Back to the Future in Meetings
February 11, 2011 14 Comments
Getting settled in to a conference this week (ePharma Summit in NYC), I noticed immediately that something vital was missing.
For several years, I carried my own power strip to conferences, because provision of places to plug in was a spotty proposition. But I figured, in 2010/2011, that all venues and meeting planners “got it” and it was no longer necessary to string my own cord to plug in my computer, keep my iPhone charged, and help others do the same. We all know that computers and smartphones are pretty much essential now at any conference – right?
Nope. Then I overheard a conversation that floored me. One of the conference organizers was describing the price that would be charged for the provision of outlets in the meeting room, and I just about went into cardiac arrest. Because I don’t have verification, I’m not going to mention specifics, but if what I heard was even in the ballpark of reality, then “gouging” has just gotten a whole new definition.
The Wi-Fi was awful, too, by the way.
I’m not a meeting planner, but I think that robust and easy-to-access Wi-Fi, and provision of loads of power outlets/strips, should be the ticket to entry in negotiations. Why even consider a venue that either doesn’t have the electronic goods, or wants to charge a year’s salary for something as mundane as a power outlet? Maybe if enough potential business walked away, these hotels and meeting places would finally get the message.
And while we’re at it, free Wi-Fi for every attendee room should be a given. We’re all tired of being charged 10 bucks a day for Internet access. It’s no longer an extra – it should be a given.
Back in 2005, or in 1955, I could understand this. But we’re in the future now. Plugs and wireless are no-brainers. Let’s make it so.