StarCite Inc., the Philadelphia-based B2B meetings and events dot-com, has forged three new alliances: with Cardinal Communications, V-SPAN, and CommerceQuest. Star Cite's relationship with King of Prussia, Pa. — based V-SPAN is essentially a marketing agreement. The online conferencing company, which specializes in virtual meetings, is now a preferred StarCite vendor, and StarCite users will have a link to www.v-span.com. Through the association with Cardinal Communications, Cardinal's online registration and attendee management application, RegWeb, will be accessed directly from StarCite. RegWeb lets planners send personalized electronic meeting invitations and allows attendees to register, choose activities, and make room, car, and airline reservations. The deal with Tampa, Fla. — based CommerceQuest, whose enableNet software has streamlined users' experience moving among StarCite's online applications, has been in place since late fall, and the other partnerships are expected to be integrated by the end of this month.
The transfer of information between hotel computer systems and meeting planner systems will take a step forward with the first-quarter release of Pegasus Solutions Inc.'s new XML (extensible markup language) interface for processing group hotel reservations. Dallas-based Pegasus currently connects clients to its hotel switch through the older AMF standard (ASCII Messaging Format) but in the first quarter will begin the transition to XML, seen as providing a far smoother transfer of information across different software platforms.
Marina Del Rey, Calif. — based Event411, a developer of Web-based registration, housing, meeting management, and e-marketing solutions for the meeting industry, will be Pegusus' beta customer for the XML interface, tagged HotelML. The service will allow Event 411's professional meeting planner customers to have their meeting attendees make hotel reservations online, in real time, giving them instant availability and confirmations for hotel room blocks and shoulder dates. Event411 major corporate clients include Verizon, Philip Morris Management Corp., and Barclays Global Investors.