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Engage: A Special Three-Hour Event on Virtual Engagement

Event professionals are faced with the enormous challenge of keeping their audience engaged online during their virtual events.

Engage: A Special Three-Hour Event on Virtual Engagement

Event professionals are faced with the enormous challenge of keeping their audience engaged online during their virtual events.

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Peerspace: Unique Venue Marketplace [Review]

By Becki Cross

Peerspace is an online portal to discover, research and book special and unique venues. Here is our review.

Peerspace: Unique Venue Marketplace [Review]

Peerspace: What Is It?

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Launched in 2014, Peerspace is the airbnb of the event planning world. It allows event planners to find beautiful and quirky event spaces and book them by the hour via the responsive website or iOS app. The spaces are available for both corporate and social occasions. Looking through the site you see rooftop lofts, penthouses, industrial warehouses, gallery spaces, libraries, studios and all types of rooms and spaces.

We have discussed before on EventMB the potential of the sharing economy for the event industry and now, with Peerspace, it has finally arrived. Event organizers benefit from discovering unique and unusual venues not accessible to them previously and venue owners benefit by renting out their underutilized facility and attracting a revenue stream.

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The Main Categories of Features Are:

Venue Finding. Simple search function to discover unusual venues vetted by the Peerspace team.

Venue Booking. Check availability, message the host, book and pay by card online to confirm the booking.

Concierge Service. Support is available to book extras for your event, such as catering and audio visual.

Review

The design of the Peerspace site is minimalist to show off the style and beauty of the venues. Every venue is vetted to ensure it meets Peerspace values before being approved to be listed. If a venue is not unique in some way it doesn't make the grade. The Peerspace team support the venues in terms of completing the information event planners want to see and even sometimes supporting them with professional photography. They also encourage real life event pictures to be taken and added to their listing so that people can see it in use.

Venues

The Peerspace website has a simple search function based on the city you are interested in and the type of event you want to run (off-site, event or production). It doesn’t even ask for details of attendee numbers initially, although you can then filter your results by numbers or price range at the second stage. Alternatively when the search results appear it allows you to see at a glance the maximum capacity. It also shows the venue locations on a map if you have a specific area of a city in mind.

The price given is a price per hour, although for many venues the minimum hire period is 4 hours. This means that shorter events have more flexibility and don’t have to pay a full day rate, as they often need to with commercial event spaces. It isn’t only for short and fleeting events though, longer term rentals can be negotiated too directly with the host. Spaces can be booked for as low as $35 per hour up to $2,000 per hour.

Currently Peerspace have 1k venues listed across 10 cities, with more being added every week. 7 are in the USA: San Francisco (which has 300 venues), Silicon Valley. Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Austin, Chicago. And 3 in Europe: Berlin, London, Paris. Obviously if you are outside of these cities this is a disappointment and hopefully this can expand quickly. They recently acquired $5million in funding capital to enable them to expand into New York and hopefully this rapid expansion will continue.

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Venue Search

No sign up or card details are required to search the site until the point where you wish to send booking request, message the host or favourite a venue. Basic information is then requested in terms of a picture, your name, profile, job title and company. Similar to airbnb you can favorite venues with a love heart to save them.

One of the most annoying things about searching for venues online is missing or incomplete information which brings you to a dead end. I checked out several venue listings on Peerspace across different cities to see how comprehensive the information was and all of them had useful information such as capacities in different layouts, furniture and/or AV equipment available, amenities (WiFi, parking, wheelchair accessible), rules of the space, days and times when the space is available to rent and so forth. As a marketplace for non-standard venues it is important to see this. There is of course room for further improvement here and Peerspace are considering adding floor plans, 360 degree tours and layout configurations.

Questions and Reviews

You can message the host directly if you do have further queries. The best hosts respond within the hour, however the average response time is 3-4 hours. Peerspace cannot control this, although they do stress to new hosts the importance of a timely response when dealing with event planners.

Seeing reviews from those that have booked the space is useful. There is a star rating, a written response and there is also a tick if the person would use the space again. Event planners aren’t forced to leave a review but they are prompted to and this is really valuable as we trust feedback from our peers.

Concierge Service

Some of the spaces are a blank canvas with little or no furniture and AV equipment. Peerspace offer support if you need a hand to book catering, audio visual, event staff and furniture. They can provide a complete service for all the elements you need to book related to your event and again have vetted the best suppliers that can deliver. This is charged as a 15% service fee on top of the amount spent.

Hosts

If you have a unique and underutilized venue you need to set up an account to add a space. Once approved, it is free to be listed on the site, you are only charge when space is booked. The host operates their own inventory and can easily update availability as required. Peerspace hold the money from the guest when the booking is made and the payment is passed onto the host within 7 days of booking.

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Features

Venue Finding

  • Search by event type and city
  • Refine your search by attendee numbers and hire charges
  • See at a glance the cost per hour and maximum capacity
  • Find a venue by location through the map view
  • View pictures of the space
  • Read reviews

Venue Booking

  • Detailed descriptions
  • Check availability for your dates and times
  • Message the host if you have additional queries
  • Pay by card to confirm the booking

Concierge Service

  • Optional extra service to arrange additional event requirements
  • Catering, furniture, event staff and audio visual equipment can be booked using the service

Who Is It For?

Peerspace is designed for anyone looking for a unique venue or location for business or social events. There are spaces to host small meetings, events, shows, productions, photoshoots, conferences, parties, or even weddings.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Discover unusual and inspiring event spaces.
  • Rent spaces by the hour for the exact time you need it.
  • Reviews from other planners that have hired the space.

Cons

  • Only available in 10 cities currently.
  • No floorplans or layout details are available yet.
  • Response times relies on the host replying promptly.

Pricing and Plans

Spaces are available to rent by the hour, so you just pay for the exact times you need. The prices quoted on the site is the total amount payable, covering the 15% commission to Peerspace. Any extras booked via the concierge service also have a 15% service fee payable based on the cost of the services booked.

In Conclusion

Peerspace is like a treasure trove for event planners, offering plenty of inspiring venues which can’t be booked elsewhere. If you are looking for a different venue in one of the 10 cities they cover you will be delighted. If you are unlucky to be outside of these cities you will be disappointed and hoping for a quick expansion so you can find your gem of a venue too!

Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.

about the author

Becki Cross
Becki Cross is Managing Director of Events Northern Ltd, a UK event and conference management company established in 2004. Becki set up the business in her early twenties and is particularly passionate about conferences, innovation, entrepreneurship and the legacy of events. Becki is also the Deputy Editor, Community Manager and Contributor to EventMB, her dream job alongside event planning! Follow Becki via @beckitrain.
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