A new corporate events platform for the capital, dubbed ‘Tripadvisor for the events community’, has been launched by Eventopedia, a start-up founded by hospitality and venue expert Toby Heelis and former corporate agency director Alan Newton.
The online platform, Eventopedia.com, was unveiled at 8 Northumberland Avenue, 26 January, and the founders claim it will save planners time and money as “London’s most comprehensive and independent venue and supplier marketplace and the first to be populated purely by non-advertising based reviews and recommendations”.
The site boasts a search and match function and claims 95 per cent of London event spaces are represented.
Newton, previously a procurement specialist with Grass Roots and Zibrant, says: “Having the majority of suitable corporate venues on one system will save the planner valuable time when venue searching and cut the number of site visits required to create a short list of suitable options.”
Newton and Heelis say the new platform has the backing of senior event heads from leading corporates such as The Financial Times, Informa Plc and Conde Nast.
The new product offers an ‘Ask the Committee’ feature for registered users to request free advice from the experts while planning their events.
Heelis, former marketing director of The Brewery, says he was prompted to launch the venture because he was frustrated by the inefficiencies of the supplier procurement process leading to wasted time for the client and supplier.
The team plans to roll out the product to other major corporate event destinations in 2015, starting with London, Paris and New York.
Newton adds: “Every event planner, PA or marketing executive wants to find the best suppliers and interesting professional venues quickly, risk-free and efficiently. We forecast a 20-30 per cent time saving for event planners which can be better spent concentrating on the content and marketing of the event.”
Global Venues and Travel Manager at Informa, Melissa Willock adds: “Eventopedia is sorely needed in London as it is becoming extremely difficult to differentiate between suppliers using the current Internet resources. As the community builds, the reviews from fellow professionals will become extremely helpful and powerful”.
Eventopedia also launched its VSI (Virtual Site Inspection) interactive video for event venues and destinations.
Heelis says: “Every event organiser wants to find the best and most interesting venues quickly, risk-free and efficiently. If we can cut the thousands of unnecessary site visits by 20 or 30 per cent, the whole industry will benefit not just the planners and venues.”
Entry-level 90-second video starts at £2,500 plus an annual hosting fee.
Eventopedia.com is not the first attempt to bring the Tripadvisor
format to the events sector. Former VisitBrighton chief of business
tourism Adam Bates launched venueadvisor.com last May.
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