Despite the rise of online bookings in the meetings arena, a new report by venue booking service Meetingsbooker.com revealed that the trend is limited to small meetings of one to 20 attendees.
Bookers and planners of small meetings tend to make automated bookings and then immediately share the date, venue name and location to attendees.
“There is a lot of conjecture and speculation in the travel media and industry about the most suitable meeting size for online bookings,” the report said.
It makes sense that bigger events tend to have more complex requests that are made through direct contact with the venue.
However, venues and hotels have responded to the report by changing the conversation from "Should we sell meeting rooms online?" to "How do we sell meetings rooms online?”
“Venues spend on average 47 minutes handling an offline meeting booking. By automating the process, that time can be better spent working on more valuable larger conference bookings,” the report added.
“Some of the larger international hotel groups have also started to test booking solutions on their own websites and many others are also rumoured to be about to launch similar systems.”
To serve the need for faster bookings, business travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) partnered up with Meetingsbooker.com to “simplify and enhance the booking experience for consumers”.
Ciaran Delaney, CEO at Meetingsbooker.com, said, “CWT Meetings Events has identified a growing client need for a faster way to book favourite venues. We look forward to delivering this for them and further driving the digitalization of meeting bookings in business travel.”
On top of that, planners are also voicing out about the “consumerisation” of meetings venues. If leisure travellers are able to get freedom of choice, peer reviews, mobile friendly solutions, and fast and efficient bookings, the same is being demanded for meetings bookings.