Groupize, a B2B startup focused on group hotel bookings, has joined with travel technology company Travelport to create a small meetings booking tool for travel management companies (TMCs).
The self-booking tool pulls corporate negotiated rates from Travelport's global distribution system for requests of up to 25 rooms. It automates the workflow for corporations to shop and manage their small meetings (sized as fewer than 50 participants).
The companies say the tool stands out from what else is on the market because agents can use it to book in real-time. Plus other tools on the market are designed for professional meeting planners or for larger sized meetings.
Travelport notes that the mobile, software-as-a-service tool can be custom-branded by agencies or corporations. It synchs with Galileo, Worldspan, and Apollo.
The portal can include agencies' preferred hotels, negotiated rates, competing bids, approval tracking, communication engine, and online bookings with passenger name records (PNRs).
Up until now, many small meetings have been booked outside of company policy. Online booking could ensure compliance with managed travel programs.
Founded in 2011, Boston-based Groupize launched the corporate booking tool on which the Travelport collaboration is based nine months ago.
The startup says that what makes the self-booking tool unique is that it is designed to be used by executive administrators -- the people who most often book small meetings, which is approximately two-thirds of the types of meetings booked in the US.
Groupize closed a $2 million funding round in 2013.
Tracie Carillo, Travelport’s global head of hospitality sales, said:
“Automating small group bookings has been a top request from the travel agency community."