In one of the final episodes of The West Wing, Josh Lyman, chief of staff to president-elect Matt Santos frustrates his colleagues with his addiction to his BlackBerry. He’s constantly distracted by the buzzing device, typing e-mails while conversing with staff members. Finally, his deputy chief of staff threatens to quit if Lyman doesn’t take a vacation, leaving the BlackBerry at home. This addiction is not uncommon in the business world, with BlackBerries taking on the nickname “CrackBerries.” CNN.com has a story about the general manager of the Sheraton Chicago Hotel, a former BlackBerry addict. For his sanity and that of his family, he tossed the device, quitting cold turkey, and he wants to help others do the same. Guests at his hotel can hand over their “CrackBerries” for a day or two, allowing them to concentrate more on the business at hand. Would it be possible for meeting planners and their attendees to relinquish such control? It may make for more restful participants and more peaceful conferences. Or would it?
Meetings: Minnesota's Hospitality Journal