PlanSoft's site-selection and contact engine is up and running at www.plansoft.com. Membership is free to planners. In barely two months of operation, the PlanSoft site has registered more than 250 members, says Edward J. Tromczynski, PlanSoft president.
Of most immediate interest to meeting executives will be PlanSoft's site selection and contact search capabilities. Hotels, convention centers, and conference centers can be searched by location (region, state, or metro area), number of rooms, size of largest and next-largest meeting room, and/or amount of dedicated exhibit space. Other search parameters include hotel chain (a wide selection--not just the PlanSoft Partners) and "locale" (downtown, resort, airport, for example). The latest twist: You can search for destinations by weather. Want a convention hotel with golf in a location with fewer than five days of rain per year? PlanSoft will find your options.
Once your selections appear, detailed information about the property is available. If any of your selections are affiliated with a PlanSoft Partner chain, it also will have a multimedia summary. Clicking on icons produces color pictures of the lobby, a guest room, meeting space, and schematic room plans. Area weather history is also available, as is a link to a weather site to see current conditions.
The real power of the site reveals itself in the next step: Click on a navigation bar for contacts, and you get a list of salespeople--names, titles, telephone and fax numbers, and, where applicable, e-mail addresses.
Note: The site has been optimized for Microsoft's Explorer browser; the site will work with Netscape's most recent versions as well.