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Holy Trinity gets the Edge in venue-finding

Stamford-based Trinity Event Solutions’ MD Jacqui Kavanagh believes it’s time for a different type of venue finder, which makes the RFP process smoother for all involved and tailored more closely to the needs of agents.

Trinity Event Solutions has long been providing the venue-search punch behind the Venue Finder service but has taken a bold new step to launch its own new brand, EDGE Venues. 

Trinity’s new venue-finding baby puts the agency’s faith squarely in its own technology and in Kavanagh’s belief in a system ‘built by our industry for our industry’.

CN was among the first to see the new system at a pre-launch party in the Lincolnshire sun earlier this summer, when 200 hotel and venue suppliers were invited to see and test the product on the agency’s home turf in Stamford.

Kavanagh explained that impetus for a new approach was partly the uncontrolled level of RFP’s going to hotels and venues. 

“We need to stop allowing our industry being dumbed down with a return to quality proposals for our clients with excellent data. If more data was readily available from hotels and venues, then unnecessary RFP’s would not be issued.

“Basic data should be a given; what we need from our counterparts in hotels is why the venue is right for our clients’ events, how they are going to make that event special at the venue and real quality pricing not a one size fits all which is what we are currently experiencing because of the rigidity of systems. 

“I want to support those hotels that deliver great data, invest in quality photographs and floor plans so our buyers (whose time is getting more limited because of the perception that our industry can be bought online) can make quality decisions.”

EDGE, Kavanagh says, offers up to 120 fields of data and unlimited photographs and floorplans, as a basic free of charge to all venues. There is a Buy it Now option for a meeting room up to 10 as a basic free of charge listing (commissionable) subject to availability.

Inevitably there are upgrades and a monthly licence offers additional benefits. EDGE Venues tells CN that 300+ have already been sold. Then, there is Agency EDGE, a B-to-B closed user group that promises direct access to the agency community for an additional £25 per month. It will offer direct bookings from the agency sector. Commission offers can be date specific and may show on agency searches if applicable.

Larger agencies may be hesitant to be early adopters of a venue finding system run by a potential competitor, although Kavanagh stresses the product is separate from her Trinity agency and that any favouritism would be counter-productive. And for the many smaller agencies that do not have their own venue finder, EDGE could provide an alternative to some of the pricier products on the market.

Carlo Boersma, director of sales & events at Carton House said he had signed up for EDGE Venues, describing it as “revitalising”. 

“Not only is it a simple tool to search for venues, it will also allow you to book online for up to 10 delegates,” he added.   

In a crowded venue-finding market it could just be that Kavanagh has found an edge on price, while providing a new, broader platform for extra detail for suppliers to list, with the agency-friendly booking capacity making what could turn out to be a holy Trinity.