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Happy St. Patrick's Day!
 
Spring is days away. Here in the South, the flowers are blooming and the trees are beginning to bud. The long hard winter is coming to a close and everyone is looking forward to warmer weather and a chance to get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air.
 
Everyone is looking for hopeful signs in the economy, as well. It has been a long hard economic winter, and it does not appear that we are on the upswing yet. The organizations we work with are all trying to cut costs any way they can.
 
This month's RoadMap discusses remote meetings and is a reminder to carefully compare costs before you decide to hold an important meeting remotely. It is very important to make sure that you are calculating the real cost of a remote meeting to your organization, not just the dollars which can be saved.
 
This month's Tips gives you information about a great free offer from TechnicalLead.com, the company I discussed in Tips last month.
 
RoadMap: Is a Remote Meeting Your Best Choice?
Roadmap
 
When deciding to hold a remote meeting, many organizations compare the cost of meeting face to face with the cost of meeting remotely. This is a flawed comparison. Rather, you must compare the cost of meeting face to face with the cost of failing to meet your objectives. 
 
Are remote meetings always less expensive than face to face meetings? Not always! If you answer YES to most of the questions below, a remote meeting may not be your best choice.
 
1-- Are the objectives of the meeting critical to organizational success? If they are not met, do you have a lot to lose? Will there be big gains if the objectives are met?

2-- Are the meeting objectives urgent? Is time of the essence? Are delays unacceptable?

3-- Are meeting activities complex and difficult to explain? Is a great deal of in-depth conversation needed to make decisions and reach agreement?  Is there a great deal of work that must be accomplished using creative brainstorming and problem-solving techniques? 
 
4-- Are the topics of discussion emotionally charged? Are the main topics contentious and likely to cause conflict or an emotional reaction from participants?

5-- Is a high degree of trust among team members essential to success? Is it critical that you test understanding, validate assumptions and clarify expectations among a large or diverse group of participants? Is the energy and enthusiasm of participants essential for achieving the meeting goals?

6-- Does the meeting require focused, uninterrupted work time? Will some participants become distracted and disconnect if the meeting is held remotely? Will some participants ignore pre-work if the meeting is held remotely? 
 
In the current economy it is often tempting to save every possible dollar. Before you decide to hold an important meeting remotely, make sure that the remote meeting will indeed result in savings for your organization.
SmartSite Technology serves as a virtual IT Department for small and medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations.  We provide all of the information technology services that a business needs to compete in today's marketplace.
 
Our goal at SmartSite Technology is to help each of our clients to be a success!! We know that technology is not a core competency for many small business owners and non-profit professionals. We believe that every organization benefits when they automate their business processes. We work closely with all of our clients, even those who are uncomfortable with computers and technology, to help them introduce automated processes into their operations. 
 
Contact us today to discuss your technology needs.
Sincerely,
 
Dixie Groutt
SmartSite Technology
 
Copyright 2009 SmartSite Technology. All rights reserved.
March 2009
In This Issue
RoadMap: Is a Remote Meeting Your Best Choice?
Your Tech Tutor Says...
 
Free Tutorials!!
tutor pic number 1
 
Last month I told you about the software tutorials provided by  TechnicalLead.com . The other day, I received a great free offer from them, which they asked me to pass along to my friends. 
 
To build their email marketing list, they are offering a free download of one of their most popular titles, Top Tutorials for Building Websites, which usually sells for $47.
 
This set of videos is like a  "Greatest Hits" album 
with some of their best tutorials using Flash, 
Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator. 

I encourage you to take advantage of this great offer if you have any interest in the topics covered in the video series. Here is the link.
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