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TechTalk Newsletter

Corbin's January/February 2006 TechTalk Newsletter

Volume VIII,Issue 1


Happy New Year and welcome to Corbin's TechTalk Newsletter, in its seventh year of providing the latest in technology for meetings, hospitality and travel professionals in more than 60 countries.

This past two months have brought me to eight countries on four continents. Everywhere I went (including remote mountain villages in Northwest Vietnam) I had access to broadband internet usually via free Wi-Fi. (See Vietnam 2006 New Year's Photo Journal for a sampling of the photos taken.) Technology is making this world a smaller and more connected place.

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In this issue:

Click herefor a free subscription to this newsletter or, if you are already a subscriber, to manage your subscription.

NEW ARTICLE: Industry Standards – Why This Is Important To Every Meeting Professional

This article covers the recent developments of APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange), its importance, and offers suggestions ofwhat still needs to be done.

NEW ARTICLE: Technology Debate - Does Technology Help or Hinder Effective Conference Communication?
The text and slides from a recent debate I had with my friend and colleague, Tony Cary, CMM during EIBTM in Barcelona (moderated by Martin Sirk, ICCA).

Tony makes some excellent points on how technology hinders the communication process.

NEW ARTICLE: Audience Polling Debate Results (.pps file)
The audience for the debate was overflow with more than 50 turned away. We used electronic voting system from HyperMaster. Click to see the results (in the form of a PowerPoint Show - .pps). 

UPDATED ARTICLE: Hotel Pet Peeves and Needs From a Road Warrior
This article published in the last issue of TechTalk hit a nerve with many readers. I received dozens of email messages of support and additional “peeve” suggestions. Thanks specifically to Judi Joubert; Leonore Jordan, CMP, Joe Davis, Howard Reichbart, Cynthia Elliott, and Marge Anderson who came up with the additional suggestions. Click on the above link and checkout the new addtions listed in blue. Ihope the hoteliers are reading.


SMI Patent Claim Rejected
Had the U.S. Patent Office decided differently,  this could have substantially affected anyone that used online registration software.
final rejection letter (use 09809595 as the application number) was the last round to the application by Software Management Management Inc. claiming the invention of 158 meeting-related online processes.

MPI's White Paper about the Patent (.pdf file)

17 Web Site Favorites for Business and Fun

6 Favorite Meeting Industry Related Sites:

VNU/MeetingNews/Successful Meetings New Site:
Check out the new rewrite of this content rich sites. See the new web-based MIMLIst - the meeting industry's larges
tonline community.

Another entry into the online matchmaking arena.

Room Diagramming Software
It is only by diagramming a room set that you can truly know what you will get. Also, a picture is worth a thousand words in letting a hotel-set up crew know what you want.

Here are some of the top players:

The first room diagramming product. Robust and full-featured.

Cast Software:
EIBTM worldwide technology watch for innovation winner. Exception photo-realistic 3-D displays.

Newmarket Delphi Diagrams:
Simpler diagramming (formerly CEO Software) designed to integrate with Delphi hospitality management software.

TimeSaver Software
Simple, inexpensive room diagramming software. 

6 Favorite Utility/Reference Sites:          

How To Reach A Real Person - Phone Tree Shortcuts
Secret numbers and tips to bypass phone tree menus to get to a human for hundreds of companies.

Favorite Travel Sites:

Find the best and worst seat on the plane with annotated seating diagrams for all the major air carriers.

World electric guide
All of the AC outlets searchable by country.

Universal Packing List
What to bring on the trip in a great configurable database.

Air Passenger Rights
Know your rights in the flights.
The art and science of traveling light.

Sites for Fun:      

Museum of Bad Album Covers
his site is hilarious - some of the worst album covers imaginable.

A List of Politically Correct (PC) Terms
Great euphemisms for the politically correct person.

Movie Clichés 
Funny clichés we have all seen hundreds of times.

The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years,aid,123950,00.asp
PC World's pick of the best tech devices. An interesting read in where we've come.

Corbin's Vietnam Photo Journal
Vietnam 2006 New Year's Photo Journal

Recent Articles with "Quotes from Corbin" or from my Tech3 Partners

Digital Darwinism (CIM Publications - Germany)
This article by Katrin Schmidtt, explores the impact of technology on the lives of meeting professionals and the reasons to adopt.

GetITPlanet Blog
Audio Blog 20 minute interview of me by David Martin on the impact of online registration systems and other technologies on the meetings industry (requres free iTunes or other MP3 decoder).


"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't gone through college yet.'"

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's PC

Please send along any questions, ideas, or suggestions on how to make this newsletter more useful for you:

My speaking and consulting schedule for January and February will be bringing me to Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago
and likely a few other places as well. Click the link above for specific details. I would love to make your city one of my destinations as well, so please contact me and let's set a date.


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REFERRALS: If you know of anyone that would benefit from my free email newsletter (sent every two months) containing the latest in meetings technology in clear language designed specifically for the meeting professional, please forward this newsletter on. 

Corbin Ball, CMP
Corbin Ball Associates
506 14th Street, Bellingham, WA 98225-6107
Phone: 360-734-8756, Fax: 508-632-7730
Email Corbin

© Copyright 2006 Corbin Ball Associates.
This letter and its content are proprietary products. All rights reserved.

Please forward the entire letter to anyone you feel may be interested.

Thanks to our sponsors who make TechTalk possible:


Travel Planners, Inc.

Innovative housing programs for 25 years. Travel Planners covers every base from integrated marketing messages that boost bookings and registrations to contract negotiations. Our team works as your fulltime housing staff.  Standard features of our Master Plan include best-in-class booking technology and a suite of attrition-reduction services.

Ungerboeck Systems Intl.
Ungerboeck Systems INternational offers
aspirea subset of the world-leading EBMS® software, to provide world-class, integrated conference management and registration software to organizations specializing in conference management.  USI is the premier provider of Internet-enabled and fully integrated management software used by associations, conferences, exhibitions, and venues on six continents.  Visit us at

Trying to wade through the swamp of attrition and "rooms outside the block"? Let Conferon's experts help. To benefit from the industry's best buying power, contracts and practices, contact Conferon at info@conferon.comor call 330-425-8333.

The online/offline registration solution more planners are choosing! Introducing PRO X™ Software…easy, fast, full-featured software for registration management from PC/NAMETAG, the meeting people you know and trust.  Visit today to download a free trial, register for a preview webinar, or view an on-line demo.   Call toll-free at 1-800-369-8622.

nTAG Interactive provides a complete system for on-site event management built around our break-through interactive name badge – the nTAG.  The nTAG system improves attendee networking and automates polls/surveys, agenda management, card exchange, taking attendance, and messaging.  Customers include GE, MasterCard, IBM, WellPoint, Lucent, Accenture and many others.

The Writing Works is a concept bank that goes beyond pools, palm trees and plane fares to help event planners and producers answer the question, "What happens when room lights go off and projectors go on?" The site features a unique selection of field-tested meeting themes, outlines, and product intro ideas.

EIBTM -- 28-30 November 2006  -- Barcelona Spain
EIBTM Is The Premier International Event Dedicated To The Global Meetings And Incentive Industry.  EIBTM attracts 5,000 industry buyers and 2,000 exhibitors from over 100 countries. Over 2,500 buyers at EIBTM are top-level decision-makers bought to the event as part its Hosted Buyer Programme®.

ConferZone is the first objective e-conferencing resource that tracks the latest technology and trends in the marketplace. ConferZone provides information on Web conferencing, video conferencing, voice/audio conferencing, collaborative conferencing as well as expertise on hardware, equipment and consulting services.

Attendee Management Inc. (AMi)

AMi breaks down the barriers to online registration, housing, travel and e-marketing. No license fees, no software to manage, just dedicated, experienced service. Pay only for what you need, and provide the solutions your attendees and clients expect. Contact, or call 512.842.1612

CardinalWare Logo

CardinalWare is a 4th Generation Content Management System that fully integrates management of information, personal profiles and distribution.Whether you need a new or better Website, online marketing and communications tools, integration with other data, or anything in between, CardinalWare may be right for you. Visit our Website or call us at 888-755-7075. 


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