If you're shopping for meeting technology, there's new online help from the Professional Convention Management Association (www.pcma.org). Its Technology Solutions Database, launched in June, allows users to search for suppliers in 35 categories, such as registration, Web conferencing, and meeting management. Users can also search by company name, product name, or product description. The search returns a list of companies and their products (no specific contact information); some have a flashing star, indicating that an expanded listing is available. In a search for site selection products, 41 names were returned; 18 had expanded listings.

Next, users check off boxes for companies in which they're interested. But here's the rub: Unless you're a member (in which case it's free) each full listing costs $4.95.The listings do have good contact information and links, but given the complexity of many e-solutions, the product write-ups can be a little vague. The listings we visited didn't include pricing information or anything in the product testimonial section.

The ambitious new database is a welcome tool, but you may want to use it just to get a feel for the players rather than in-depth research.