Zentila, the pioneering online strategic sourcing provider for meetings and conventions, officially launched the industry’s first platform to address the specific needs of independent and third-party planners.
The new solution, illuminate3P, combines the most powerful elements of Zentila’s sourcing technology with a comprehensive set of business analytics and management tools. The new, user-friendly platform is designed to help intermediary planners increase customer acquisition and retention while saving days of work compared to traditional methods.
“Many third-party planners have been using existing technologies that were not developed with them in mind,” said Mike Mason, CEO, Zentila. “illuminate3P is the first solution built specifically to help them manage all the information and changes that take place during the planning process and get their meetings booked.”
“With illuminate3P, planners keep all the commission,” Mason continued. “This solution simplifies the most time-intensive tasks. Planners can drop the hours spent searching hotels, aggregating data and managing hotel bids and meeting owner changes. illuminate3P frees them up to spend more time building their relationships with both customers and hotels.”
Addresses Top Pain Points
In developing illuminate3P, Zentila interviewed experienced independent and third-party planners to determine what they would like to see most in a sourcing solution.
When asked, “With your current sourcing process in mind, please select the three steps that cause you the greatest frustration,” planners chose the following:
- 1: Going back and forth with hotels to collect bid details
- 2: Creating RFPs
- 3: Compiling and updating bid summaries
Among the other tasks planners identified as causing frequent frustration were managing meeting owner changes (revised dates, updated room counts, etc.) and hotel search.
“illuminate3P addresses each of the top pain points with an online solution that’s easy to use and fun for both planners and hotels,” Mason says. He offers these highlights below of this first-of-its-kind solution.
Interactive Bid Summary – Instead of spending hours on spreadsheet work, planners can create an accurate, updateable bid summary in a few minutes. illuminate3P aggregates all hotel data automatically in a fully customizable, drag-and-drop summary. The platform puts all the key data points in one place for easy comparisons of costs and concession value. Planners can see at a glance which bid offers the best value.
Greater Transparency – “illuminate3P is the first sourcing solution to bring complete transparency to meeting planning,” Mason says. The system’s innovative iSite technology enables planners to provide their customers with a birds-eye view of the planning as it evolves in real time. They can share as much or as little as they like to keep customers in the loop on the entire process – hotels sourced, proposals returned, bid summaries, updates and more. “That level of visibility helps build trust quickly and strengthen customer relations early on in the process,” Mason explains.
Streamlined RFP Creation – illuminate3P enables planners to build a complete RFP with custom meeting agenda in a few minutes versus the hours many say this task now takes. The solution speeds up RFP creation with template-based “smart” technology. From there, planners can tailor each RFP using the drag-and-drop agenda builder for specific requirements like room count, breakouts, seating arrangements, etc. They also can add notes to RFPs, which hotels must acknowledge they have read before they can respond.
Hotel Proposals Fast – The carefully targeted RFPs virtually eliminate days of back-and-forth dialogue planners engage in to gather the information they need from hotels. With illuminate3P, planners can receive complete responses that meet their criteria the first time around.
Smart Hotel Search – Key to illuminate3P’s speed and precision is its ad-free venue search. In a radical departure, the site allows no hotel advertising. Planners can browse venues worldwide. Like other Zentila platforms, illuminate3P displays only those properties with the guestrooms and space to fit the meeting requirements. Planner-focused filters further refine the search, based on customizable criteria, such as date of last renovation, drive time to airport, meeting room size, and more.
Every hotel with meeting space is in the illuminate3P database, with ratings instantly available, courtesy of Northstar Travel Media. Planners can find hotels that satisfy all their meeting needs in a few clicks. Mousing over each property, they can compare options easily and export their top picks to the meeting owner.
Easy Reporting – Also unprecedented, illuminate3P produces easy-to-read reports for each customer in minutes. The reports show such key data points as total meeting cost, negotiated savings, brand spend, spend by month and more.
Business Intelligence – The solution’s full set of business intelligence tools helps planners work smarter by automating such tasks as tracking commissions, tailoring agreements by customer, forecasting income, and reconciling past invoices, among other essential tasks.
Better Team Management – illuminate3P also provides visibility into team performance in real time. Managers can view all meetings booked or operated in a single click. They also can track and manage commissions with commission-split by customer and team member, and report on key metrics for better team management.
For more information and to try a 60-day free trial of the first-of-its-kind, user-friendly illuminate3P, call 407-656-5683 or visit zentila.com/illuminate3p