Brisbane based event management software solutions provider iVvy, announced the launch of the world’s first real-time booking platform for the hospitality and MICE industries at the HotelsWorld Conference recently held in Sydney.
This comes after years of research and testing and working closely with hotels and event organisers to build a new generation solution for venues to publish their pricing and availability online.
Basically, this new platform will enable event organisers connect with venues in real time to search, compare, book and pay online instantaneously – no need for tedious to and fro emailing about availability and the like.
Using cloud-based services, the new platform is expected to disrupt the MICE industry by offering some of the most advanced features and saving time and money – basically becoming the ‘one stop shop’ for all event organisers.
Mantra Group will be one of the first to roll out the platform across 94 Peppers and Mantra conferencing properties in Australia and New Zealand.
Through the platform, customers will be able to manage every aspect of their conferencing requirements in real time – including securing accommodation block bookings, submitting banqueting event orders, making menu choices, managing function diaries and registrations, marketing support and supplier procurement.
iVvy, which has featured in the Anthill SMART 100, was co-founded by James Greig who is a previous Anthill 30under30 winner.
Anthill spoke to the CEO of iVvy, Lauren Hall (pictured above) and below is what she had to share about her company’s latest product.
How did you develop this new platform?
The idea for iVvy was born out of some of the frustrations I faced in organizing events in my home country South Africa. The business was started in Australia (along with my co-founder James Greig) when I moved here and realised the same problems existed.
Since then, our goal has been simple – we wanted to take on the challenge of digging deeper to the root of issues in the MICE industry.
We knew the only way to achieve this would be to spend time with customers, understand their business challenges and gauge the difference we can make to their bottom line.
We worked closely with partners over a few years to ensure we were not developing a quick fix solution with disregard to the bigger business challenges.
Research was very crucial to what we did as we needed to dig through layers of issues to understand what we could build. Our research indicated the need for more customer control to eradicate the legacy of frustrations that seem to dovetail with managing events.
What problem exactly are you solving for the MICE industry?
Most industries give you real-time access these days. You can compare prices of hotels worldwide, see if who’s house is available to stay at in New York or Tokyo, compare and pay for insurance or even get someone to do the tasks you don’t want to.
In a digital era driven by easy access to information, it was ludicrous the MICE industry was still behind when it came to venue bookings, catering, entertainment and the like.
The business model is disruptive as it breaks down so many layers and problems to offer unified solutions, not only from a pricing but accessibility perspective as well.
Through our research and working with partners such as Mantra Group, we have developed a platform that would have cost millions to produce and enabled a collaborative approach in a segmented market.
The ultimate goal is to launch a ‘freemium’ model for organisers. We want to enable end users to engage with the software for free – giving them more control and power over their events from anywhere in the world.
iVvy is in an undeniably crowded market. How are you setting yourselves apart from the other players?
iVvy definitely is in a crowded market.
However, our vision from the start has been to build a set of products that were unique and solved layers of issues at the core – rather than just offering stop gap solutions.
The strategy has been to distinguish ourselves by developing a solution that did not previously exist – which we did in July when we launched the first real-time booking engine for business events.
The fact that in launch stage alone, Mantra Group will be rolling out the platform across 94 Peppers and Mantra conferencing properties in Australia and New Zealand is testament to the strength of the product.
Our foundation in event and venue solutions since we launched in 2009, has been instrumental in developing this real-time booking platform.
With over 1500 users and one million registrations that exceed $77 million dollars in ticket revenue, we were in good position to further innovate and deliver unique products that sets us apart from competitors.