GetThere First To Make Online Meeting Planning a Standard Feature In Corporate Online Booking Solution

Builds in Solution For Planning Corporate Meetings and Links to Large Event Planning Technology from seeUthere and StarCite

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 2, 2004– Recognizing the trends discussed in a new National Business Travel Association white paper, GetThere(R) today announced that it is making online meeting planning a standard feature of its industry-leading corporate online travel solution. GetThere also announced that it has signed agreements and is already integrating with solutions from seeUthere Technologies and StarCite to enable companies to book travel on GetThere for larger events planned through those offerings.

“The NBTA committee pointed to a clear need for Strategic Meetings Management, which focuses on aligning corporate travel and meeting planning to gain much more efficiency for both,” said Kari Kesler, National Business Travel Association Groups & Meetings Committee. “Making meeting planning a standard element of online travel demonstrates GetThere’s leadership in helping companies capitalize on this important new cost reduction opportunity immediately.”

In corporations, there are two distinct types of meetings — 1) those that require the services and expertise of a professional meeting planner, and 2) those that are more ‘ad hoc’, or informal, in nature and are planned by administrative assistants or non-professional meeting planners and represent 80 percent of a company’s meeting spend, according to data released by PhoCusWright. While each type of meeting has unique technological needs, the common denominator is that companies are looking to give planners and attendees self-service tools that result in greater satisfaction and lower costs for the company.

“In working with the world’s leading companies and this NBTA committee, it became very clear that one of the next frontiers in self-service and cost savings in corporations is automation of meeting planning and booking the travel to those meetings online,” said Mike Malinchok, director of meeting planning solutions at GetThere. “We are making online planning and attendee travel a standard feature of the GetThere booking system for what is considered to be the majority of a corporation’s meetings — the smaller, ad hoc events planned by non-professional meeting arrangers.”

“Additionally, we are integrating with two of the leading solutions for professional meeting planners, seeUthere and StarCite, to ensure travel to meetings planned in either of those tools can be easily booked through our online booking system, which is the most widely used in Fortune 500 companies,” added Malinchok.

Standard Features for Planning Ad Hoc Meetings

To address the large volume of ad hoc meetings, GetThere is integrating tools designed for the non-professional meeting planner, and directing its future development to making those tools even more simple-to-use, requiring little to no training. The functionality will be included, and the only cost is a small premium on a group-related travel booking through the GetThere tool — a process similar to, but at a much lower cost than the way group travel bookings are made over the phone today.

seeUthere and StarCite Integration to Help the Professional Meeting Planner

In its white paper, NBTA made a clear distinction between the needs of the professional planner and those employees planning ad hoc meetings. The document points to distinct technology and process requirements that a travel manager needs to embrace to gain the support of the professional planners for a Strategic Meetings Management Program.

GetThere has responded to this by forging alliances with StarCite and seeUthere, allowing for greater flexibility in choosing the meeting planning tool(s) that best fit the needs of the company as well as the needs and preferences of the professional meeting planners — while still driving travelers into GetThere’s online travel environment. The integration is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2004.

About GetThere

GetThere is the world’s leading online corporate travel reservation technology, and is one of the key solutions offered to the corporate marketplace by Sabre Holdings. GetThere enables global corporations and government agencies to provide a convenient way for employees to book travel and plan meetings while significantly reducing costs. GetThere’s advanced technology works with all major global distribution systems (GDS) and all travel management companies. More than 3,000 corporations, including 65 percent share of the Fortune 200, use GetThere. More information is available at

Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG) is a world leader in travel commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

    CONTACT: GetThere
             Media Contact:
             Dan Toporek, 415-932-1163
             Vollmer Public Relations, Dallas
             Mary Kate Smither, 972-488-4790
             Chintan Talati, 972-488-4790

    SOURCE: GetThere