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ExCeL London - 24-25 February 2021
Meeting and event sourcing platform Groups360 has partnered with meetings management company RainFocus in what is currently a referral alliance, Groups360 CEO Kemp Gallineau told BTN.
Groups360 will prompt planners searching for a meeting venue on the platform with an offer of registration, marketing or meeting services. If accepted, the user will be referred to RainFocus. RainFocus similarly will refer customers looking for sourcing services to Groups360.
"Sourcing, registration, housing, all these things are part of the journey of a meeting planner to get to an event," Gallineau said, adding that clients will be notified of the new alliance. "We started with the sourcing piece, and we knew consumers were going to want the other pieces along the way. The question for us is, do we build it and get in that business, or make partnerships work? For the registration side, we decided a partnership with RainFocus was the right way to go."
RainFocus competes with Cvent, Aventri and other meeting management software companies.
Groups360 chose RainFocus because they've "raised a good amount of money and they're very sustainable," Gallineau said. "Their approach is much like our approach. What they are trying to do to registration is change the way people think about [it] in the sense that registration from the perspective of a supplier is 'I get names and email addresses that go to rooms, and I know where to put [attendees] in seats.' Registration to a meeting planner can mean lots of other things, including the marketing associated with getting people to the meeting and with how you manage that. A lot of times when you're a startup or a small company, you're not only choosing the technology, you're choosing to align with people who have similar visions of accomplishing, in this case, something that is bigger than either one of our platforms, which is helping the industry get better at this very complex problem."
Last year, Groups360 received a $50 million investment from four major hotel companies. It is using that money to develop a booking platform, expected later this year, Gallineau said. "We are past wireframes and into how to ingest it. It's more complex than leisure. The reality is, a lot of people say they can do bookings, but they can really either do rooms or space, but not both. The ability to do both is where the meeting planner wants the industry to go."
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