Meetings Beat - 2003-12-08
KDS Ties WebEx Into Booking Tool
Paris-based travel technology provider KDS has integrated the remote conferencing products of San Jose, Calif.-based WebEx into its KDS Corporate online self-booking tool. The deal gives KDS corporate clients the opportunity to prompt their travelers or meeting planners using the booking tool to consider remote conferencing as an alternative to travel. Officials said customers will be able to set specific criteria—including destinations, costs, corporate travel policies and/or other rules—that when entered by the traveler automatically will suggest the WebEx option. "By working jointly with WebEx, we at KDS are continuing our mission to provide global customers with highly relevant technology and value-added services," said Michael Steiner, senior vice president of KDS USA. "KDS Corporate with WebEx inside is an innovative solution to drive down the cost of business travel."
Denver CVB Ousts CEO
The board of directors of the Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau last month fired longtime president and CEO Eugene Dilbeck following local television news reports questioning both the bureau's spending patterns and a September event held at a local strip club and attended by bureau employees but not hosted by the bureau. CVB executive vice president of sales and marketing Richard Scharf immediately was named to serve as Dilbeck's interim replacement, pending a national search for a permanent CEO. Dilbeck quickly joined the marketing firm Lambert-Dilbeck Marketing Resources, a firm owned by his wife, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
MPI Advancing Women Overseas
Meeting Professionals International will introduce its Women's Leadership Initiative in Europe, beginning with an extensive research study into the position of and challenges faced by female meeting professionals. The study will survey male and female meeting professionals, the findings of which will be published in May. MPI introduced the WLI domestically in 2001 to further the advancement of women, who comprise 76 percent of the association's membership. It currently conducts research projects and creates educational programming on the chapter as well as the association level. "New research is a critical element in our plan to propel the Women's Leadership Initiative into new fronts, as called for in our 2003-2005 strategic plan," said JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers, chair of the WLI committee. "Furthermore, because WLI is not presently being implemented in Europe, we are anticipating the findings from this first-ever study so that we can comprehensively begin to address the specific career needs of European female meeting professionals."