Its goal relative to the association and www.b-there.com), an Internet-based housing, registration, and travel provider.world is simple. "We want to own it," says Peggy Lee, CEO and founder of Westport, Conn.-based b-there.com (
Lee has announced an alliance with Arlington, Va.-based PGI Inc., an exhibition and destination management agency; and a preferred vendor agreement with iConvention.com, a Citrus Heights, Calif.-based virtual trade show provider.
B-there.com also signed an agreement with Dallas-based Pegasus Solutions Inc., tapping into the Pegasus switching system, which can connect meeting planners to the approximately 32,000 hotels and CVBs worldwide that use the Pegasus engine for processing electronic reservations.
Lee spun b-there.com off from her other company, Lee Travel Group, which has a large meeting planning department. The Internet tool is attendee-centric and integrates event registration, housing reservations, and travel. It can be managed by the planner and, Lee says, competes directly with Passkey.com, a Quincy, Mass.-based Internet housing provider.
"We know that 70 percent of attendees do something leisure-related such as restaurants, entertainment, and recreational events," she says, "We can do all that and the planner can still use all the data. It just takes the attendee management part off their hands."
B-there.com sets up a revenue sharing model with the association for any retail purchase made by the attendee through b-there's engine. The company makes its money through a transaction-based model: $5 per housing transaction and $3 for other attendee transactions.
- MPI elected Evelyn Laxgang, CMP, as Chairwoman of the Board for 2000-2001, beginning July 1, 2000. A member of MPI for 11 years - and a board member since 1996 - Laxgang is director of strategic programs and events for Motorola Inc.
- Mohegan Sun, of Uncasville, Conn., announced that it will require all its conference services staff and senior managers to earn a CMP or CMM within a year. The meetings, entertainment, and gaming destination will underwrite the associated application and examination fees for qualified managers. The Convention Industry Council grants the Certified Meeting Professional designation.
- Meetings in the United States are expected to increase by 9 percent in 2001, according to MPI's annual Meeting Outlook Survey. The study polled nearly 450 meeting professionals, 241 from associations and 163 from corporations. Associations will plan 5 percent more meetings, while corporations will increase their meetings by almost 15 percent. International meetings, on the other hand, are expected to decline in 2001. For corporations, the Caribbean is the top choice, followed by Mexico and Canada.
- MPI Foundation's "Focus on the Future" paper documents a shift in company meetings away from information delivery toward more interactive, problem-solving events. The foundation brought together 54 top corporate meeting executives, industry suppliers, and other "thought leaders" to explore human dynamics and define the role of meetings today. According to forum participants, they will become strategic communicators and group-dynamics specialists as well as consensus builders skilled in, diplomacy, presentation, and leadership.