Robinson College, Cambridge, one of the UK’s most forward thinking academic venues, has launched a brand new, rapid online booking tool for small meetings as part of their meet+ offering.
The platform, which is provided by Venue Directory, one of the most popular interactive online venue directories, offers customers looking for spaces for up to 30 delegates an intuitive journey from initial enquiry through to booking. The system comprises a series of quick tick boxes covering timings, numbers, meeting room layout, AV and refreshment requirements along with a secure online prepayment tool ensures an easy, quick and secure way to book smaller meetings in Cambridge.
"There is no doubt the appetite for small meetings booked within a short lead-time has increased at Robinson College, it was the prime catalyst for investing in this tool," said Nick Milne, college steward at Robinson College.
Recent research, conducted by Venue Directory and the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) backs Milne's assertion, indicating that this trend is reflected in the wider venue marketplace. A report benchmarking meetings of up to 30 delegates found that 69.50% of corporate enquiries for HBAA member venues* were for smaller-sized events, with 77% taking place within 12 weeks of the original enquiry.
Milne continued, "Our new venue, the Crausaz Wordsworth Building, with its flexible space,offered the perfect opportunity to create a user-friendly platform which will help event organisers source the perfect room for a small meeting, immediately indicating availability at short-notice. Working with Venue Directory, we are able to offer a no-nonsense platform which takes the whole planning and payment journey into account. Complemented by a personal service prior to the event and once at the College, event organisers can be sure their meeting needs will be met and surpassed.”
Michael Begley, managing director of venuedirectory.com added: “As people have less time than ever to do the little jobs we need to make their lives easier. In the same way on-line booking has revolutionised the way that air travel and hotel accommodation is booked, the booking of small meeting rooms is now an on-line reality. With more than 7 out of 10 meetings being for less than 30 people and the attendees wanting to arrive within a couple of weeks of booking, booking on-line is the ideal solution, whether it’s at your desk, on a tablet or via your smartphone.”
Leigh Cowlishaw, HBAA chair commented “It is fantastic to see one of our members Robinson College, reacting to the research. At the recent HBAA members’ meeting, we shared with the association how the demand for procuring small, transactional meetings is on the increase. The market needs to be ready for this and have the ability be able to focus on the larger more complex meetings and events, that require the time and resource. The HBAA is currently undergoing a project with Venue Directory to understand this demand further and provide additional benchmarking.”
 HBAA Small Meetings Benchmarking
 Robinson College is an HBAA member venue