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sydney

UK event technology firm expands to Australia

Event technology business HeadBox has launched in Australia. The British-founded company recently placed ninth in the UK’s Startups 100.

The platform is an AI-powered venue marketplace, enabling organisers to find a suitable venue, with currently over 9,000 spaces across Europe to choose from. Users can track and manage their meetings and events programmes.

HeadBox says it will initially launch in Sydney but says there are plans to then expand to other areas. There is sentiment among businesses that domestic corporate events will return strongly in 2021, with research conducted by Tourism Australia showing over three-quarters saying they will maintain or increase their event budgets for the next 12 months, as well as look to increase the average number of attendees per event.

Headbox’s Australian operation will be led by Ali Lord, former head of events at Dentsu Aegis Network, will manage the Australian operation.

Lord has over a decade of experience in the events industry, both venue and client-side in Australia and London. At Dentsu, Lord oversaw the events agenda for 21 agencies across the UK and Ireland, managing 200 events a year.

Sadie Connors, head of client services at HeadBox in the UK, will also join HeadBox Australia as chief operation officer. Connors has been with HeadBox since its inception, and brings five years of experience.

On her appointment, Lord said the opening of an Australian operation was a milestone for the business. She said: “Having been a HeadBox client for the past three years and witnessed their growth, I couldn’t be more excited to bring a product that I first fell in love with as a customer to my home soil. Sydney is our first location outside of Europe and a significant milestone for the company as we continue to expand and transform the global events industry through human-kind event tech.”

Andrew Needham, HeadBox’s UK-based CEO, said that 2020 has been a “very challenging” year for the events industry globally, that that he is “enormously proud” to announce HeadBox’s expansion into Australia, adding to its presence in the Netherlands and Ireland. “It is testament to the resilience of our company, the outstanding support of our wonderful customers and the extraordinary efforts and skill of the HeadBox team that we have been able to take this exciting step,” he said.

Needham added that investment in AI technology has been an important factor in the business’ growth plans. He said: “Our ability during this crisis to keep investing in “humankind event tech” the combination of our AI-powered software for in-person, virtual and hybrid events alongside our outstanding customer service and event expertise has seen us continue to take market share with the rapid growth of our HeadBox business client base. Together with Ali Lord and Sadie Connor’s leadership, we are confident that HeadBox will be hugely successful in Australia.”