by Michael J. Shapiro | November 07, 2017
Groupize, a meetings-technology platform geared toward the automation of smaller meetings, has introduced two new hotel-booking features in its Groupize Simple Meetings solution. The features, Event Booking Pages and Instant Block, target the oft-elusive hospitality spend associated with small meetings. Both features can improve the efficiency of the setup and management of attendee room-booking, making the traditional offline attendee room list - and the associated spend data - a more integrated part of the management platform.
 
Event Booking Pages are just that - customizable hotel-booking microsites that Groupize customers can set up for their meeting attendees. A straightforward interface allows organizers to add branding, images, videos, descriptions, locations and dates in short order. The pages can be set up for either one or multiple properties, and can offer public, transient or negotiated room-block rates, all of which would integrate directly into their agencies' global distribution systems.
 
Using the Instant Block feature, planners can negotiate the room-block rates and have hotel partners load those rate codes into the system, allowing rooms to be booked in real time. The transaction creates instant room confirmations and live PNR segments, but the rates are only visible for event attendees.
 
Because the new features are integrated into the Groupize platform, planners can upload an attendee list to the event portal and have hotel-booking invitations automatically sent to attendees. Planners can capture additional information with the bookings, using customized question fields, and can link to flight-bookings as well, which could then be integrated with Concur. Both virtual cards and ghost cards are supported. The features theoretically could eliminate the need to fax credit card authorization forms to the hotel for prepaid rooms.
 
Groupize often develops features based largely on client needs, explained CEO Charles de Gaspe Beaubien. "As a result of this commitment," he said, "we were led by our forward-thinking clients to develop Event Pages and Instant Block to address the business needs that are incapable of being satisfied with the existing manual and rooming-lists processes." The new features are quickly becoming among the most in-demand solutions the company offers, he added.
 
Other features available on the Groupize platform are attendee management, communication, reports, collaboration, room lists, flight manifests, Concur profile integration and management of passenger name records.