When Airbnb and Uber came on the scene a few years ago, industry analysts were doubtful they would ever penetrate the meetings and events space in a meaningful way. But these ‘disruptors’ have not only become key service suppliers for accommodation, transportation and venues, they have also led to the development of event-specific platforms. Here we profile the top five sharing economy tools for meetings and events:

VizEat
Founder: Jean-Michel Petit
Launch: 2014

The idea VizEat is a network where travellers from around the world can meet locals at their home for an immersive culinary experience – and offers rare insight into the lives of local people.

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The appeal It’s a very simple process. VizEat creates a separate website with a curated selection of verified experiences ready for automatic bookings. Delegates choose their preferred host on a first-come-first-served basis. VizEat also insures guests and hosts up to £1 million (US$1.2 million).

The future A Chinese-language version recently launched, while event services in Hong Kong and Singapore are set to launch by Q3 2017.

Showslice
Co-founder: Damian Oracki
Launch: 2016

The idea Showslice allows event organisers to share the costs of equipment hire, set-up and tear down and reduce venue rental days by hosting their events back-to-back with others. It also allows venues to accommodate more events during peak event seasons.

The appeal Showslice can lead to 30-70 per cent cost reduction depending on the type of event and how many organisers are sharing the equipment and space.

The future Currently offered at 200 London venues, expanding into Germany and North America in 2018. Asia Pacific to follow.

Shoeslice co-founder Damian Oracki

 

Fly Another Day
Founder: Michael Gentle
Launch: 2016

The idea To help event planners choose the best date and location by avoiding date clashes with holidays, festivals, trade shows, elections, strikes and road closure events such as parades and marathons, across major cities – including 24 in Asia Pacific.

The appeal Fly Another Day automates this ordinarily time-consuming process then recommends the best dates and locations to maximise attendance by checking not only disruptive activity in the destination, but also likely participant availability.

The future The next step is to integrate with venue finding services. The platform is currently being piloted by several agencies and incorporating their feedback. Gentle says the results will soon also show pricing data and direct flight connections.

MeetingsBooker
Founder: Ciaran Delaney
Launch: 2010

The idea The initial service was an RFP platform where planners could submit one RFP to multiple venues and receive proposals. A direct online booking service was launched in 2014 and is available in more than 100 countries.

The appeal You can book the meeting room, coffee breaks, lunch menu and any AV equipment at any time of day, anywhere in the world. It also allows venues to yield meeting rooms as they do with guest rooms. And nearly 50 per cent of users leave helpful reviews for their peers, these include the company name and meeting date.

The future Hotels and agencies are incorporating the software into their own websites. Regus Business Centres recently integrated it into their global centralised booking system. Venues are also starting to yield their meeting rooms, offering discounted rates for certain days of the week.

MeetingsBooker founder Ciaran Delaney


air events global

Founder: Victoria Garlick
Launch: 2017

The idea air events global was created from conversations with frustrated event students who couldn’t find casual work to hone their skills, and event managers in need of extra hands during peak season. Garlick says the light bulb moment was being able to connect both sides of the marketplace via an online community.

The appeal Event agencies that no longer need a full roster of full-time staff can benefit from outsourcing an on-demand workforce, saving time and money. Event freelancers and recent graduates can also hone their skills by working with a variety of different agencies. 

The future An ever-expanding online community that provides an on-demand event workforce across the region.