Passkey International Inc., Quincy, Mass., which offers an Internet-based technology that allows hotels and planners to manage group hotel reservations, has come out with a new product called EventExpress that offers most of the functionality of the original Passkey product in an easier-to-deploy system.

Both the original Passkey and EventExpress allow attendees to make reservations within a contracted room block that resides in an online database, giving the hotel and meeting planner real-time, 24/7 visibility into room pickup. Both integrate with meeting registration systems. However, the new EventExpress product, based on the single-hotel version of Passkey, is billed as faster and easier to use but allows only one category of attendee, and can’t, like the more robust original, create different registration experiences for VIPs, suppliers, and so on.

Passkey hopes to sign on more hotels by making the reservation system easier to use and appropriate for small groups. “Traditionally, online reservation systems were deployed exclusively by high-end hotels, which had the resources needed to deploy these solutions,” said Greg Pesik, president and CEO of Passkey, in a release. “With EventExpress we have leveled the playing field by introducing a powerful and easy-to-use online reservation system that can be launched in minutes by any hotel and for any event.”

Created in 1996, Passkey soon became the technology behind many convention bureaus housing services. In 2001, the company began selling a version to hotels that allowed planners for single-property meetings not using housing services to easily generate the pickup reports that can be valuable in avoiding attrition penalties. The quick-start EventExpress will not replace the original Passkey product.