Cvent and Choice Hotels International announce Instant Book Rollout

The new direct booking tool offers an easier booking experience for meeting planners to find and book guest rooms online at Choice Hotels properties.

Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center, USA, a Choice Hotel.
Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix Convention Center, USA, a Choice Hotel. Photo Credit: Choice Hotels

Cvent and Choice Hotels International have announced a global rollout of Instant Book, a booking tool service that will be embedded into Choice Hotels' booking platform, streamlining group room block management for small and simple events, while expanding planner engagement and booking options.

The tool will allow planners to search, compare real-time rates and availability, and book rooms with a few clicks, bypassing the request-for-proposal process.

The deal with Choice Hotels to integrate Instant Book functionality across the hospitality company's booking platform will be available in the third quarter this year. Properties that are joining the Choice distribution network as a result of the Radisson Hotels Americas acquisition will gain access to Instant Book. Choice is the first hotel company signed on to integrate the functionality companywide.

Speaking at the annual Cvent Connect user conference at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, vice president of product management, McNeel Keenan, said that more than 2,000 venues, covering more than 200 cities, will gain Instant Book functionality upon the launch.

Planners will be able to filter search results to see Instant Book-enabled properties and check for guest room and meeting room availability and rates based on dates and event size. Real-time rates will be shown for meeting-package options and room types, and can be booked instantly with a credit card. Once reserved, a custom booking site is automatically generated for attendees, so planners can track room pickup.

Cvent has not defined the parameters for what constitutes small, simple meetings and use of the tool. "We work with each hotel chain to set the parameters that work for them, rather than forcing a standardised definition," explained Cvent vice president of product management Jim Abramson. "There can be some variation between properties on items such as rates and applicable discount, but the broader meeting parameters tend to be fairly uniform and fixed across a brand’s properties."

Cvent is in the process of onboarding several other companies. "This new functionality reflects our shared vision of making booking and managing meetings and events easier – for both planners and hoteliers alike," he added.

Cvent competitor, Groups360, announced instant booking functionality with Choice in April, and for Marriott International properties in January this year, the latest in a handful of its instant booking agreements that also includes Hilton and Omni. The parameters and limits of Group360's instant-booking function likewise vary by hotel company.

Blackstone, an affiliate of which now owns Cvent, is also a significant investor in Groups360.

Source: Northstar Meetings Group