MeetingXpress aims to distinguish itself in the crowded online meeting planning space by narrowing its focus. Its concept is the same as many other dot-coms--a Web site where planners can search a database of meeting properties and send RFPs. However, MeetingXpress (www.meetingxpress.com), which will begin beta testing in January, bills itself as the "small meeting solution," to be used for meetings of 100 rooms or fewer.
The MeetingXpress database will not be populated with every meeting property it can find, but rather with select properties from 50 U.S. cities. Each city will be represented by several hotels in each of three tiers (three-, four-, and five-star), for a maximum of 30 properties per city. The properties will pay for their listings, but the site's main source of revenue will be from commissions on the business it books. For the moment, that commission will be set at 5 percent, according to Eric Rosenberg, director of business development-technology for the Southfield, Mich.-based company.
Finally, the company will work with its "preferred network" of hotels to create Complete Meeting Packages for small meetings, similar to the all-inclusive pricing available at conference centers. The site's general release date is set for March.