26 May 2005 | Liam O'Brien
Purchasers will be able to cut event management costs by 10 per cent using a new online service, according to American Express which this month launched Meeting View Express.
Amex claims the service will make huge cuts to this "unmanaged" area of expense. The company estimates $100 billion a year is spent on events.
Users of the system will pay an annual subscription and log on to a hosted site that enables them to plan for an event anywhere in the world.
The site finds the best-value airline tickets, hotel rooms and venues and can arrange audio-visual equipment, refreshments, travel to and from the venue, and other services. It sources deals from 40,000 hotels across the world and 30,000 suppliers.
To compare costs, purchasers can submit an electronic request for proposal to preferred suppliers. They can also view all meeting and event spending.
All meeting and event spending, which is paid for by Amex Corporate Meeting Card, is tracked on one system.
Paul Abbott, the company's vice-president head of commercial card in the UK and the Benelux countries, said: "We reckon that up to 40 per cent of travel and entertainment spending is on meetings, which works out at about $100 billion globally.
"It is a very big expense that is unmanaged by the vast majority of companies."