As every planner knows, organizing an event typically begins months in advance and includes several rounds of communication with suppliers and attendees, catering contracts, AV partnerships and a host of other details that are necessary to make a large conference run smoothly. However, this type of preparation requires significant advance notice and can be cumbersome for small groups simply looking to hold an impromptu meeting with minimal support.

Fortunately, there is, quite literally, an app for that.

Keeping in line with the trend toward flexibility and digital communication, major hotels have partnered with the Liquidspace smartphone app to take advantage of an untapped market segment: business travelers and other small groups looking for meeting spaces they can book immediately.

The target audience includes groups coming off the street into hotels looking for a place to talk or work on laptops and groups within a large conference who need to step out for a private conversation.

Mark Gilbreath launched LiquidSpace in May 2011 after three years of preliminary concept work. A self-described “technologist” by trade, Gilbreath had spent years working with software and computer chips in Silicon Valley and was frustrated by the inappropriateness of the commercial office business model. He explains how signing a five-year lease is difficult and impractical, especially for quick-growing companies and start-ups with changing demands.

Gilbreath set out to create a flexible “infinite workplace,” where groups and companies can easily meet their space needs. He first created a prototype building in Boise to explore a new business model; offering a variety of working spaces where members could use what they want and pay for only what they used, but quickly realized real estate was not the best solution.