Small Meetings eXpert Provides Greater Control and Transparency over Unmanaged T&E Category and Real-Time Access to its Network of Meeting Space Suppliers
NEW YORK, April 02, 2009 — American Express Business Travel, a global industry leader in business travel management, today announced Small Meetings eXpert, a first of its kind online marketplace reinventing the way users plan and book meetings with fewer than 50 attendees. This fully automated solution drives much needed control to what is considered one of the last areas of unmanaged T&E spending. Small meetings often represent unseen spend that can equal an incremental two thirds of a company’s managed meeting spend. Through the control and transparency provided by Small Meetings eXpert, companies are able to consolidate this previously unseen and unmanaged spend and ultimately drive significant savings to their bottom line.
“Smaller meetings tend to fly under the radar in most companies, and until now, remained the last uncharted territory for online procurement,” said Issa Jouaneh, vice president, strategic meeting management, American Express Business Travel. “Couple this with the fact that meetings of all sizes are under increased scrutiny now, and it is clear there has never been a better time for companies to employ an innovative solution like Small Meetings eXpert where greater visibility can be gained, and is offered through a convenient online platform that can easily be deployed across a business.”
Small Meetings eXpert, powered by Worktopia®, Inc, our selected meetings technology provider, provides real-time connection to browse content, compare rates and book guest rooms, meeting space, catering and audio visual equipment. The solution also offers exclusive access to pre-negotiated rates and packaged deals from the American Express hotel and meeting supplier network. Small Meetings eXpert is the only product available that enables users to place a temporary hold on meeting space. This allows for the additional time that may be needed to seek internal approval prior to making a final commitment. Attendee management and reporting capabilities are also key features of the solution.
Companies using Small Meetings eXpert will be afforded the precision and control needed to minimize excess costs and begin to manage this large area of corporate spending. The solution integrates standard, pre-established terms and conditions that not only help to protect against some of the costly penalties that may be incurred in the event of a meeting cancellation or change, but also remove the manual effort and potential delays inherent in the request for proposal process. The added benefit of time is given back to employees using Small Meetings eXpert by taking the guesswork and legwork out of the planning process.
“Small Meetings eXpert is a solution that can be used by anyone responsible for planning a meeting, whether they are an experienced meeting professional, an administrative assistant, sales staff or first-time organizer,” continued Mr. Jouaneh. “Small Meetings eXpert also helps companies reduce costs by ensuring rates are very competitive thanks to an unparalleled network of American Express supplier relationships. Suppliers partnering to provide content to Small Meetings eXpert will equally benefit from this unique online marketplace where they can directly offer their meeting services to clients of American Express Business Travel.”
Small Meetings eXpert complements the portfolio of products and services already available through American Express Business Travel for strategic meeting management. Clients in the United States will begin piloting the solution this spring. Additional market roll-out plans and features are to be announced in the coming months.
About American Express Business Travel
American Express Business Travel (www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel), a division of American Express Company, is committed to helping its clients maximize the greatest return on their travel investment through increased cost savings, world-class customer service and greater spending control. Ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading technology, travel management consulting, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support, alongside global customer service available online and offline. The Company also provides a dynamic online community (www.BusinessTravelConneXion.com) harnessing the collective intelligence of those in the business travel industry offering a variety of perspectives, best practices, current research and industry news.
American Express operates one of the world’s largest travel agency networks with locations in over 140 countries worldwide. The Company processed $25.4 billion in global travel sales in 2008.
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.