In this technology age, you can do just about everything in NYC via a few computer clicks: grocery shop, find out when the next train is coming, go on a virtual job interview, even a blind date. So why is it so hard in "New Tech City" to book an event online? With new restaurants, bars, lounges and event spaces opening up every day, "venue hunting" for a co-worker birthday dinner, PR event, your boss's sales dinner, or business holiday party can be time consuming and overwhelming.
Until now. Kelsey Recht, is the 30-year-old CEO and founder of New York's first end-to-end event booking platform, VenueBook.com She's a self-proclaimed "venue hunter," to take the pain out of event planning. As a PR person who plans events myself, I was happy to put an end to logging onto listing sites, then enduring the pain of clicking my high heels all over town touring event spaces, with endless brochures and sales meetings, and instead just click my fingers on my keyboard. And it's free, just in time to start planning your own business holiday party.
Here's how it works...
• The planner enters specific criteria like budget, location, or dietary needs, and the website is the virtual venue matchmaker, uncovering venues you never knew existed, could afford or would accommodate your very specific needs, for any size/type party.
• Users can requests proposals, estimate the budget, customize event packages, sign a contract and send a deposit all on this one website
• For venues, the technology enables them to garner new leads and the platform's cloud-based event management software helps track their bookings, create proposals for clients and to fill last minute available space. All the venue owner has to do is create a free venue profile on the website.
Want it even easier? I asked Kelsey to share 5 of her party planning tips with us.
1) Believe in Your Budget; you don't have to have a huge budget to plan a great party. There is a venue out there that will work with you, so don't fret! Use our budget calculator feature to make you aware of service fees and factoring in tips/tax and avoid hidden costs.
2) Party on an Off Night; typically you can land a really good deal on "slow" days at most venues which include Sunday, Monday & Tuesday.
3) Put a Cap on the Tab; to manage the budget you are working with start a tab at the bar in the beginning of the night. Once the limit is reached, the bar tender/manager will kindly advise your guests to pay for drinks going forward. Don't worry; this will not offend your guests!
4) Raw Space Potluck/BYOB; if you are on a tight food & beverage budget, prioritize and spend your money on renting a raw space. Raw spaces will allow you to bring your own food/beverage. One fun idea is to host a BYOB/potluck!
5) Share a space; Don't mind mingling or have a small guest list? Share a cool space to cut down on costs. Many bars and lounges have semi-private areas that allow multiple parties to share the dance floor, allowing you to spend less on space and more on food/drinks!
Want more? Check out her blog on VenueBook.com
Now, you just have to find your party date.