Meetings Technology Expo Picks Up Steam

Meetings Technology Expo's sophomore effort, which took place in New York City in October, indicated that the show may be gaining momentum. Following last year's NYC show, a second show in Chicago took place this past May, and next year San Francisco debuts with return engagements in New York and Chicago.

Total attendance at this year's New York event hovered around 200 attendees, and the crowd participated heavily in educational sessions. Most sessions had frequent questions from the audience, and topics covered room-block management, meetings spend, registration systems, and videoconferencing, among others.

A new addition this year was a case-study component. In five separate sessions, companies or associations, along with their vendor partners, explained how they solved a particular technological challenge. The Toy Industry Association, for example, detailed how it worked with expo-management software provider a2z to implement a more efficient floor-plan system, then extend their relationship to an expo management program, and then a networking component as well.

"The main reason for adding the case studies was to demonstrate, peer to peer, how specific technology solutions were used to overcome event challenges," explained Paul Paone, the expo's executive director. "The content became much more relevant and impactful to the audience when they were able to listen to problems that they themselves may have encountered — or when they were unaware of a technology that can remedy a particular challenge."

Some exhibitors from the inaugural 2005 show elected to return simply because they think the subject is important to the meetings industry. George Eberstadt, co-founder of nTag, decided to give the show at least two years, regardless of turnout, in hopes that it gains traction as people realize the value of using up-to-date technology at meetings. He'll be back next year for the third time.

Contact Kinley Levack at [email protected]

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