Chicago-Based WorldTravel Meetings &Incentives, an operating unit of travel management giant WorldTravel BTI, has announced that it is adopting the StarCite meeting management technology and abandoning its Plan2Attend product.
WTMI president Scott Graf says the partnership will allow his company to focus resources on its core business. “We're a meeting, incentive, and event company,” he says, noting that it's “clearly expensive” to maintain and invest in a proprietary technology.
StarCite will get Plan2Attend's 15 client companies, representing some 1,000 meetings annually, if they all choose to make the transition. “They also get us,” says Graf. “WorldTravel BTI is a big customer in and of itself, beyond its clients.” The Plan2Attend system will shut down after the second quarter.
Graf says the transition to StarCite will improve service for WTMI clients, including the ability to send e-RFPs to the 77,000 suppliers in StarCite's online database and a “really slick” online booking engine. The StarCite tool is also available in a variety of languages. “We're beginning to see more multinational companies that want meeting and event solutions on a global basis,” Graf says.
John Pino, founder and executive chairman of Philadelphia-based StarCite, says the new partnership supports two trends in the market: the consolidation of many technology options into a few, and the move to more end-to-end solutions. Pino says the two companies know each other well. “Culturally, we're very similar,” he says, noting that WTMI's insight into the needs of its big clients will be valuable as StarCite continues to develop as a meeting technology platform.