Hilton Hotels Corp. last month announced the further rollout of its E-Events online small meeting booking service, one year after the tool's soft launch. The system allows groups of up to 25 people to reserve a block of hotel rooms, meeting space, audiovisual equipment and food and beverages in one non-negotiable package.

"It really addresses the ongoing demands and the changing customer buying habits that we've seen," said Bob Brooks, vice president of e-sales strategy and performance for Hilton.

The program, which launched in April 2006, has been used to book more than 1,200 events, 45 percent of which were booked by corporate buyers. It not only shows hotel room and meeting space rates, but also the amount of people that a particular room can hold in several different meeting space layouts and a running cost estimate on the side of the Web pages.

While the initial program is aimed at small meetings and events, the ability to book larger groups online could be coming in the near future.

"We've already gotten a sense from a number of our larger hotels that they would like to increase that limit of 25 rooms to 50 or 100," said Brooks.

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