How time flies. Meetingselect started some fifteen years ago as small as ambitious. Now in 2022 the all-in-one meetings management platform has grown to a global player with state of the art new software dedicated for meetings, workspaces and group hotel bookings. Trusted by over 500 companies and 500.000 venues. One of their new crown jewel tools is Instant Meeting Bookings, the latest in meeting technology. An interview with Anne Beekman, Director of Product Sales at Meetingselect.
First of all, Happy Birthday.
‘Thanks! Meetingselect is now fifteen and some months ‘old’ and we are very happy to continue growing and doing what we love best.’
And that is?
‘Meetings & Group Hotel Bookings. Meetingselect is really ambitious to change the hospitality industry by providing software to seamlessly book meeting rooms, event spaces and conference hotels all over the world. For us, the foundation is the human connection combined with the best technology. We believe this is what makes collaborations successful. And not just that, it really accelerates growth. So we have been working on our global presence and nowadays, we have a network of 500.000 hotels and venues.’
‘Yes indeed. We are really a global company now. And within Meetingselect we focus strongly on evolving our meeting software product. We want to provide our audience a really handy software solution that is very easy to use for the hotels and meeting venues. So we partnered up with different providers, that way that we can facilitate easy solutions and integrations. And that has worked out well.’
In what way?
‘Well, the Meetings & Event industry comes back from a challenging time, as we all know. Business is back, but staffing is not. One of the observations is that hotels and venues have happily reopened, but not with the same amount of employees that they were used to. So now it is vital for the hotels and venues to increase efficiency, which lead to you being able to use your workforce where it is needed the most. Now the hotels and venues have access to a product that helps them with this, facilitating demand with fewer people. A tech-savvy solution in the Meetings market that helps hotels and venues to gain more revenue with less manual work. That helps to increase conversion. This is just one of our main benefits of the Instant Meeting Booking Solution.’
‘We have a variety of products within Meetingselect but indeed Instant Booking Solution is a great tool for this. You can now directly book Meeting & Event rooms and workspaces online.
To give you an idea, just think back a decade when booking hotel rooms came online at the time when booking.com was rising. Now Meetingselect is doing that for meeting rooms. That is the software we are now also offering to the venues. They can be instantly bookable for groups and meeting spaces while taking all the complex yield rules into consideration with their own content to upsell!
With availability and pricing visible on the Meetingselect Platform, but more importantly, the software that we have developed for the hotels is available via easy API solution or via a white label. To say it simple, hotels and venues can use it an easy widget on their own website, and brand it in their own style and at the same time serve their customers according to their own way of working.’
What is there to win?
‘In the end, we all benefit from faster responses. So you save time for personal service, this remains key of course. However, best is to focus on delivering personal service where it is really needed and expected. Meeting planners now also expect to book real-time and not always like to wait for the proposals. They just want to see availability and book instantly. With a modern software solution, hotels and venues can combine both personal and online support whenever they feel like it. An example: on average, 80 percent of the time hotel staff spends on answering to meetings request is unsuccessful, because the conversion is only around 15-20 percent for meetings. We want to increase that for the hotels and venues with the use of our solution. We see the growing needs with meeting planners and event managers to check availability and the pricing options, and to book the space directly. Often the venue that responds the fastest wins the business. With instant bookings, the hotel or venue could have saved a lot of precious time that could have been used on personal support on VIP or other requests. At the same time, they have a direct confirmed booking without the risk of losing the business.’
And the personal attention factor?
‘Use it where it’s most needed. Personal attention will never disappear, at the end of the day there will be many events with a need for high-end service.
Every meeting almost has it own requests, does the software deliver those options?
Of course there are specific needs with every meeting. Each event is different. Even with booking an individual hotel room, there are already so many different parameters…but for meetings and events there are lots more. Lots more! We have created software that accommodates to all of those needs. We have over 15 years of experience implicated, including the requests from clients and more importantly, all the different needs from hotels and event venues overall of these years. ‘
With the instant meeting booking solution, hotels and venues can save time, resources and money?
‘Yes, exactly. And in the future I really see instant meeting bookings becoming even a more strategic model. Like you see with the OTA’s (online travel agents), so that hotel chains and independent venues will manage their meeting & group booking inventory more efficiently to gain more MICE revenue overall.’
Where are you operating and for who?
‘Really we are now represented all over the world. And so we have welcomed a lot of customers over the past years all over the world. Instant Booking is something used by the pharmaceutical industry, but also the food trade, technology and government. It is great to see that our clients and the hotel market itself as well are really adopting this new way of meetings, groups & workspace bookings.’
More information on Instant Meeting Bookings https://web.meetingselect.com/instantbooking