Managing meeting spending has become a hot topic, and a surprise deal announced today throws a log on the fire. Two of the most visible companies providing technology tools to help companies source meetings sites, track spending, and enforceare merging. Santa Clara, Calif.–based OnVantage and Philadelphia-based StarCite will become one company under the StarCite name.
Customers will work under their respective OnVantage or StarCiteand technology solutions through December 2007. However, the new company expects to “move forward rapidly” to integrate technologies and business practices, according to a press release. In addition to providing services to meeting organizers, both companies are also in the business of driving meeting business to hotel companies with online marketing products, e-rfp tools, and other services.
StarCite’s president and CEO Michael Boult will keep his title; John Chang, former CEO at OnVantage, has been named chairman; and StarCite founder John Pino, who had held the title of executive chairman, will become president of StarCite International, with a focus on international expansion and partner strategies.
In a release issued this morning, Boult commented on the new company’s future. “With only about 3 percent of meetings spending currently under management, this business is a virtually untouched frontier of corporate spending.… We have doubled the resources we can devote to continuously improving our solutions, expanding our global footprint, and broadening our ability to promote best practices in meetings management.”
The merger marks a continued consolidation of the meeting technology market over the past few years. Here are some highlights.
2006: WorldTravel Meetings & Incentives discontinues its Plan2Attend meeting management technology product and adopts StarCite’s technology.
2004: PlanSoft Corp. and seeUthere Technologies announced the merger of the two companies to create OnVantage Inc.
2003: StarCite acquires competitor b-there Corp., Westport, Conn.
2003: StarCite purchases Cardinal Communication’s RegWeb, an online attendee registration system.