For the first time, a housing technology solution will be employed at the Democratic National Convention, when it rolls into Boston this summer. Passkey, based in Quincy, Mass., will provide an online hotel reservation system that should make life easier for planners of the event as well as the 35,000 delegates, media, and guests attending the event.
“It's a complex housing process that puts the technology through the paces it was developed to do,” says Passkey CEO Greg Pesik. “We're honored to be providing the infrastructure.”
The technology will alleviate a major hassle for the DNC and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is running the housing. All of the rooms contracted with the DNC will be managed by the convention bureau using Passkey's system.
The 35,000 guests are staying at 63 different hotels (and three universities), using 17,500 hotel rooms for a total of 109,000 room nights, Pesik notes. He says Passkey's technology allows conventioneers to book rooms online through a secure, customized, Web-based portal. Delegations can access their entire room list through the system, which makes it easier to manage room blocks and reduce. It also allows guests to make changes immediately, 24 hours a day.
“The Passkey solution is a far cry from the 2000 DNC in Los Angeles, where reservations were made the old-fashioned way — via paper and fax machine. This year, our housing system will be as user-friendly as possible,” said Rod O'Connor, CEO of the 2004 DNC, in a press release.
Meanwhile, Travel Planners Inc., New York, will provide housing registration services for the 50,000 delegates, media, and guests who will converge on Manhattan from August 30 to September 2 for the Republican National Convention. The conventioneers will use about 18,000 rooms in 50 hotels. Total room nights for the event are expected to total 100,000.
“We're proud to have this opportunity,” says Ray Vastola, president of Travel Planners. The room assignments for the delegations are done by the RNC and then passed to Travel Planners to handle the bookings.