FCM M&E Launches Hubli-Powered Mtgs. Bookings


Flight Centre Travel Group’s meetings and events division has launched FCM Venue Finder, a customized iteration of Hubli that includes more than 200,000 bookable hotel spaces and unique event venues worldwide. 

The move comes on the heels of the group’s September announcement that its meetings and events business would pursue global ambitions as FCM M&E, after operating on a market-by-market approach for many years. 

Sydney-based Simone Seiler is running the global operation as general manager.

“We’re experiencing and anticipating a steady annual growth rate of demand at 12 percent year on year for in-person meetings, which means we have some exciting opportunities coming our way,” Seiler said in a statement. She added that the technology would put FCM and its clients in a power position as meeting demand and competition for prime meetings spaces intensifies. 

FCM Venue Finder provides “real-time” online sourcing and booking capabilities for users and includes controls for policies around such items as cost and sustainability requirements. 

Hubli founder and CEO Ciaran Delaney told BTN the FCM iteration of the platform was customized with the meeting agency’s preferred hotel partners, centralized single sign-on, a specialized reporting analytics API, contract and master services agreement automation and enhanced coverage of sustainable venues. 

“We believe that this is a game-changer for how we deliver our content to people who want to save valuable time and money,” Seiler said.

Real-time group venue sourcing and bookings has been a major push for meetings and event agencies, technology providers and hotel companies as meetings and group business surged post-pandemic. A 2023 report from Grand View Research projected the overall meetings, incentive, conference and exhibition business, known as MICE, would expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent from 2023 to 2030. 

Hubli is among a few technology platforms that have built out real-time functionalities as the industry has intensified a focus on expediting the sourcing, contracting and booking process for groups. The platform rolled out Venue Connect in November, which allows its marketplace participants to hook up their property management systems to expose real-time availability and enable bookings within the Hubli tools. This is a growing trend, with Cvent and Groups360 also racing to enable “instant booking” capabilities for meetings and groups, but both the tech rollout and the property onboarding process has been slow to market, though the pace recently has accelerated.  

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