A business meeting room available to book through Meetinkz.
(photo credit: DOR SHARON)
In a world where vacations are booked in a matter of clicks by a mouse on Booking.com and accommodation in any city is booked almost instantly on Airbnb, simplicity often leads to success.
One sector in which complexity has always ruled the roost is that of out-of-office meetings, dominated by reliance on numerous external suppliers and services, compounded by the added complication of multiple budgets.
After working for a decade in the events sector, both in major production companies and smaller firms, Dorin Sharon was well-placed to understand the complexity. While there were comprehensive solutions for large conferences and private parties, there was no one-stop-shop ensuring simplicity in the meeting room sector.
In 2017, Sharon founded Haifa-based Meetinkz, a straightforward platform offering unique meeting spaces for a range of purposes - formal settings for business, unconventional venues to inspire and elegant rooms to wine and dine.
“If there is a marketplace, I thought to myself, then there should be a one-stop-shop, giving the customer an opportunity for one invoice instead of many different suppliers with different payments,” Sharon told The Jerusalem Post.
“I launched the platform quietly, but there was an immediate boom and suddenly people, including huge companies, started booking. I knew there was a real need that we had managed to touch.”
Today, Meetinkz offers more than 1,500 properties in Israel and the United Kingdom, and the platform is used regularly by more than 200 companies to organize meetings with ease.
Venues can be booked per hour, half-day or full day, with customers adding amenities, catering and seating specifications according to their needs. If a break from intense business negotiations are needed, Meetinkz can offer a variety of experiences, ranging from a culinary workshop for company employees to a meditation session for senior executives.
“As companies are becoming increasingly global and the world is becoming smaller, it is becoming easier to meet someone in a remote, neutral location. But people often don’t know where to meet, so they sit in a hotel lobby or Starbucks. Meetinkz gives them a solution,” said Sharon.
“We understand that eventually to create organizational change, secure investments or to think outside the box, you need to make people meet. The atmosphere is what will decide whether the objectives of the meeting will be achieved.”
Boosted by nearly $1 million in seed funding and immediate success in London, attributed by Sharon to the local market’s readiness to embrace online operations, Meetinkz now plans to expand to Amsterdam and an additional two European capital cities.
“The customers have really challenged us and are expressing more and more specific demands. So we went and delivered more suppliers and experiences. When we launched in London, we knew to search for the most special places,” said Sharon, highlighting meeting venues including the final London home of Sigmund Freud or on a boat on the Thames.
“Today, everybody is talking about increasing productivity by paying more attention to the needs of employees. When we can cater for budgets starting from $15 per hour, it doesn’t make sense to sit in a noisy cafe anymore.”
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