Meetings Tech Vets Launch Mobile Attendee Mgmt. Co.
Since early last year, a group of technologists and industry vets who climbed the SeeUthere and OnVantage branches of the StarCite family tree began working on what they viewed as the next big thing in meetings technology. Like many tech startups before them, they chose a funny-sounding name, OotoWeb, took a readily available technology, attendee management, then worked to make it cheaper and more accessible.
For $49 per user, per month for unlimited meetings with no contract required, OotoWeb users can create registration sites, report on attendance, manage logistics, communicate with attendees and monitor meetings, among other functionality. "We put a service out there that we think is the easiest to use, but is still as sophisticated as the Cadillac in the market, which is generally considered to be StarCite," said OotoWeb vice president of sales Ray Thackeray, whose name would be familiar to anyone in possession of the original SeeUthere patent.
The firm's innovations rest not in its attendee management functionality, but in its mobile access. "OotoWeb works pretty similar to a lot of the other attendee management solutions out there," said Rini Ghose, OotoWeb marketing director. "The piece that we've added is the mobile component."
Though OotoWeb mobile functionality only is available through the Apple's iPhone and iPad, OotoWeb CEO Sam Wu, a StarCite veteran, said the firm is eying other mobile devices.
OotoWeb, considered in soft launch until last month, at press time would not disclose any clients actually using its software.
"A lot of leading-edge planners would love to have a tablet and the ability to run their meetings business at any time" Thackeray said. "There are other planners who can only conceive of carting around 20-pound binders. It's going to be a challenge to demonstrate how this can replace the binder for those planners."