Technology and its Impact on the Meetings & Conference Center Industries
By Bruce Fears President, ARAMARK Harrison Lodging | October 28, 2008
It has been decades since the Internet and World Wide Web first opened their virtual doors to the world, and although traditionally the meetings industry has tended to lag in adopting new technology, all of this is changing - and fast.
Today's world of Blackberry addicted executives, tech-savvy meeting planners and gadget-friendly presenters are forcing conference centers to provide state-of-the-art technology as a standard practice - or else risk competition taking their business.
Technology standards within the industry are advancing as quickly as new innovations emerge. Gone are the days when an overhead projector was considered high-tech; wireless connectivity has quickly become the standard. LCD Projectors, video conferencing and computers, once considered luxury pieces of equipment, are now customary.
Technology is here to stay
It's no secret that the trend is constant connectivity whether it's through our computers, cell phones or email-even when we aren't at work. The emergence of BlackBerrys has shown a record number of people reliant upon technology as they strive to be more productive, accessible and efficient.
A recent study conducted by Intel reveals that wireless users were able to complete 52 more minutes per week of connected activities during meetings compared to wired users, thereby increasing their productivity. Conference center locations have, as a result, seen an increased need to stay up-to-date with new, advanced technology as BlackBerry "addicts" demand connectivity on a 24/7 basis.