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What good is all this technology?

Even with all the hubbub about how technology--the likes of HSDPA, IMS, NGN, IPTV, WiMax and VoBB--will change the way we live in the future, it seems that certain things in life remain resistant to change. Or, so I discovered this week.

Even with all the hubbub about how technology--the likes of HSDPA, IMS, NGN, IPTV, WiMax and VoBB--will change the way we live in the future, it seems that certain things in life remain resistant to change. Or, so I discovered this week.

CommunicAsia kicked off yesterday and I was scheduled to cover the opening address. So I braved the heavy morning downpour and arrived at the Singapore Expo early, hoping to beat the first-day registration rush, collect my press badge and have some time to spare to run through my notes.

I'd registered online and in their e-mail reply, the show's organizer confirmed that my registration was successful and outlined instructions for me to collect my press pass at the media center, complete with a map highlighting its location.

So I dutifully made my way to Hall 5, only to be greeted by a representative from the organizer's office, who flatly replied that I should pick up my badge at the foyer, a good five-minute walk away--eight minutes for someone shorter than 1.75 meters.

That same person also said, again monotonously, that they weren't giving out complimentary car park coupons this year. Lo and behold, I caught her giving out the last coupon to a journalist later that afternoon.

Okay, so maybe I'm not on the organizer's favorite press list.

But, here's just one instance of how a company didn't, or wouldn't, tap on technology to offer its customers a higher level of service. What could they have done?

Checklist no. 1--add these questions to the online registration form:
•  Can we offer you a parking lot at the Expo?
Sure, but only if you promise not to scratch my car.
•  What kind of food should we serve in the press lunch room?
Fresh food.
•  Who would you like to be greeted by at the media center?
Anyone capable of speaking in more than one tone.

Checklist no. 2--send relevant material to journalists:
•  If there are limited parking lots, award only early-bird registrants a space. Then, send a congratulatory note to the lucky journalist via SMS, enclosed with an e-parking coupon which can be used for verification purposes and in exchange for the physical complimentary ticket.
•  Have the back-end system trigger alerts, which can be sent either via e-mail, SMS or IM, whenever there are important updates regarding the event.
Read: Pick up press badge at Foyer, NOT media center.

After all, what good is all this technology if one doesn't want, or know how, to apply it?