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ABC Connection offers single point solution

ABC Connection has proved that robust hotel and conference venue data is no longer out of the reach of the smaller agent. In just 4 years, ABC Connection has become widely recognised as the industry standard for hotel and conference venue data, but whilst some of the biggest hotel booking and venue-find agencies have selected ABC Connection, many agencies with turnovers of less £10m have also signed and are now reaping the benefits of consistent, reliable and flexible property data. In many respects, smaller agents like ours need more data on a wider range of properties than our larger competitors says Penny Marlow of First Choice Conferences and Events, based in Cheltenham. Most of our clients do not have preferred venues which they use frequently, but instead come to us for the best deal on the day. That means having a consistent level of information across a much wider range of properties. Agents like us usually book more independent venues than the big boys, and here that the ABC solution really comes into its own. It would simply be cost prohibitive for us to have our people gather the information in house, let along develop the systems to house that data Marlow concluded. The cost of systems development is taken up by Rod Spencer of Prestige Hotel Reservations in Stockport, Cheshire.For a smaller agent, GDS fees are prohibitive, which means that we have to rely on systems weve developed for our own use. The ABC solution works because it fits with our system and because the costs involved are virtually zero. For any small business, thats a very compelling proposition. Some problems are common amongst agents, regardless of size. HBAs reservations teams dont have time to spend trawling through hotel groups own sites for information, so agency principals need a solution that gives them everything they need, but in one place, as Jeff Fenton of event management and venue sourcing specialist Proposal confirms. In order to match our recommendations to our clients requirements our consultants would have to spend ages either trawling websites for floor plans or on the phone to find out what AV facilities are available in a particular meeting room, for example. The ABC product dramatically reduces the time in which we can confirm a booking for a client, which is vital Fenton says. The problem is even greater for conference bookings, for which traditional reference books are only now being replaced with on-line tools.Meeting enquiries are inevitably far more complex than bed bookings explains ABC Chairman Martin Coleman.Thats where our solution wins, because we provide images, 360 degree views, information on WiFi, in-room internet connections, and plasma screens as well as the bread and butter of any conference enquiry such as floor plans and so on. We take great care to ensure that the property information we hold is regularly up-dated, and we constantly develop additional information modules to support the industries needs Martin concluded.

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