Welcome to Corbin's TechTalk Newsletter, in its fourth year of providing the latest in technology for meetings, hospitality and travel professionals in 60 countries. I am writing much of this issue on my return flight from a speaking engagement in Australia -- one of my favorite countries with great hospitality and friendliness.
[IN THIS ISSUE]
This issue offers a wide range of topics, tips and tools:
- ARTICLE: Managing the Attrition Mess
- ARTICLE: Are Your Hyperlinks Legal?
- 5 FAVORITE MEETINGS INDUSTRY SITES: PDAs for Meetings
- 7 FAVORITE UTILITY SITES: Web Site Testers
- NEWS: Corbin's program is an NSA "Top 10"
- POWERPOINT PRESENTATION POINTERS
- INTERVIEW: Wall Street Journal Networking Tools
- ARTICLE: MPI Chancellors' Meeting Industry Manifesto
- UPDATED ARTICLE: Technology Site Inspection Checklist
. . . and more!
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS......
NEW ARTICLE - Managing the Attrition Mess
The paradigm has shifted -- the Internet has changed meeting attendees' travel buying habits. It has squeezed out the inefficiencies and given buyers a greater choice of product at
However, this has caused major problem for meeting planners. Attendees are finding accommodations outside the block. Hotels are offering web rates lower than the group rates, undermining the group rate integrity and encouraging last-minute bookings.
Consequently, planners are having difficulty forecasting attendance and are faced with unfilled room blocks with the ensuing attrition charges. If planners can't demonstrate attendance, they can't even book meeting space where availability is often based on past booking history.
So what can be done? What are the tech tools that can help?
NEW ARTICLE - CYBERLAW SERIES Hyperlinks: An Effective Tool Or A Source Of Liability?
Are the hyperlinks on your web site legal?
This article, by well-known meetings industry lawyer, Barbara
Dunn, a partner in the hospitality law firm of Howe & Hutton Ltd.,
has agreed to share this article with the TechTalk Newsletter
list. This will be the first in an ongoing series:
5 HIGHLIGHTED MEETING INDUSTRY FAVORITE SITES:
This issue focuses is on meeting industry PDA applications:
This system promises to pop up a photo on your wireless PDA of the attendee standing in your exhibit booth with contact information and a predictive score (A through F) of the likelihood of a
This firm provides a wide array on meetings related PDA, messaging, conference management and onsite networking applications.
An elegant PDA tool for meetings including interactive exhibit floor plans, event schedules, attendee lists, a personal agenda builder, and more.
A suite of wireless applications for venue management including maps, messaging, networking tools, and e-commerce, auctions.
This unique electronic badge communicates with other attendee badges via infrared beaming and with radio frequency tags. It queries the badge of the person standing in front of you, and will display each other's mutual interests. It can also be used for messaging, voting, and other applications. Hey, it would be great for singles bars as well.
7 COOL WEB TOOLS: IS YOUR WEBSITE WORKING RIGHT? FREE WEBSITE
Your web site should be central in your marketing plan. Done right and the world is your market. Done ineffectively - your effort is wasted. Here are several free and easy-to-use site testers that
can help you see if things at your Web site are copasetic:
Dead Link/HTML/Browser/Load Time/Spell Checker
The best free Web tester report card available. Describes and analyzes all of the above and then gives you a rating on each criteria with suggestions for improvement.
Analyze your meta title, description and keyword tags (or anyone else's) simply by entering in the web address. Gives recommendation for optimal lengths and key word saturation.
Many search sites, such as Google, rank your site based on link popularity (how many sites link to your site). This tool will allow see how many incoming links you have on several popular search engines and who they are you. Simply entering your web address (or anyone else's) to find out.
Overture Key Word Generator
This key word generator suggests additional words and phrases based from its database of past searches on a word or phrase you enter. These new phrases can be inserted in your web site body
text and meta title/description tags to increase your search engine rankings.
Are your images too large and slowing download time? This free graphics optimization tool tests all the graphics on any entered web page, ranks them, and, if desired, resamples them showing you
what they will look like at lower resolution. The maximum resolution on a web site is 75dpi, so anything higher will just slow the load time. You, or your web tech, can simply copy the resampled image and replace the old slow image.
Xenu's Link Sleuth
Are all of your links working? This free downloadable program will test and report any broken links for you.
This is the best site around for finding out about search engines, how they work and how to optimize your Web site ranking.
Speaking of effective Web sites, one of Corbin's programs, "Building Web Sites That Work, How to Survive and Thrive on the Internet" has been included in a top-selling audio CD series by the National Speakers Association (NSA) -- the association that knows speakers. This program is one of "10 Best Selling Sales & Marketing Skills Programs from NSA Conventions within the last 5 years."
If you are interested in the CD series, details are at:
If you are interested in a live presentation of this top-selling
program, please give me a call!
This is also an area that I do consulting:
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION POINTERS
Do you ever want to completely blackout a PowerPoint slide for a few seconds or a minute in order to make or elaborate a point without the distraction of the image on the screen? Simply push
the "B" key. It will immediately black out the image until you push it again.
I was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about technology tools used to help people network. The article by John Fund appeared in the January 23, 2003 issue and is linked at:
NEW ARTICLE: THE MEETING INDUSTRY MANIFESTO 2003
MPI's Global Chancellors met recently to identify the pivotal trends affecting the meetings industry. It was my honor to participate and one of the founding seven members. This group has a combined experience of more than 150 years in the meetings industry and represents a variety of views.
The outcome was a white paper in two parts appearing in the most recent issues of The Meeting Professional:
Part 1: www.mpiweb.org/news/tmp/2003/01/manifesto.asp
Also, the Chancellors will be adding up to 5 more members this coming year. If you are interested, please consider applying (or nominating someone who is) before 21 March 2003. Details can be
found at: www.mpiweb.org/members/home/nominate.asp
UPDATED ARTICLE: The Technology Site Inspection Checklist
I have recently updated my meeting planning checklist for evaluating a site's technology to account for the rapid changes in hotel technology. Here are the key questions to ask and think about as you do a site visit.
CURRENT SPEAKING CALENDAR
My speaking and consulting schedule for March and April will be bringing me to: the San Francisco bay area (twice), Seattle, Washington D.C., London, Boston, Berlin, New Orleans and
Cleveland. I would love to come to your city as well so please contact me and let's set a date:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Corbin Ball, CMP
Corbin Ball Associates
506 14th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225-6107
Phone: 360-734-8756, Fax: 508-632-7730
© Copyright 2003 Corbin Ball Associates.
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