Meeting by the minute, Russian-style!

By Joseph Davies, business development manager at North West venue owner Ziferblat

Meetings and events clients’ demands have changed in a relatively short period of time.

When we originally launched our meeting room offering, we initially expected creative agencies, start ups and charities would be attracted to our unusual pay-per-minute model.

However, more frequently, we are attracting large organisations such as Santander, Google, BBC, NHS and Bauer Media. From working with these clients, we have noted a number of market trends.

Many of our clients are left disgruntled by the more traditional operators. The inflexible nature of minimum half-day spends, exclusive purchase of in-house catering and additional costs for basic projection equipment all seem to be pain points for regular bookers.

An emphasis is also placed on a ‘creative environment’. This may be achieved by design or by atmosphere but in order to spark delegates’ imagination, many large companies are on the hunt for more unique spaces.

The types of events have changed. There is a far greater variety of events taking place for example private dining, training, conferences, parties, incentive travel and a whole host of new ideas.Furthermore, we are seeing more clients opting for Liverpool and Manchester in lieu of London which is an incredibly exciting and a tribute to way both cities are developing.”

In Ziferblat’s meeting rooms, delegates are charged six pence per person per minute to use the rooms and everything else is included. Each room includes 100mb Wi-Fi, stationery, projection equipment and unlimited refreshments in their fully stocked Zifer-kitchen. Their rooms include themes such as a chintzy vintage dining room and a primary school classroom. The public sitting room space has no minimum spend but the meeting rooms do have a minimum hourly spend which equates to roughly 50% of the room’s capacity.

The pay per minute concept was started in Moscow back in 2011 by a group of poets who were looking for a flexible space to work and socialise. Their aim was to reinterpret how we use city centre spaces and the idea quickly grew in popularity.

Ziferblat launched its first venue in Manchester 18 months ago and two more in Liverpool since then.

Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

Martin Fullard

Author

Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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