Here at Headliner we work with lots amazing companies that specialise in different parts of the events industry. Like us, they want to make the planning and execution of events as smooth as possible, and we therefore have a great list of official Booker Partners. One of these is HeadBox, where they know everything there is to know about venues and booking event spaces. We asked the to share some of their expertise and knowledge…
Very briefly, can you tell us what HeadBox is about? What is the main aim?
HeadBox is an online market place for creative, inspiring and offsite spaces. We’re here to solve the many pain-points guests currently face when booking a space for any work related event. We’re making the process quick, simple and hassle free by cutting out the middle man and allowing guests to connect directly with hosts to instantly search, book and pay for unique spaces all in one place. For many hosts we are unlocking value by promoting their under-utilised spaces and providing them with an extra revenue stream.
What’s the most interesting event that’s taken place at a venue you represent?
One of our favourite events has to be the Diwali party hosted at Banking Hall in Cornhill last year. Brilliant Basics, a London based product design agency, transformed this historic venue into their very own Festival of Lights in the heart of the City for the evening! There were amazing costumes, steel drummers and dancers throughout and the evening, and it was a huge success!
What kind of event spaces do you cater for?
We have over 2000 spaces in London including museums, luxury yachts, city farms, 5* hotels and purpose built event spaces to name a few. We have helped coordinate events with 10 attendees right up to 500 attendees and are working with iconic spaces such as Somerset House, Old Billingsgate, The Gherkin, Shangri-La Hotel and The Ivy. We want to keep unlocking London’s thousands of under-utilised spaces so that we become the default platform to find unique and inspiring spaces of all shapes and sizes.
What are the strongest benefits for event planners when using HeadBox?
There are lots of benefits of using HeadBox, but the most notable is that guests can instantly book and pay for any space using a debit/ credit card or a Paypal account. Guests are required to pay the full amount in one go, so they no longer have to pay deposits or settle an outstanding amount after the event (and conversely hosts don’t have to chase for payment); it’s all taken care of at the beginning of the process so that they can spend time planning the event itself! HeadBox also instantly connects guests and hosts via an instant messenger so they can contact the space directly instead of relying on a middle man to manage the communications, which means that the event planner is always in control of the enquiry. After each event the host and guest are required to leave a review so both sides can see honest and trustworthy information about each other before making the booking. Finally, guests who sign up to HeadBox get their own exclusive HeadBox membership card with up to 50% off at a wide range of HeadBox spaces when they present their card. From City private member’s clubs and West End casinos to Notting Hill bistro pubs and 5* Mayfair hotels, there’s a discount to tempt everyone.
What trends have you been seeing lately for booking event spaces?
Our guests regularly ask for new and exclusive event spaces that no one else has been to before, so it’s important that our concierge team are always in the know about new openings in London. The speakeasy craze is certainly a key trend of 2015-2016; our guests love spaces that are unexpected, hidden gems, which you would perhaps miss if you didn’t know exactly what you’re looking for. There’s something very exciting about holding an event underground or using a space in a completely different way! The other trend we are seeing is the growth in number of spaces joining the platform that have never been rented out previously. For many, HeadBox has opened a new door, as they now find renting out their spaces easy and straightforward.
What’s your top tip for event planners when finding and booking a venue?
Be open minded about your brief. The perfect space for your event may be in a different area to the one you initially requested. Also, transforming a space into something out of the ordinary may be a better option than going for a traditional space!