BCD Meetings & Events rolled out the first iteration of a simple-meetings solution yesterday. The tool adds to the self-serve meetings tools proliferating as the market acknowledges that not all meeting planning efforts require rigorous procurement processes but that visibility in a centralized systems and unified reporting remain important. "People want technology and automation across the board," said BCD M&E VP of product and technology solutions Jeannie Griffin, "and attitudes are changing in terms of companies wanting to offer a certain amount of autonomy for simple meetings and not wanting to use agency or internal meeting planning resources for meetings that don't really need that kind of support."
The simple-meetings tool, part of the company's MeetingSource technology, is targeted to occasional meeting organizers and enables them to search properties and book sleeping rooms directly for as many as eight participants. For a group that requires meeting space, the organizer initiates a simple RFP process. The tool offers standard self-serve reporting. Clients can load and flag their preferred properties in the system.
The tool is proprietary to BCD M&E, according to Griffin, but the firm partners with a third party to provide some of the components. She declined to comment further on that provider. It's a self-service tool, but BCD M&E wraps support and consulting services around it at different fee levels. The company can unify total meetings reporting for clients who use both the Simple Meetings tool and full-feature meetings management technology.
BCD M&E plans to introduce several key products this year.