More time for marketing, less time for organising. That’s the aim of Creative Business (EN) students Tony Kyriakidis, Martijn Bos, Oliver Miles and Senna Driessen. They developed Venuepark. Thé new platform for everyone who organizes an event. Venuepark makes it easier to search, compare and book event locations and services. Project leader Tony: “Everything comes together for the first time.”
It takes a lot of time to organize an event. You have to find the right location, organise caterers, DJs, photographers … Therefore, Tony and Martijn came up with the idea of creating one platform. Tony: “When organizing an event, the biggest challenge is to find a location and to arrange all the services. This used to take 90 percent of my time. For example, I had a month to organize an event. But in the end I only had two days left for marketing and promotion. The purpose of Venuepark is the opposite: spend 10 percent of your time on organising the location and services and spend 90 percent on marketing and promotion.”
What is the most important part of developing a platform such as Venuepark?
Tony: “Desk research. We had already started working on the website when we joined a program for startups. During this program we found out that we first had to investigate whether there was any need for such a platform. So we did. The responses were very positive. Event planners in particular spend a lot of time arranging the ideal locations. Our platform is also ideal for graduates without a network as yet.”
Your group is diverse. Tony is from Cyprus, Oliver from Luxembourg and Martijn and Senna are from the Netherlands. How did you find each other?
Tony: “For our studies we had already organized a fictional event together, across five different locations in the world. Again, I discovered that there isn’t a platform where you can search for locations all over the world using specific filters. Martijn and I looked further into this. Oliver joined, because he is very good at English and writing. Then Senna joined for planning and administration.”
How can your different cultures and backgrounds empower each other?
Tony: “The two Dutchies are very direct. That’s amazing. No bullshit. You know what’s going on and what needs to happen. Oliver is more corporate and business-like.” Senna: “Different influences are a good thing. Every country has its own habits and strengths. At Inholland al these different cultures come together.” Martijn adds: “I think we are very strong as a group. Our different nationalities bring out the best in each of us. We learn from each other. For example, Tony shows me to be more spontaneous. ”
I notice that there is a close bond between you. There certainly is a friendship. Is that an advantage or disadvantage?
Tony: “It’s not a problem to me. Business is business, we keep this separate. During our meetings we mainly talk about Venuepark.” Martijn: “We are friends, but we are also business partners. I’ve learned how to seperate the two. That is my most important lesson. ”
What was the role of the Creative Business program in the development of Venuepark?
Martijn: “As students, we tend to postpone. But during the program we learned a lot about marketing and working under pressure. There were moments you had to study for five different tests at once, make three reports and prepare a presentation at the same time. I notice that I can focus better now.” Senna: “Our teachers were always open for questions. Two teachers even organised to answer questions in their spare time.”
What is the best tip a teacher gave you?
Martijn: “Just try. Our marketing teacher Robert Meijn gave us the tip to work out our plan and see how far we get. He took the time to look at our plans and discuss progress. He gave us many tips and shared his opinions. Open and honestly. Very valuable to us.”
What is your biggest priority at the moment?
Tony: “The platform without a doubt. We are nothing without a platform. When it’s ready we will focus on finding investors. I do the programming myself. But we need people to develop the platform. For example, we want to work with virtual reality. We really need a technical team for this. ”
What tip would you like to give students with a similar idea?
Martijn: “Many people have doubts. They ask themselves whether their work has a purpose. Do you think you have something that other people need? Or something you’re passionate about? Just do it! Give it a go and just see where it takes you.” Tony: “If you have an idea, just start. Make a logo, think of a name. It could snowball from there. And what else would you do with your time anyway, watch Netflixes and YouTube? We gained so many connections through Venuepark. That experience is priceless.” Martijn agrees. “Now is the time. You have nothing to loose, no responsibilities as yet. You may have a family later, paying off your mortgage every month.” Tony: “Now is the best time to learn and get started. Why? If you send an email to a CEO, they are keen to help you. After all, you are not a competitor. As yet!”