Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

Member Spotlight | Meetings.com

on March 18, 2019 / by Nancy Dahlberg ,


Business: Meetings.com gives corporations the tools to easily and efficiently source meetings all over the world.

Parent company: West Palm Beach-based HotelPlanner.com

No. of employees: 20, plus shared staff with HotelPlanner

Management: Bas Lemmens, CEO; Bruce Rosenberg, COO

Business growth: 100 percent in 2018

 

In 2012, HotelPlanner.com purchased Meetings.com and it turned out to be a match made in event-planning heaven.

That’s because West Palm Beach-based HotelPlanner.com is mainly a consumer brand, allowing groups of people to book blocks of hotel rooms for occasions like weddings, reunions, school trips, etc. Organizations use HotelPlanner.com too, of course, but typically corporations prefer to have a booking platform geared completely to them, with a unique look and feel.

Bruce Rosenberg

“Meetings.com is our business to business brand. It’s designed to work with larger companies and to perform event planning services for them,” said Bruce Rosenberg, Chief Operating Officer of HotelPlanner and Meetings.com.

Rosenberg explained that companies can source a meeting anywhere in the world on Meetings.com.

“If you want to book a meeting in Taiwan, we have local experts that cover that designation. Use the technology to find the right hotel offering for that particular event. Meetings.com can also build an ongoing event platform for that company. If a company had 40 departments, it can be set up so each department has its own entity.”

Meetings.com gave HotelPlanner an entry and a focus on corporate business. Its services include site search and selection, contract negotiations, and conference, housing and registration management for meetings and events large and small.

“We recognize there is business to consumer and business to business, and we wanted to have a brand, leadership, staff and technology that is driven toward the corporate market.  It’s built for ongoing management and relationships with repeat event planners,” said Rosenberg. “Often corporations have event planning staffs but they don’t have the tools. We say use our tools to source your meetings.”

Meetings.com has about 20 employees and shares tech staff and administrative functions with the larger HotelPlanner.  Both have offices in West Palm Beach. Traffic on the Meetings.com site is up about 1,000 percent year over year, Rosenberg said. The mobile-friendly software is available in 28 languages.

“Business will be up over 100 percent. Its sizable growth, and a lot of it is repeat buyers. Once they are in there they start building profiles. There is going to be a lot of stickiness to the site,” Rosenberg explains.

What makes the software better than competitors’ offerings?

Rosenberg says it’s the development team. The software is built in a modular manner that allows for a great deal of customization.

“We are winning business,” he said. “People say ‘we looked at other competing products but they can’t do what we need.’ Everyone wants customization. The way we built our software, we can provide a lot of customization.”

Meetings.com recently built new software specifically built for large events. Because corporations want to make sure to take care of their people, Meetings.com’s Book A Block software puts the right person in the right room for a specific event, Rosenberg said.

“If you are a CEO or board member or large investor, we want to make sure you are taken care of differently. We want to make sure each person gets a curated individualized hotel experience.”

With Meetings.com’s booking engine, once a room block is sold out, attendees can still book retail rates easily at the headquarters hotel or show hotels across the street, he said.

Bas Lemmens

What’s next for the brand? With a strong base already in the U.S and Europe, Meetings.com plans to put more focus on expanding in Asia. Already Asia is the No. 3 market behind North America and Western Europe, but it is growing rapidly. “We are seeing a big uptick in Asia requests.”

Meetings.com is truly a global company; its CEO, Bas Lemmens was co-founder of Booking.com and is based in Amsterdam.  But HotelPlanner’s and Meetings.com’s corporate HQ will stay rooted in West Palm Beach.

“We are big fans of Palm Beach Tech,” Rosenberg said. “We think it has added vitality to the tech environment in West Palm Beach. We’ve been members from day 1.”

[READ ABOUT HOTELPLANNER.COM HERE]

 

 

Member Spotlight | Meetings.com