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5 Ways to Search, Source, and Book Destinations Smarter—Not Harder

Here, learn how technology is revolutionizing the way group travel planners shop for destinations and hotels.

Groups360, GroupSync
Search more than 200,000 hotels worldwide on GroupSync.
Photo: Groups360

As demand for in-person events accelerates, meeting and event planners are busier than ever. Attendees are ready to meet with colleagues, make new connections, and enjoy the enthusiasm generated by gathering together.

Long before the first attendees check in, though, comes the often-arduous process of securing the venue. Let’s admit it, planners: Sourcing destinations and hotels, determining space and availability, and crafting RFPs—not to mention waiting on responses—are not exactly your favorite part of the job.

Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be so hard or frustrating anymore. The Groups360 team has been in your shoes—both behind and in front of the check-in desk—and has reinvented the sourcing process to benefit both planners and hotels.

Free to qualified planners, GroupSync is the industry’s leading online marketplace for searching, sourcing, and booking hotel rooms and meeting spaces for groups. So, before you log in to Google, send an email, or pick up the phone, here are five ways you can shave weeks—even months—off your sourcing timeline by shopping smarter, not harder.

1. Zero in on thousands of properties.
It goes without saying that the more options you have, the harder it is to choose. The first step to smarter shopping is to recapture the time spent looking in the wrong place for the right space.

One of the primary advantages of the GroupSync Marketplace is its proprietary algorithm, designed to match you with destinations and properties that align with your specific needs and preferences. Preferences include your destination options, event dates, room count, average daily room rate, meeting space requirements, and distance from airports, as well as ideal hotel brands and amenities.

Featuring more than 200,000 properties worldwide, GroupSync search results include only properties that can accommodate your group. Destinations and hotels are also scored according to how well they align with your needs and preferences.

You can see at a glance your top contenders as well as numerous other relevant options. And unlike legacy systems, there are no ads or paid placements—just what fits your needs. With the right results, you’ll be one step closer to that perfect booking.

2. Check the price tag and comparison-shop.
For decades, one of the greatest barriers to efficient sourcing has been a lack of transparency in pricing and availability. But in the face of rising costs, it’s more important than ever to avoid sticker shock.

When evaluating destinations, smart shopping means checking and comparing prices. In select markets, the GroupSync Market Estimate displays average hotel room rates before, during, and after your selected event dates—as well as occupancy data—to better inform your decision-making.

Suppose your preferred destinations are out of your budget. In that case, GroupSync recommends additional cities that match your needs and preferences, so you can comparison-shop places you may not have considered.

When evaluating properties, many hotel profiles in GroupSync offer breakdowns of additional costs (think: taxes, resort fees, banquet service charges, self-parking, valet, and more) so you know what to expect on the final receipt.

3. Find innovative ways to cut costs.
When inputting your event dates, a GroupSync Insights pop-up box will advise you on whether you’re searching outside the optimal date range, which could result in higher rates from responding hotels. If your dates are flexible, this data can help you save money by booking in a different time window.

GroupSync search fields allow you to search within a city, near points of interest, or in proximity to a specific address. Want to save on airfare? Source a hotel in an area within driving distance of the majority of your attendees.

Every smart shopper looks for a deal. GroupSync search results also highlight properties with incentives that align with your group event or preferences, as well as those with need dates that might give you a price advantage on room rates.

Groups360, GroupSyncFind the perfect hotel match for your group on GroupSync.Photo: Groups360

4. Send more effective, standout RFPs.
Hospitality professionals across the industry often wear multiple hats these days. Since you still need to send thorough RFPs, your detailed and well-informed GroupSync RFP can lead to faster, better responses from hotels. 

You can also manage potential budget issues by keeping stakeholders in the loop on your sourcing process. Before submitting your RFP to hotels, you can email a PDF of the GroupSync summary to collaborators, who can then offer feedback all within the same space, keeping your shopping right on track.

When finalizing the RFP, you have the opportunity to add in other information, such as a list of requested concessions, preferred attrition rate, and other details relevant to your program. 

5. Book rooms, space, or both instantly online. (Yes, really.)
Save time shopping by jumping straight to the front of the checkout line. For the first time in the industry, planners can book group hotel rooms, meeting space, or both—as well as AV, F&B, and more–online with a single purchase through GroupSync. 

Ideal for smaller, simpler meetings, GroupSync Instant Booking connects you to one million available rooms—soon to be three million—ready for booking online, without an RFP. You have access to live room inventory at more than 7,000 leading hotels now, as well as meeting space at thousands of properties by year’s end. GroupSync is also the booking engine behind Hilton’s meetings and events website.

Your GroupSync search results will show you at a glance which hotels offer Instant Booking—just look for the lightning bolt. Your login credentials will also reflect any group rates or discounts you’ve previously negotiated with your preferred hotels.

Even if your event requires an RFP, GroupSync displays live hotel room inventory from Hilton, Marriott, and Omni, as well as a growing number of IHG properties, so you know if a hotel can accommodate your room block.

With GroupSync, your perfect destination and hotel are easily within reach. 

Ready to get started? Sign up for your free GroupSync account at and start searching, sourcing, and booking smarter today.