Betty Ice, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Health Dimensions Group, Minneapolis

Do you find that security has become much more of an issue for your meetings? Do you have a security plan for your meetings, and if not, are you discussing or planning to implement one?

Security has not been an issue for us in the past, but it will be something we look at going forward. Given some of the recent events, security will be an issue on everyone’s mind.

Is the attendance at your meetings shrinking or expanding? Why?

Our attendance has been shrinking. There is more competition for the type of meetings we hold, along with specialized content conferences. This gives our attendees greater choice when selecting a meeting to attend. We find that most of our attendees come to our event every two [to] three years. Also, the growing number of online webinars, etc., where attendees can receive the CEUs needed [provides further competition].

Are perception problems (meeting at luxurious properties, resort destinations, etc.) a great concern for your organization? Do you expect any perception problems in 2018?

We typically do not have perception problems with luxury properties or resort destinations. In fact, most of our attendees prefer a nice resort location that is modestly priced.

Are you incorporating more, or less, activities into your agenda? If so, what types of activities are being added or cut?

We like to build in ample time for activities and/or leisure time. Most attendees find it difficult to be away from the office for any length of time. Having a set time to connect with the office if needed ... helps keep attendees engaged. Also, having time to network with peers is very important.

How important is Internet bandwidth to your programs (i.e., Wi-Fi), and do you think hotels are being more or less flexible with their Internet bandwidth pricing? Any tips to share with your fellow planners to get free or discounted Wi-Fi for your meetings?

Wi-Fi is extremely important for our meetings and also our attendees. If a hotel does not offer free Internet, I ask them to write it into the contract. Most are willing to provide or at least negotiate a discount.

Are you using social networking websites for business purposes? If so, which ones and why?

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.