Reinventing Selling & Booking of Meeting Rooms

EPISODE #1

The story behind MeetingPackage

3:51 min

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The story behind MeetingPackage

Hello everyone. It’s Joonas Ahola, the CEO and founder of MeetingPackage.

I’m here to tell you guys a little bit now why we exist and a little bit of the story behind of MeetingPackage.

First of all I myself I’ve been in the industry for more than 12 years already work in the hospitality industry from various different landscapes and verticals from catering to event management to running and owning and managing a few properties. And when you use them and locations alike.

So back in 2005 to 2013 I was running an event agency which technically was going really well. Our RFP amount was growing significantly well but simultaneously we noticed that the conversion and the hit rate of these RFPs was actually dropping year by year when the RFP amount increased and we started to look into this and understood that there was only three ways technically we could grow the business.

First of all to hire more people which meant technically as a small vendor and a small agency at that point that it was really risky to a seasonable business as the event business is in general.

Second of all that we would just send a standard proposal and be really quickly replying to the customers and we need the deals due to that fact and that then really isn’t good either.

And third of all, the point was that we understand the fact that we’re going to be slow in replying to the customers where we understand the fact that we’re going to lose some customers but we’re going to concentrate on the offers and win them with either price or the content side.

But in general looking at these options it was pretty 2012-2013. I felt that none of these solutions were actually scalable. None of these actually felt that hey this is 2013 at that point that they were digitalized in any way. We started to look in the industry that hey is there any solution that could automise this process from end to end. And at that point we didn’t find any solution in place.

So I left that company started MeetingPackage.

We had a different approach in the early days. We were a pure marketplace looking after in helping customers to find meeting rooms and booking them online. The original mission statement is still alive for the company so we want to make media and bookings as easy as hotels but after multiple pivots as we have understood that it’s not only that we would be a marketplace that we can actually help the industry.

We need to provide the venues the possibility to sell online from their own channels because if you’re not selling online in one marketplace but you’re actually selling off-line in your own networks and own channels there’s no bridge in between the technology which means that the booking when it comes from the online marketplace it actually goes in the bottom of the pile of your core operations. So we need to help the venues and hotels to bring their own processes online genuinely so that you can actually sell online from your own channels.

And after that take control of the distribution. So instead of just being a pure marketplace we wanted to be more software provider by helping both parties and being the middleman.

And, really generally offering a win-win situation for all parties given the meeting bookers the availability and the customers availability of seeing availability, pricing, and making transactions as well as for the hotels and meeting venues that they can actually genuinely sell online, save resources, and save time while increasing their revenue.

And that’s where we are today helping hotels and making meeting room bookings as easy as booking hotels.

About the video series

This series looks at what’s happening behind the scenes in the Meetings & Events industry and how common issues encountered by both venues and bookers can be tackled. We’ve heard a lot of feedback from clients and other stakeholders in the meeting booking process that the speed of response from venues has been growing in recent years under the growth in requests (RFPs) and consistently fails to meet client expectations. As a consequence of this feedback, we wanted to look at what lies behind the slow speed of response to many requests for proposal and how this can be improved or resolved in the future. Our mission at MeetingPackage is to make meeting room bookings as easy as booking hotel rooms – please stay tuned for the next episode in our series.

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Reinventing Selling & Booking of Meeting Rooms

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