April 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio April 2003 Current Issue
April 2003 Tech filesPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:


BY Bob Walters

A critical look at the few providers that survived the tech-market bust

Online registration services have been around for a number of years. Or, more accurately, a few online registration providers have been around for a number of years. Others have either fallen by the wayside or have been acquired and repackaged.

While the ability to register online has long lost any claim to novelty, there are aspects of the service that remain underutilized. Indeed, most of the options are not effectively marketed toward medium to smaller meetings, where they can have the greatest impact.

About four years ago there were probably 20 companies providing online registration services; today there are fewer than half that many, and the number could continue to drop. Those still in business either have expanded their offerings to include travel management, outsourcing and other solutions, or they have added more expense-management tools to help planners focus on their meeting’s return on investment.

Following is a look at a few of the leading online registration providers, with some ideas on how to use them to your advantage.

Five of the leading providers are B-there (, RegWeb (, SeeUthere (, Cvent ( and Register123 ( Each has evolved in slightly different ways to get where they are, but all five are solid systems and have differing feature sets.

RegWeb was developed by Cardinal Communications and is now owned by Star-Cite. RegWeb is run as an ASP (application service provider), using a flexible format that adapts to a wide range of meeting types. In addition to online registration, the product offers e-marketing and post-meeting analysis tools.

B-there has focused largely on the corporate market and has an emphasis on ROI and cost control, in addition to the expected online meeting and registration management functions. The release of the OneForm tool set enables groups to control their meetings from scheduling to resources, approved vendors and budgeting.

SeeUthere offers online registration with modules for travel management and marketing. Its new meeting consolidation product, MeetingView, is designed to assist organizations in controlling their meetings spend.

Cvent has built its registration services around e-marketing tools. Cvent was one of the first advocates of e-marketing, and a natural extension was the marketing and registration for meetings. Additional modules handle housing and travel.

Register123 was acquired by Certain Software last year and has just released version 3.0. In addition to a new user interface, the program has expanded its features, including ones for the transfer of meeting details, use of multiple name-badge formats, survey and evaluation tools, and expanded online support.

All of these providers have weathered the storms to this point, and each has a very loyal following. While they perform similar functions, you should take the time to look at the additional requirements within your meetings and travel department to determine which is the right solution for you. Some of the products are designed to be deployed in larger organizations, while others are meant specifically for individual meetings.

A new company is catering to groups who want to move their registration online but have fewer than 1,000 attendees and can’t justify the license and start-up fees. Attendee Management Inc. ( is providing online registration using the best-fitting technology for a nominal start-up fee and a per-registrant fee.

Bob Walters, based in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, is the founder of Phoenix Solutions and developer of MeetingTrak software.

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