Event platform Hire Space has predicted that businesses will make thousands of hours’ worth of savings annually on meetings and events, by accessing new technology that allows venues across the world to be booked in a few clicks online.
The technology start-up, backed by the founder of restaurant booking app TopTable.com, has introduced instant booking technology, which enables businesses to book and pay for over 3000 of the 100,000 venues it works with instantly. The company expects the number of venues available to book instantly to quadruple in the next 12 months. This translates to thousands of hours of savings on venue negotiations, signalling a significant step forward for the £84bn UK events sector, which has prioritised efficiency savings as it rebuilds from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hire Space Co-founder, Edward Poland, describes the technology as groundbreaking in the events world. “Events have lagged behind other sectors when it comes to instant booking. This is the start of a new era which will empower event bookers to become more efficient in their roles, and mean huge savings for businesses. A company with typical enterprise meeting and event requirements stands to save thousands of hours of administration time.”
Hire Space’s technology allows employees tasked with organising meetings and events to search and discover venues using search filters including price, location and capacity. They can then book directly, without the need to create unnecessary back and forth with suppliers. Hire Space also offers an enterprise service, Hire Space 360, which provides integrated sourcing, smart payment and contracting solutions for businesses with large meeting and event programs.
Luke Fagg, Senior Marketing Manager at CoachHub, a client of Hire Space 360, reports: “Hire Space has saved us countless hours negotiating with suppliers as well as offering excellent logistical support. We are really looking forward to the launch of their instant booking service that I believe will take this to a whole new level.”
As Poland states: “The traditional model of booking meetings and events through a convoluted process of searching for suitable venues, and spending days of back and forth discussing price and availability with the venue, is being turned on its head. Whether you’re a large corporate with a multi-million pound events program, or a busy PA tasked with booking the office Christmas party, this technology provides huge time and cost upside.”
Abby Darke, Executive Assistant at Acrisure, said: “Hire Space’s technology and support meant I could ultimately organise a successful event whilst juggling my other priorities. The ability to quickly find the ideal venue, and book it without hassle, was transformational.”
Last year an industry report by Verified Market Research estimated that the global meeting and events industry was worth $886.99 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $2,194.40 billion by 2028. Adam Parry, Founder of Event Industry News, a leading events industry publication, said: “What’s happening in meetings and events is the start of a transformation similar to that witnessed by the travel sector two decades ago, when companies such as Expedia and Hotels.com fundamentally changed the landscape by making supplier inventory more readily accessible. It’s a rapidly changing business environment which will be worth billions in savings.”
The demand for streamlined technology around meetings and events has been a major focus for businesses hit by challenging economic times. According to a report by ICE (In-House Corporate Event Planners), some event costs have gone up by as much as 40%-60%, leaving companies grappling with reduced resources and tightened budgets post-pandemic.
In these challenging times Hire Space has seen a 187% increase in take up of its enterprise solutions from businesses looking to deepen digitalisation to create cost-savings since the pandemic. The business is continuing to invest in the future of meeting and event booking, including the release of an AI-driven recommendation tool for release in the near future, and is anticipating sustained emphasis on speed and efficiency from its clients through the next 24 months.
As Poland says: “Procurement has been a major time drain in events, particularly since Covid. Tools like Hire Space 360 and instant booking harness technology to cut this time drastically, giving event planners back critical time to focus on their events.”