PlanSoft Adds Registration Tool, Inks Deal with Hilton PlanSoft Corp.'s new Meeting Management Solutions package of Web-based meeting planning tools now includes a registration module, allowing target users of MMS (Fortune 1000 companies and associations) to send meeting invitations, accept online registrations, and create attendee registration reports. Attendees are able to pay their registration fees online and receive detailed information regarding the event.

MMS, released this past October, is customized for its users and can work as an Internet-, intranet-, or extranet-based tool. The MMS tools include the comprehensive meeting site search and RFP capabilities of PlanSoft's flagship product, mpoint.com.

In a separate announcement, PlanSoft and Hilton Hotels Corp. have signed a deal that makes PlanSoft's powerful meeting site database and search engine part of Hilton's Web site, www.hilton.com, used internally by Hilton salespeople and staff and externally by Hilton customers. Hilton is licensing a combination of technological and marketing services from PlanSoft; in addition to the search engine, these services include enhanced listings in the PlanSoft database for all Hilton properties, value dates listings, and other tools.

MMS and the Hilton deal, says Ed Tromczynski, president and chief operating officer, are symbolic of PlanSoft's new direction, which emphasizes products that are easily adopted by constituencies that have a particular immediate need. In the case of MMS, that constituency is primarily corporations that need to get a handle on their total meeting spending; in the case of the Hilton deal, it's large hotel companies that need to give their sales staffs a way to "know" a huge number of properties.

PlanSoft expects to announce enhancements to MMS and other hotel deals in the near future.

BD'S MONGOLIAN BARBEQUE operates in an industry that's notorious for long hours and employee burnout - 400 percent annual turnover is not uncommon - but founder/owner Billy Downs has set an ambitious expansion course for the Detroit-based restaurant chain that offers a "do-it-yourself" stir-fry.

"We're doubling in size over the next two years," says Downs, who opened the first BD's in suburban Royal Oak, Mich., eight years ago. The company now operates 16 restaurants in areas from Bethesda, Md., to Tempe, Ariz.

"I want BD's to be a fun, people-oriented place to work, and to accomplish that, you have to find ways to bring people together," says Downs. Every summer, for instance, he brings all the top restaurant managers to Las Vegas for five days of planning and training.

Another program takes managers to a resort in northern Michigan for a four-day golf outing and meeting. But the most meaningful incentive is a three-day white-water rafting trip in Colorado for one employee from each restaurant who is selected by a peer vote. How many restaurants do that?