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Colorado State University Hosts Virtual Meeting For International Textile And Apparel Association

Wednesday, June 3, 1998

FORT COLLINS--Colorado State University will use an emerging computer technology to conduct a meeting for the International Textile and Apparel Association June 4-7.

During the meeting, to be held on the Colorado State campus, participants will attend a combination of traditional, face-to-face sessions and electronic group sessions to brainstorm and develop a detailed strategic plan for the association. During the electronic sessions, each participant or group of participants will simultaneously type anonymous comments into a personal computer that is linked to other participants. Thirty- seven textile, apparel and merchandising scholars in education, business, government and industry were selected from across the United States and Canada to participate in the event.

"Electronic meetings do not replace face-to-face meetings, but they can be extremely helpful," said Antigone Kotsiopulos, chairwoman of the department of design, merchandising and consumer sciences at Colorado State. "This group's agenda is very conducive to the electronic meeting format. Participants will be merging ideas and constructing a vision for the association's future. The software allows participants to record ideas, discuss them, organize them and vote on them. We've found virtual meetings can move faster and have broader, more creative participation than traditional spoken meetings."

Activities will kick off June 4 with an opening session from 5-9 p.m. in Aylesworth Hall. Electronic meeting sessions and discussion will follow June 5 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Weber Building computer lab. On June 6, electronic meetings and discussion will continue in small groups from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on the third floor of the Gifford Building. Activities will conclude June 7 with discussion of objectives for the association's future.

GroupSystems software will be used for the electronic meeting sessions, which will be technically coordinated by Lavon Blaesi in the department of design, merchandising and consumer sciences.

The merchandising program at Colorado State was the first program in the nation to be recognized as a program of excellence by the American Textile Manufacturers Institute. This, as well as the university's central geographic location and use of electronic meeting technology helped the International Textile and Apparel Association choose Colorado State as the meeting site, said Kotsiopulos, a former president of the association.

The International Textile and Apparel Association is a non- profit educational and scientific corporation dedicated to providing opportunities for interaction among the many disciplines in the textile and apparel industries.

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