Utilising an intelligent B2B platform and connected technologies, Eventopedia helps global event planners and venues to be more efficient in a $500bn global market. The platform enables event organisers to search over 28,000 venue spaces in 12 destinations for relevant venue-specific information. Advanced filters, unstructured search, video site inspections and Office 365 integrations make venue selection easier.
We've seen that Eventopedia delivers high quality leads and user insights that can allow venues to improve their marketing efficiency, lower cost of sales, and generate increased booking conversion from direct sales from organisers.
The Founders have extensive experience; they met in their respective roles as a leading event venue marketing director and global corporate events agency director.
Event organisers have to use multiple channels and sources often with poor information to find suitable venues & suppliers.
Venues can receive unmanageable enquiry volume, we believe sales lead conversion is very, very low from platforms and not much higher through agencies.
An independent intelligent search platform that delivers high quality results, independent of advertising, and allows stakeholders to seamlessly connect with existing systems. This compliments the existing business model of 3rd party agencies and can improve venue sales & marketing operations.
The platform has enhanced unstructured search and advanced filters to connect the event organiser with the venue quickly and directly. We feel that innovative products such as Office 365 integrations and navigable video increases the booking conversion percentage.
Substantial accomplishments to date
• January 2017 - One of the first companies globally to launch a micro-services platform using Microsoft server-less architecture.
• Microsoft Partner & sponsored over $115,000.
• Offering 28,000+ event spaces globally.
• Proof of concept - Used by the World's largest hotel chains - Hilton, Marriott, Accor, Hyatt and IHG.
• Officially recommended by Hyatt HQ.
• Platform delivers a high (upwards of 20:1) return on investment to its venue customers.
• Independent UK venue clients like Wembley Stadium, The Emirates, ExCeL London.
• 'Innovation of the Year Award' - Professional Publications Association 2015.
• 'Highly Commended: Best Event Technology' - Event Magazine Awards 2015.
• Shortlisted for a further 3 awards in the Event Tech Awards including the 'People's Choice Award'.
• Immediate revenues from proof of concept launch in Jan 2015.
• Circa 40% increase in revenue generation 2016-2017* & over 40% increase in peak user base post relaunch of platform (January 2017).
• As of Jan 2018, over 10,000 global event organisers searching the platform monthly.
• Capital efficient development of the platform with only just over £200,000 in funding.
• Over £230,000 in revenue to date*.
• 209 pipeline opportunities with a current value circa £1.9m.
• Approached by a potential trade buyer in summer 2017 but did not fit with our long-term strategy.
• Established relationships and on-going dialogue with multiple Venture Capital (VC) firms and VC Trusts in lieu of a Series A investment round.
*Based on unaudited management accounts.
Eventopedia operates a freemium revenue model. We will publish as many event venue pages as possible to ensure global coverage for users. Clients upgrade to premium packages for our most effective lead generation and marketing. Eventopedia operates a freemium business model with 2 premium upgrades:
1. Marketing and Data Analytics Subscription for Venues - Annual or monthly recurring revenue.
From £600 to £2500 per venue, pa.
2. Video Production Fees with annual support & analytics subscription.
Production from £5,499 to £12,999 per venue, per project.
Video support, analytics and maintenance subscription - Annual recurring revenue from £1188 per venue, pa.
As we develop the platform it is planned there will be 2 other major revenue streams.
1. Venue SaaS for global hotel chains sales and marketing. One-off project build fee + monthly recurring user fee (From £49).
2. SaaS for corporate event organisers to help manage their local and global event activity. Per user monthly fee (From £20).
Use of proceeds
The platform has received feedback from existing clients and users. We believe that now we need to improve the user experience even more, by adding further technical innovations such as unstructured search (implemented), voice search and chatbots (both under development) as well as respond to client requests for further features.
The proposed break down of investment is as follows:
New Bus Dev team - 35%.
Product Development & user experience upgrades - 25%.
Venue Data Entry - 20%.
Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing - 20%.
This investment is required to increase the number of event spaces from 28,000 currently to our aim of over 100,000, plus accelerate the platform development and revenue generation. As a result of this we hope to acquire over 300 more premium clients and raise the median average revenue per property from below £3,000 per venue to £6,000.
The meetings and events market generates $500Bn annually and Eventopedia targets both sides of the transaction - every hotel or venue and every event organiser are potential clients. The average budget per UK event in 2015 was £65,943.
We estimate there are over 300,000 venues globally, including any property with a private space including global hotel chains, boutique hotels, conference venues, stadiums, restaurants and public buildings.
There are over 3 million people who are likely involved in event organisation globally; including corporate event planners, agencies, charities, PA's, EA's, marketing executives, and PR managers. There are also the private event organisers that need venues for birthdays, weddings, family occasions, dinners and parties.
Characteristics of target market
Globally, the total professional meetings and events held annually generates over $500 billion. From our experience, the majority of event organisers are still utilising manual processes rather than technology. Event management software supports the process through automation and helps improve efficiency, while driving event costs down.
We've seen that event organisers typically use multiple channels and sources like Google to find suitable venues. The information available can be limited, inaccurate and sometimes misleading, making the booking process unnecessarily difficult. Organisers can often rely on agents and unpopular RFP systems to send out requests for proposals to venues. When they have located a venue, the admin process can be slow, opaque and manual, with many unanswered questions to be addressed.
The current market leader in venue marketing and event management technology is a company called Cvent that turned over $187m in 2015 was bought for $1.65Bn in 2016 by Vista Equity Partners.
Eventopedia has a varied marketing mix of activities including online distribution channels. As a B2B-focused business, we are using partners like Microsoft to accelerate the user base through integration with MS Office. Using our own and publicly available figures, we have calculated that our user acquisition costs are around 45 times lower (£1.03) than the technology industry average (£44.53).
We feel that event organisers (users) demand an intuitive, independent, and democratic global platform to help speed the process of venue finding. We run our own communities of corporate event organisers, PAs, EAs, PR professionals, event agencies, etc..
Our Microsoft Partnership enables us to piggy back off the Office 365 community that exists in corporate organisations globally. We directly target global corporates with this feature to help fast-track user acquisition.
Venues are being approached through various methods, including in and out bound marketing, inter-hotel group referrals, global hotel chain HQs, convention bureau referrals, and industry association/publication relationships.
Competition for Users (Event Organisers)
Eventopedia is a technology platform, rather than just a listing site, and we think that our technology, superior functionality, data analytics, and easy integration are examples of our differentiations. The platform allows for quick and low-cost feature development that helps venue selection - With current development projects underway such as chatbots and voice search. We are confident our cost of acquisition is lower and we believe the user experience is far superior.
Eventopedia is connected directly to the user through Office 365. We envisage that SEO will become less important as we grow, and we feel that users will remain sticky to Eventopedia as the integration to their other business systems can enable higher-levels of productivity and performance.
Hotel groups are starting to recommend Eventopedia to their franchise owners. E.g. Hyatt EMEA Sales and Marketing Team are recommending Eventopedia to all their EMEA properties for meetings and event marketing.