The Evolution of Instant Booking Solutions

Skift Take

Marriott International is the first brand to have direct integration with Groups360’s instant group booking solution for both guest rooms and meeting spaces.

In January 2023 Groups360 announced the the launch of Marriott International’s U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean properties on GroupSync Marketplace, which will provide instant booking solutions for meeting and event planners. In this episode we chat with Group360’s CEO, Kemp Gallineau and Marriott International’s Global Officer, Global Sales Distribution, and Revenue Management , Drew Pinto about what this means for Marriott International and the evolution of instant booking solutions.

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Marriott International is the first brand to have direct integration with Groups360’s ‘Instant Book’ function. Guest rooms and small meeting spaces are now available at scale using this instant booking solution. This solves some of the pain points that clients experienced when booking groups, regardless of the group size.

Planners can now book meeting rooms, and also the catering and equipment required. This is all without having to send a Request for Proposal (RFP) or any additional information to the hotel. The Instant Book function is only available for small meetings for now. This is a starting point for this partnership, but both companies are looking to expand on this partnership. 

Groups360’s Instant Book functionality connects to Marriott’s system through an application programming interface (API). This makes the process better for the customer but it also reduces the backend work for the hotel staff. Seven brands already integrate into Groups360 with more coming online in 2023.

Shifting behaviors to booking in this way can often take some time. For Gallineau it’s clear that other industries such as car dealerships and real estate went through the same developments. Planners are comfortable with a RFP process, even if they have frustrations with it, because it is something they know. But Gallieneau and Pinto believe that as customers become more comfortable with the tool. Once they better understand its role, the trust and confidence will grow. 

The increase in remote working, which originally started due to the pandemic, is now a standard working practice for many organizations around the world. This shift has also had implications on meeting bookings, with teams wanting to gather at a hotel’s meeting space to work on a project together in person. Making it easy to book this type of small meetings is helping to drive a lot of the post pandemic recovery.

This episode of The Event Manager Podcast was produced in partnership with Groups360.

Want to find out more about this launch? Head to your favourite podcast app to get all the details on what this could mean for your future group bookings!

You can read more about Group360’s partnership with Marriott in our article’s Instant Booking Ushers in New Era of Transparency for Group Rates and Marriott Properties Go Live With Instant Booking on Groups360.