Quincy, Mass.-based Passkey (www.passkey.com) and TravelCLICK (www.travelCLICK.com) will spawn a housing and event reservations tool for hotels and single-property events. According to Rich Westerfield, Passkey's vice president of marketing, the yet-to-be-named product will be a Web-based application with features similar to Passkey's ResDesk, an Internet-based housing reservation function that allows hotel, planner, and attendee to view and manage room blocks in real time and to generate tracking reports.

In a twist for Passkey, the tool will allow individual hotels to launch a Web page for specific events — branded with the hotel's name and hosted by Passkey. (ResDesk is primarily used by convention bureaus for multi-property events.)

Westerfield says the revenue model will be transaction-based. After signing a licensing agreement, hotels will pay an annual fee that will include training as functions and features are developed.

TravelCLICK has made a $3 million equity investment in the hotel planning tool. Its take in the deal is Passkey's database of hotel, event, and attendee registration information, which it will use to get a foot in the group market door by creating and marketing trend reports for individual hotels, Westerfield says.

Westerfield notes that the proprietary information captured in the reservations process in Passkey's database is well guarded. “We never divulge attendee information to anybody, nor do we sell it.” Westerfield explains that TravelCLICK already sells the hotel and city data reports, the value of which is in brand-specific information at a regional or local level.

Another reason for the alliance: “We're still a relatively small company,” Westerfield explains. “TravelCLICK has a sales force of more than 140, and they are well situated to help us get this off the ground from a marketing perspective.”

fast facts

Corporate Meeting Planner Salaries
• Average salary in 2000 $56,000
• Northeast $60,064
• West $59,625
• Midwest $56,074
• Canada $42,157
• International $59,079
Source: Meeting Professionals International's 2000 Compensation Survey. The survey compiled information from more than 1,200 meeting organizers, about 53 percent of whom were corporate meeting planners.