BTN's annual answer book for business travel managers.
Groupize Aims to Eliminate the Meeting Request Form
Groupize is using
its rules engine capability to push meeting requests that need sourcing aid to
a central desk. The new option is called Expert Assist and is live now.
In March, the
a rules engine, customizable by meetings management programs, that informs
a meeting organizer whether he or she could source a meeting solo or needed to
fill out meeting request form and work with a central sourcing desk. Groupize
intended to increase adoption by giving bookers the same starting point no
matter which way the sourcing process would go. But those meetings that needed
to go through a central desk still hit what Groupize CEO Charles de Gauspe
Beaubien calls a pain point: meeting request forms. Such forms, he said, can take
as long as 10 minutes to fill out and are often followed by a three-day
Now, Groupize automatically
can route meetings that require centralized sourcing to a central desk, sans
request form. Meeting arrangers begin as before, inputting meeting requirements
and selecting hotels they like. Also as before, the rules engine kicks in and
tells the meeting owner that he or she can continue solo via the Groupize
sourcing platform or that the central desk will jump in. The central desk,
whether it be an internal team or a travel management company service, can add
requirements, advise on properties or perform other adjustments; perhaps the
meeting organizer's company doesn't work with one of the selected hotels and
the desk will replace it with another, for example. The desk can work with the
meeting organizer, communicating within Groupize—the communications tool features
both read-only and collaborator roles—or simply can take over the process
before sending the request to the hotels.
De Gaspe Beaubien
stated that many meeting request forms filed are for Cvent, so it seems
Groupize's new feature is an attempt to differentiate from its major
Convene Pulls In $152 Million
partners with office building owners to provide meeting space and workspace,
has completed Series D funding of $152 million, led by ArrowMark Partners.
Other repeat investors are Brookfield, CVC2, The Durst Organization and Elysium
Capital Management. New investors include Declaration Capital, QuadReal,
Revolution Growth and RXR Realty. The list is heavy on office property owners
and real estate investors.
in February that Convene is looking at London as its first non-U.S. outpost,
and indeed, the company plans to use the new funding for expansion both within
and beyond the U.S. In February, Convene had 15 locations in the U.S. By the
end of the year, it plans to have 23 in five cities, representing 700,000
square feet. In 2019, the company plans to reach 10 cities and 1.7 million
Convene also plans
to use its new capital to invest in its technology platform.
Etouches is rebranding as Aventri. The company concentrates
on event management technology like smart tags, mobile apps, data analytics and
venue sourcing. “Aventri” derives from “avenue,” “events” and “entry.” HGGC
acquired Etouches last
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