by Michael Shapiro | January 6, 2012

Meetings technology provider StarCite will be acquired by tech supplier Active Network, the latter announced yesterday. Active Network provides a variety of event technology tools, including registration and community engagement platforms. The company has been enjoying a rising profile in the industry, particularly on the heels of its recently announced partnership with PCMA. Active is now sponsoring and supplying technology platforms for PCMA's events, including next week's Convening Leaders meeting in San Diego. If you've registered for that conference and used the online scheduling and social networking platform, you're familiar with Active's technology.
StarCite, of course, has been a major player in the meetings technology world for the last decade or so, and one of the driving forces behind streamlining the implementation of strategic meetings management. It wasn't a secret, however, that the company was seeking more outside investment.
Active Network will be launching a Business Solutions division in conjunction with the acquisition, of which StarCite will be a key component. Active will gain access to StarCite's global customer base, as well as its global supplier marketplace that includes partnerships with destinations, hotels and other venues. Active is touting the one-stop-shop benefits of the combined technology, calling it the "first ever, end-to-end global ecosystem for the events industry";  the company will offer an all-in-one solution for registration, strategic management and community engagement.

According to StarCite's site, no immediate changes are planned for the current lineup of StarCite products, but over time a broader and deeper range of solutions will be available as the integration progresses. StarCite points out in an online FAQ that current customers also will benefit from the added financial strength of Active, a publicly traded company with a proven track record for growth. As for layoffs, Active is "planning to leverage the talent and vision" of StarCite's staff, with organizational changes to be announced over the coming months.

I hope to get more details about the logistics and timeframe of the integration, as well as potential changes to personnel, next week at the PCMA show. I'll update you when I have more to share.