Latest eVenues News
Jun 1, 2012
Enlarge Seattle startup eVenues has developed a way for event planners to find and rent venues for their events. While someone planning a company party or conference typically would have to call multiple venues to find the best deal and space, eVenues is a one-stop shop for a variety of meeting spaces. EVenues CEO and co-founder David Jennings took a moment to answer a few questions about the company. Enlarge What is your elevator pitch? eVenues is building the smartest marketplace for consumers searching and booking small meeting and event space – bookable by the hour or day. We let all types of venues from art galleries to hotel conference rooms market themselves on our site, plus take advantage of our free SaaS (software as a service) scheduling platform. We have already helped several venue owners uncover a new source of income. We came up with the idea ... It all started while working on another project — building a social dating network. Although we had come up with a valuable way to connect people through interesting classes and events, it became clear that we also needed a database of venues so these classes and events could come together without a hitch. Hence, eVenues was born. The word that describes our company culture is ... Service. At this stage, it’s all about iterating on a problem, learning, and adjusting the levers so we can offer the best value to our customers and venue partners. We’re constantly releasing new features for both the venues and buyers, and, we’ll drop everything to connect a prospective customer with the right venue. We’re also beginning to negotiate on behalf of the customer. Today, the company has a no-questions-asked refund policy. We are different from the competition because ... We’ve developed a powerful backend system which allows customers to book instantly or just-in-time, which is unprecedented in the meetings and hospitality industry. Most sites don’t go much further than scraping data and spamming venues with low-quality leads. Also, we now offer venues a non-bookable listing. We specialize in discount boardrooms, event spaces, and training rooms. But customers come to us searching for all types of unique spaces. Recently, we’ve found and listed many unique smaller venues such as neighborhood cinemas, non-profit community halls or churches, and small yacht clubs. The biggest challenge we face is ... Innovating new methods to close the hundreds of leads we receive each month. The process involved with booking some spaces (for example, hotel spaces) can be tricky. We continue to find ways to reduce complexity and streamline the booking experience for both customers and venue owners. We’ve raised ... $1.2 million from former Facebook , Yahoo , PayPal , and EarthLink executives. It was not hard for them to see our vision. If we had $3 million, we’d invest in ... Building the brand. If there’s one thing that we’ve learned about the hospitality industry, there are a lot of black hats out there. And, although there is a real market for small meeting and event space, not many people think or know how to find space online. Therefore, we’d continue to invest heavily in SEO (search engine optimization), public relations, strategic partnerships and our continued community outreach efforts. The oddest thing about our company is ... We’re based on Mercer Island, the "new Palo Alto of Seattle. " We have tons of free parking, don’t miss 520, and can be in downtown Seattle in seven minutes. The one thing missing from the business is ... A mobile application. We hope to have this done by the end of the summer. We won’t fail because ... Not a day goes by when a customer or venue doesn't applaud our service. Together, customer accolades and persistence go a long way. Interview conducted and compiled by Emily Parkhurst, who covers technology for TechFlash and the Puget Sound Business Journal. She can be reached at 206-876-5441 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst Emily Parkhurst is the managing editor for the Puget Sound Business Journal.