FileMaker Inc., developer of the popular database software, announced in September that it is publishing applications for business-specific tasks — and meetings and recruiting are its first two focus areas. Built on FileMaker Pro 6, FileMaker Meetings is geared to making meetings more productive by helping leaders create goal-oriented agendas, track the agenda and action items during and after the meeting, communicate the meeting notes, and create an archive of meetings, including the agenda, minutes, and associated e-mails. The suggested list price of FileMaker Meetings is $49.
Chicago-based WorldTravel Meetings & Incentives, a division of WorldTravel BTI, expanded its Web-based meeting management system, Plan2Attend, in August. The company has added a planning and purchasing module to the meetings management and attendee management modules that launched in early 2003. Among the features of the new application are budgeting, tracking of spending and savings, and reporting.
Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., added online meeting hosting to its product line in September. Called Microsoft Office Live Meeting, the service is the latest version of the product formerly offered by Mountainview, Calif.-based PlaceWare, which was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year. The service, which can connect up to 2,000 people online, includes two types of virtual conference rooms, one for large meetings and the other for smaller sessions. Interactive features include real-time polling and electronic whiteboards. The company is offering a free demo and free access to the service for 30 days. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/office/preview/livemeeting/default.asp.
Corbin Ball's upgraded e-book, Ultimate Technology Guide for Meeting Professionals, is now available for a free three-day trial. The guide features 1,200 products in 27 categories. Visit the Meeting Professionals International Web site (www.mpiweb.org) and click on the link to the MPI Foundation, the book's funder. There you'll find a link to the tech guide, downloadable for users of Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, ME, 2000, and XP. Mac users are out of luck. After the trial period, MPI members can purchase the guide for $40, nonmembers $60.
Now integrated with Pegasus Solutions, a Dallas-based electronic hotel distribution service, eMeetingsOnline's Web-based housing system allows traditional room block management (in which registrants select from among rooms in a negotiated block) and Internet booking in the same database. Registrants can view and book non-block rooms on their housing Web site. Planners can track all the hotel reservations made on the system, those both inside and outside the block; and registrants get instant hotel-issued reservation confirmations. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based e-solution also handles registration, attendee management, consolidated budgeting, scheduling, abstract submissions, and vendor management.