of Dana Point, Calif.-based Corporate Planners Unlimited, the MeCo Mansion is an innovative planning resource found within the widely popular online 3-D game, Second Life (

Among the features are a boardroom that “seats” 30, where attendees can take part in a seminar or view a supplier’s product. Need a legal resource? Duck into the law library stacked with advice and how-to articles by Atlanta-based meetings industry attorney John Foster of Foster, Jensen & Gulley. And if it’s tech advice you crave, chances are you will find it in Corbin Ball’s Technology Den, where Ball, a speaker, consultant and founder of Bellingham, Wash.-based Corbin Ball Associates, will feature a monthly article and a product demonstration.

“It’s only logical that MeCo progress to the virtual world,” says Parks. “The next generation of planners behind the old guard have been handling this technology their whole lives. This is the world they are used to going to for sources and information.”

But it’s not all work at the MeCo Mansion. The game room is stocked with a poker table and several gaming tables. There’s even a fully loaded bar. Just click on the booze of choice, stir or shake, then kick back and relax with your fellow members. Who knew the life of a meeting planner was this good?