venuedirectory.com allows meeting planners to enter their own venue search criteria via various online search methods such as “advanced search” or “dynamic map search”. Details of the required location for the venue and the available function options are supplied to them within a few seconds. Venue browsers can find detailed information on the venues, including facilities, location, images, maps and a printing ‘Fact Sheet’ as well as undertaking a ‘virtual’ tour of the venue. Alternatively, event planners can send a specific enquiry (RFP) to the website customer service department and obtained the customised information shortly.
In 1993, Richard Parkin realised that there was the need for searching, filtering and populating conventional and unique venues for different type of functions in many different locations within the UK.
After over 15 months of extensive collaborative research, the first electronic directory for meeting planners named ‘The Venue Directory’ was launched.
In 1996, The Venue Directory was released on CD ROM format leading up to the online version three years later.
At the beginning of this new millennium ‘The Venue Directory’ became an online free venue directory website and was re-branded as venuedirectory.com. As a result, the number of venues multiplied and expanded internationally.
In 2007 the company acquired one of the leading competitors at that time, click4venues.com, which increased the company’s market share substantially.
In 2008 venuedirectory.com entered the software-as-a-service market with the release of the ‘Global Reservation Accommodation and Travel Information System’ (GRATIS), which combines up-to-date venue information, supplied from the venuedirectory.com central database, with brand new booking software. The software allows users to search, enquire, book, track, report and manage enquires for meeting and conference venues.
In 2009 venuedirectory.com developed a venue finding site called limevenueportfolio.com, which features venues that ‘Compass Group’ provide catering and management service for. The website uses GRATIS and venuedirectory.com’ central database to create a highly effective platform for the group. The successful collaboration with limevenueportfolio.com saw the creation of a number of ‘white-labels’ websites, which use venuedirectory.com’s database under a client’s own corporate brand.
By 2011 venuedirectory.com had collaborated with more than 42 successful event booking agencies and brands.
In 2012 venuedirectory.com bought ‘Meeting Venues London’ and created the triple MIMA awarded multimedia selling tool, ‘Virtual Showround’, allowing event planners to prospect different venues on short, high definition video before booking in. Virtual Showround has been awarded as the ‘Best Integrated Marketing Campaign’ and ‘Best Use of Video Marketing’ and having now +52,500 views in YouTube alone.
By 2015, venuedirectory.com has multiplied its staff over 10 times, its number of venues included in the company’s central database has grown to over 41,200 across the world, with more than 16,900 of those being UK-based and it to date has +32,000 active online users exceeding +50,000 visits per month making the venuedirectory.com database one of the largest in the industry and a very popular free venue directory in the UK.