Hilton bullish on web planning tool


Hilton Hotels Corp. said bookings of wedding parties on e-Events, an online planning and booking tool, increased 211% in 2008 over the previous year.

E-Events, introduced in December 2005, enables couples, wedding planners and travel agents to create a wedding celebration at HiltonFamilyeEvents.com.

"We developed e-Events to address the growing needs of people to plan, book and manage their events online at their convenience. Our research continues to reflect the ongoing trend of many first-time planners, primarily Gen-X and Gen-Y users, who drive the online booking process," said Bob Brooks, vice president of e-sales strategy and performance for Hilton Hotels Corp. "Our focus is to make booking online group accommodations easy, convenient and seamless."

An e-Events search feature finds hotels with the guest rooms and space required, and other tools enable the bridal couple to assign their group’s rooms themselves or let the guests choose and pay for their own rooms.

Once the wedding is booked, couples have immediate access to booking tools and resources that enable them to manage their guest room list online and create a customized web page for their event. They also receive a call from the hotel, offering additional assistance.

The personalized group home page allows guests to reserve their own rooms at the special group rate within the block set aside for the wedding. The site also displays maps, directions and details of the reception.

The Guest List Manager feature lets couples book accommodations for their guests, five at a time up to 25 rooms; view the up to date number of reserved rooms; and download and print guest list reservations.

To set up the Guest List Manager, the person doing the planning will need a Hilton HHonors account number or Fast Reservations profile, which can be created online. According to a Hilton spokeswoman, the confirmation e-mail for the e-Events reservation will include — or the hotel will provide — the hotel property code, a group code and a group beginning and ending date.

Other planning tools enable couples to create seating arrangements, print step-by-step checklists and search for off-season rates.

In addition to weddings, eEvents was created to assist planners of small meetings and social functions, such as family reunions.

Hilton Hotels brands include Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and the Waldorf-Astoria Collection.


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