Congratulations and thanks go out to Corbin Ball, meetings industry technology expert and head of consultancy Corbin Ball Associates! Corbin has compiled a 30-year time line that includes some very momentous meetings industry technology developments and innovations.
I'm happy to say that StarCite®, a part of Active Network, is on the list, and so is our parent Active Network!
First Corbin mentions StarCite's birth in 1999, when we introduced a "package of Web-based sourcing, attendee management and spend-tracking solutions." Fast forward to 2001, when Corbin characterizes StarCite as introducing the first Web-based, two-way, real-time RFP tool for meeting space and rooms.
At the time, that was an incredible advancement -- eliminating a lot of paperwork for both planners and hotel sales people and, due to time delays, wasted efforts. It hasn't lost its appeal these days, either, as hotels are increasingly receiving and answering RFPs electronically.
Corbin mentions StarCite again when his chronology comes to 2012. In January, that's when Active Network, Inc., the largest network of activities, organizations and people linked by world-class technology, acquired StarCite. He says: "Previous mergers of these two companies include some of the major pioneers of meetings technology: RegWeb, b-there, seeUthere, PlanSoft, OnVantage, RegOnline and WingateWeb ..."
Rightly so, Corbin calls the move "another step in the consolidation of major meetings technology companies." And, as I've said in this blog, through technology and the expertise within our new Business Solutions division we’ll be able to better link the management of meetings to the experience of meetings, creating value and expanding the scope and evolution of SMM to a new ecosystem. Since the acquisition, we've been working hard to bridge the gap between SMMPs and Marketing/Sales organizations within companies.
Stay tuned for more innovations from StarCite and Active Network! To read up on the Active Network Business Solutions development, click here.