The second version of the APEX Toolbox — a package of electronic templates for requests for proposals, rooming lists, event specifications, and more — is now downloadable from the Convention Industry Council Web site.

Upgrades to the $99 Toolbox include major navigation changes, several new RFP templates, and a free trial version.

CIC, an umbrella group of 32 meetings and exhibition industry associations, is deep into the Accepted Practices Exchange Initiative, which is developing voluntary standards for post-event reports, event specifications, housing and registration, RFPs, and more. The project is expected to lead eventually to an electronic exchange of data between planners and suppliers.

The Toolbox templates automate common meeting planning forms, with drop-down boxes and fill-in-the blank formatting. The forms work in conjunction with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The CIC is working to make content of the templates standard industry practice, a step down the road the electronic exchange of data.