Getplanning, a tool that helps meeting planners communicate and collaborate with meeting properties, has landed a key hotel client that is moving it into mainstream use.

In January, Hilton Worldwide announced that it was deploying getplanning to its global portfolio of Connect+ properties (those with more than 450 guest rooms or more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space), which include the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Embassy Suites Hotels brands.

The tool is essentially a customizable, digital three-ring binder that holds all the communication between the event organizer and the meeting property in one Web-based application, from the signing of a contract through billing.

Jon Summersfield, president, Global Event Team, a busy meeting professional, needed a more efficient way to share documents among his staff, his meeting property and its various departments, as well as other vendors. In 2010, he created getplanning for his needs, and his hotel property partners loved it so much that they wanted to adapt it and offer it to their other meeting clients. “Eventually we partnered with Cendyn, a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in turnkey solutions for the travel and hospitality industries,” he said.

Users are assigned one of five categories of administrative rights (hotel, planner, vendor, etc.) and can access parts or all of the meeting information, depending on the administrator or event owner’s wishes.

“You can share all of your meeting docs, BEOs, floor plans, and in any format. They don’t have to be templated,” said Summersfield, who notes the system is accessible via PC, Mac, iPad, or smartphone.

“Speech bubbles are the real-time communication tool and act as texts, with color coded time and date stamps, avoiding long e-mails,” he added.

Other features of the tool:

  • Dissemination of information with chronological organization
  • Single-click to planning documents or systems (floor plans, menus, Passkey, and more)
  • Users can reply to getplanning correspondence directly from their own e-mail inbox
  • Use of mobile devices on-site allows the planner access to daily pick-up reports, food and beverage and banquet checks, weather, etc.
  • Stored information is PCI Compliant Level 1, the highest level of the payment card security standard, even though the tool is not designed to process credit cards.

Last fall, Cendyn acquired Toronto-based Arcaneo, the company behind the Metron strategic meetings management tool. Getplanning is now part of Cendyn Arcaneo’s strategic meeting platform, and the company announced the European launch of getplanning in February.

Event planning organizations or hotels can buy getplanning for a one-time configuration fee and then a licensing fee. Find out about other related tech products at The Meeting Pool, under Paperless Event Binders.