Expedia, an online travel company, announced its automated MICE online booking engine has started rolling out to select strategic hotel partners in the U.S. The company said the white-label technology solution is a ready-to-implement, back-end software that hotels can integrate into their websites.

According to Expedia, the goal of its Meeting Market technology is to accelerate and simplify an expensive and historically time-consuming RFP process for small-to-medium-sized meetings and events. The company claims that its software will enable hotels to answer RFPs approximately 20 times faster.

The software aims to assist hotels with booking smaller, less complex meetings that don't require as much customization.

Expedia said that “by automating the MICE planning and booking process for smaller meetings, hotel sales managers can focus their time and effort on larger or more complex, and higher margin RFPs.”

The company’s Meeting Market MICE booking engine allows meeting and event planners to instantly search, price, configure and book meeting space online, including any AV, equipment and catering needs, as well as group lodging. Hotels can leverage the technology for one or hundreds of properties.

“MICE is a massive market and growing opportunity for hotels, but there has never been a scalable or effective solution for hotels to manage and grow meetings and events revenue and bookings online,” said Felix Undeutsch, head of MICE, the Expedia group. “Our MICE technology solution was designed specifically to address a pain point for our hotel partners, as well as automate a traditionally frustrating process for meeting planners. MICE booking efficiency and online automation is an industry issue we’re excited to tackle.”

Rolled out first in Germany with select hotel partners, initial results from the test period with Best Western Hotels Central Europe have shown a significant improvement in the RFP process.

According to Expedia’s test period results, the technology moved the quote response time from an average of five hours to an average of just 14 minutes, from initial request to the quote being sent to the customer.

The solution has now rolled out with additional chain partners and independent hotels throughout EMEA and APAC, and Expedia said that partner discussions are well underway with U.S. chains.

Expedia’s MICE online booking engine is part of the Expedia Powered Technology toolkit. For more information about Expedia’s new MICE technology, please visit www.expediameetings.solutions.