To streamline small meetings purchasing, OnVantage has released a new product called EasyBook, aimed at tracking small meeting spend and simplifying the planning process.

John Chang is CEO of the Santa Clara, Calif. — based provider of meeting-spend management solutions. He says the large companies with which OnVantage works typically only track their large meetings — usually about 40 percent of their total meeting spend. The other 60 percent — small meetings — goes untracked and unmanaged. The new system, he says, allows companies “visibility into their small meetings and control over the contracts.”

The system simplifies the booking process for groups of 50 rooms or fewer, first by eliminating RFPs. Small meeting planners search the EasyBook system for room-block availability and pricing, and then reserve the space by paying 10 percent by credit card. Prices are nonnegotiable, but they are, according to Chang, competitive because of OnVantage's volume purchasing. The system can be set up so that buyers are steered toward properties with which the company has preferred FIT contracts, and all spending is tracked.

The system also simplifies booking by using a standard set of contract terms and conditions. A company that adopts EasyBook must also adopt the standard contract. Chang admits that a company that could afford to have an experienced meeting professional negotiate the rate and contract for every small meeting might be able improve on what they get through EasyBook, but says that “corporate America doesn't have enough people” to do that.