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American Express to Offer Online Meeting Planning

American Express signed a deal with B2B e-commerce corporate meetings and events company StarCite Inc. that will let the financial services giant offer customized Web-based meeting sourcing and management tools to its customers.

StarCite's services will be provided through American Express One, a business unit of American Express Corporate Services that markets travel and related services to small- and mid-sized companies.

Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

Under the agreement StarCite and American Express One will create a co-branded version of StarCite.com and offer customized sites for individual corporate customers.

Using the co-branded site, American Express customers will be able to initiate and manage much of the meeting planning process online, in conjunction with American Express One's Meetings & Incentives group's traditional meeting planning services.

The Web-based tools will allow customers to find destinations, choose properties, issue electronic RFPs and participate in online reverse auctions for meeting space and other related services.

The agreement with StarCite complements American Express One's existing suite of corporate group travel and incentive services, which cover corporate business meetings, incentive programs and special event planning.

Those services include consolidation of meeting expenditures, registration services, site searches and destination analysis.

"By using the Internet to manage many stages of a corporate meeting, for everything from searching for and seeking bids from hotels to registration services, companies can cut the cost of meetings and improve the administrative processes they employ to manage events," said Jay Roseman, vice president of American Express One Meetings & Incentives.

American Express Corporate Services counts more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500, along with tens of thousands of mid-sized companies, as customers of its Business Travel, Corporate Card, Corporate Purchasing Card and Consulting Services group.