Worktopia To Enable Remote Conferencing Space Bookings

Meetings management technology provider Worktopia at the end of August plans to enable users to search and book physical meeting space equipped with remote conferencing technology, according to CEO John Arenas.

Meanwhile, the company is expanding its distribution and partnership network through agreements with payment companies, including Diners Club International, and a new travel management company affiliate program, which Worktopia began piloting this week.

The new remote conferencing room sourcing capability enables hotels and business and conference centers to upload their inventory into the system and indicate which rooms have the technology and on which network and standards it operates. Users, having booked a room, can invite attendees to register for the physical or virtual component of the meeting.

The additional inventory is part of the standard agreements between meeting space suppliers and Worktopia. "Since we have the meeting room inventory and hotels already, having the hotel designate whether that room is videoconferencing or telepresence-equipped is all they have to do, and then load in their pricing for that," Arenas said.

While public remote conferencing inventory still is limited, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced plans to install such technology this year.

Woktopia, meanwhile, several months ago expanded its reseller program, which includes such suppliers as Pegasus International, Travelport GDS and Newmarket International, to payment providers so those companies can offer "a way to reconcile booking information with the payment information and the consumed spend information," Arenas said.

The agency affiliate program is designed as a revenue share model between Worktopia and travel management companies. It gives agencies free access to the generic version of Worktopia's meetings management tool and tracks their clients' meeting bookings, enabling the agencies to offer additional services for the meeting, like ground transportation and air arrangements.

The affiliate program is unrelated to Worktopia's partnership with American Express Business Travel, through which Amex licenses a customized version of the Worktopia small meetings booking tool.

Source: Business Travel News