Groups360’s GroupSync Engage Instant Booking tool took a large step forward this week when Marriott International announced that over 1,500 Marriott properties in the U.S. and Canada are now using the system.
The Instant Booking tool allows planners to view real-time availability of meeting rooms and guest rooms, and then book meeting space, guest rooms, catering, and audiovisual equipment for events using 10 to 25 sleeping rooms. For larger groups, instant booking isn’t available, but organizers can see real-time inventory and target requests for proposal at properties with space available.
The tool “offers our group customers what they’ve told us they are looking for, which is a much more seamless and efficient booking experience,” said Marriott’s Drew Pinto, global officer for global sales, distribution, and revenue management.
Marriott was one of five hotel brands, along with Accor, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Omni Hotels & Resorts, to invest $50 million in the GroupSync meetings technology platform in 2019. Marriott is the first to offer instant booking of small meetings—including guest rooms, meeting space, catering, and audiovisual services—at scale.
While more than 200,000 properties work with GroupsSync to transact RFPs, the number deploying the Instant Booking tool for small groups is growing, with Marriott being the latest. Here’s where other hotel companies stand, according to Group360’s Hal Hassall, vice president, marketing:
• IHG and Omni offer Instant Booking for guest-room and meeting-space bookings, but only in select markets.
• Hilton offers Instant Booking for groups’ guest rooms only.
• Accor will launch Instant Booking for groups’ guest rooms and meeting space later this year.
• Premier Inn offers Instant Booking for meeting space only in their EMEA markets.
In addition to the five hotel companies’ initial investment, the GroupSync platform received $35 million in April 2022 from three private-investment companies.