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Out of the Closet

It has taken me seventeen years to freely admit...I work from home. There - I said it!  Thankfully the times have changed and the social stigma has come a long way as more folks are taking the plunge to telecommute. Today it has even become more 'earth friendly/budget friendly' with some organizations encouraging folks to work offsite. My first home office was a room that doubled as an off-season clothing closet in our basement. Let me just say that it was a grand day when I 'came out of the closet' and moved to the main floor into a space with natural light. Technology in my 1995 office has come a long way. It is more stable and has become more effective. My technical service guy (aka electrical engineer husband) is a much happier person these days as his day is not peppered with my panic phone calls. When I think back to the early days of this emerging trend, it is funny because it was common practice for folks to play 'office sounds' audio in the background to ensure no one learned of their secret.   
This past summer, my technical dream came true when I found the new Bell air card that allows me to work anywhere in 4G.The device is ready for the new LTE platform while some areas I work from are not quite there yet.(I'm patient.) As an early adapter to the Rogers Rocket stick over four years ago, I thought life was good then as I was able to get rid of dial up. Interesting how along the way, it has become an expectation that we have the technology we need, to do the things we need to do.It is no longer a luxury but a necessity to have access to the internet. When Facebook is the #1 way folks keep in touch with family and friends when they are away from home - you know things have changed.
In the last two years, the hospitality industry has come to understand that it is no longer a 'luxury' to have internet connection - everywhere. Soon paying extra for internet will seem as odd as having to pay extra for a TV in the hotel room. The new trend this moment is detailed usage plans while that (oops!) is now already - normal.   Visit our Facebook page and let us know the trends you are noticing. 
Timely yours, 
PS.  Great website on the progress and innovation of how and where we work:

101 Tips: Wireless and Hard Wired Internet 

Some would argue that the productivity levels of today are not any more efficient as days gone by while it is a fact that it is very difficult (almost impossible) to do business now without an internet connection.
Determining what one needs for a meeting is key to knowing what to ask for.  Hotel chains like Fairmont have made it easy for delegates to receive complimentary internet in their rooms and common space with a simple online registration to their Presidents Club program.  Other brands have taken note and either greatly reduced the cost of in-room connectivity or have waived the fee for folks booking within the block.  (A great way to reward delegates who book within the block).
Internet connectivity becomes more complicated when we need internet for the meeting rooms.  Each hotel has their own way of delivering the service and this also means the level of investment they have put into their hotel's bandwidth.  Often one will find that wireless internet is available for the delegates in the meeting room while a planner should not rely on the wireless service to run any sort of web based meeting.  The data packets that are transmitted can be compromised if the delegates are all online as it slows the transmission.
Some hotels have dedicated wireless systems for the meeting components (Prezi presentations, Twitter wall or simple website access) which can work without interruption while it is still highly recommended to do 'wired' connections for any sort of webcasting or hybrid meetings.   
According to sources, the way in which we now access the internet is different in that real time entertainment (streaming movies, YouTube, Skype) has increased by 50% in the last year while simply web browsing has reduced by 50%.  Delta Hotels as an example introduced in April their InternetXL which claims to be 20 times faster than home speeds.  At this time it is at no additional cost to the guest or meeting planner.
Security is something to consider as well when one considers wireless internet.  It is easier to intercept when not connected to hard wire.  Depending on how sensitive your material is that you are showcasing, may determine which route you take as the hardwired option can be higher priced for this reason.    


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Who Knew?!
The CSAE 2012 conference just wrapped up in the Nation's Capital (Bravo to Ottawa Tourism!) and next year will be held in Winnipeg on September 18-30, 2013. While interesting and famous for many reasons, The Royal Canadian Mint located in Winnipeg produces 750 coins per second and four billion coins annually for 62 countries! The Mint produced the world's first coloured circulation coin - the 2004 Remembrance Day 25-cent coin featuring a red poppy on the reverse.  

Where Am I?
Congratulations to last month's winners:  Allison, Joanne, Debra, Vivek and Jay.  While in Seattle last June, I was delighted to be a guest to visit the newly opened David Chihuly exhibit.  On May 21st, 2012 the artist opened his 'glass house' exhibit hall at the base of the Space Needle. It was amazing to see and experience the artist's dream venue which he designed for his favourite works.

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