THIRD AUCTION SITE LAUNCHED A pril saw the launch of a third Internet site giving meeting planners a way to put their events up for bid: MpBid.com (www.mpbid.com) has joined EventSource.com and StarCite.com in offering an auction service.

Based in Pembroke Park, Fla., MpBid.com offers two blind auction options: Meeting planners can post their specs for bid by hotels, and hotels can put room nights up for bid by planners. A registered user on one side of the fence creates a general request for proposal, which is posted to the MpBid site. That RFP is automatically matched with RFPs from users on the other side of the fence. Anyone with an RFP in MpBid's database is alerted to a match by e-mail. "Matched" users then choose whether or not to respond by entering a bid on the space or event.

Mpbid.com auctions happen over two-, four-, or six-day periods. The company gets a 10 percent commission from hotels that secure bookings via the site.