Ottawa startup’s cloud service for meeting planners


Howard Solomon| Itworldcanada

A phone call has a number of virtues: It’s personal, precise and two-way. That’s if you get who you’re calling. Otherwise it can be a game of tag that leaves no trail. Some organizations need a communications trail they can follow to ensure instructions are being carried out. That’s why Ottawa startup Benbria Corp. this week released a version of its cloud-based BlazeLoop messaging solution aimed at hotel event planners.

Called Mobile Event Engagement, it lets private meeting planners who work for corporations, conventions or weddings to text hotel staff about last-minute changes – more coffee is needed, please turn up the heat, the digital projector is broken – without having to leave the meeting.

Whoever the planner deals with at the hotel gets messages fast, can forward them to the appropriate staff and has a record of all requests and whether they were satisfied.

The hope is that a satisfied planner will recommend the hotel to clients for future events. Meanwhile the hotel can keep tabs on the changes for accurate billing.

“Because it’s a Web-based, the meeting planner doesn’t have to download anything,” said Tony Busa, Benbria’s director of marketing.

Busa said the service is aimed at any sized hotel, from large chains to individual hotel. The institution pays for the service, which is free to planners.


Nyle Kelly, director of operations at Ottawa’s Brookstreet Hotel, a boutique inn near the city’s tech companies, has been testing the app since December and says planners find it useful.

Usually planners would leave a meeting to find hotel staff or try to leave voice messages on cellphones or a hotel house phone.

The app “allows them a tool to communicate with us in real time without interrupting their event,” he said. Meanwhile hotel staff have a “discrete and unobtrusive way” of communicating with the planners.

Mobile Event Engagement includes a Web portal that ties into a hotel’s communications system. The simple interface – which can be customized –breaks down possible issues to four categories (food and beverage, meeting room, audio-visual and other) – with subgroups for quick messaging.



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