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by Michael Shapiro | September 7, 2017

Meetings-tech provider Groupize, which specializes in simplified technology options for small and medium-size meetings, has beefed up its Concur integration with its latest update.

The Groupize Meetings platform is now integrated with Concur Third Party Registration Meetings, which means travel and meetings managers can set up Concur travel-booking sessions for meetings with a Groupize registration website. That integration is key because it further streamlines the process of gathering such meetings data — not to mention the ability to set travel policy and rules at the event level for bookings that otherwise might have fallen through the cracks. Traveling attendees simply sign into Concur, allowing the system to access their profiles and all necessary booking info. The system can accommodate guest travelers as well.

“Our Simple Meetings solutions are a natural add-on to Concur Travel and allow agencies and travel managers to finally bridge the gap between transient [travel] and meetings,” explained Groupize president and CEO Charles de Gaspe Beaubien. “We made a strategic decision to keep investing in developing the most optimized integrated user experience with Concur."  

New features include the ability for planners to send RSVP requests with a Concur air-booking link — a feature Groupize customers have been asking for, according to the company. The platform provides other group-air management functionality as well, such as the ability to send booking reminders to participants; Groupize can automatically search Concur and find attendees who have yet to book their flights 14 days before the meeting, and send such notifications.

According to Concur research, attendees often book their flights just a week before meetings; encouraging them to book at least a week earlier could save a company 18 to 22 percent on ticket prices.

Aside from such potential savings, the crux of the latest Groupize update centers around the company's mission to help companies better capture the full breadth of corporate meetings data. Groupize Meetings has real-time access to Concur data; the technology can determine whether flights were booked by employees or via their TMCs by matching data at traveler-profile level. So, whether or not an employee registers for a given meeting, Groupize can track their associated travel via Concur profiles, and provide managers a much more complete assessment of the associated spend for any given meeting.

With this latest update, Groupize is working with Concur Third Party Meetings Registration and using the Concur Travel Profile 2.0 application programming interface, which means the integration is tighter than ever before and offers more flexibility to travel and meetings managers. For instance, they can set rules at either the meeting level or traveler-profile level, simultaneously accommodate both guest attendees and those with Concur profiles, reduce the likelihood of duplicate profiles being created, get real-time flight information and manifests for all attendees and even manage room blocks and push lodging details to Concur itineraries.

Ultimately, the tech aims to provide a holistic view of all of a corporation's meetings, and serves as an alternative to Concur Meetings, which will be discontinued as of Jan. 1, 2018. "We intend not only to be a viable replacement for the Concur Meetings product," said de Gaspe Beaubien, "but to be a new way for all travel managers and travel management companies to maximize their Concur programs and unleash savings capabilities."