Traditional business practices are increasingly turning to online services to modernize and make everyday management easier, and what’s more traditional than a wedding? Israeli startup AllSeated is an online tool that helps couples en-route to the altar orchestrate their event easily.
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“It is not like any other collaboration tool that you use, because with other tools, you collaborate on documents maybe, but here, you actually collaborate on different sets of data between people who are not necessarily in the same company. They are just connected because of the event,” co-founder and chief of product Daniel Anisman tells NoCamels.
“The event-planning market is years back in technology,” Anisman claims. “Everybody had their own tools. Venues had CAD programs to create floor plans. The bride or the host has outsourced tools for guest lists. But still, if you want to share stuff between them, you have to do it by email, or by fax. It’s not easy to connect everybody.”
AllSeated is designed to easily share all the data needed to plan for an event. A user can collaborate as a venue, a planner, a host, or as any other businesses involved in the event, and they can share different types of information based on the role played. Venues can share their floor plans, and if they don’t have one ready-made, they can send in the architectural layout, a sketch or even just photographs of the venue and AllSeated will then create a digital floor plan that can be shown on the interface. When a user searches for a venue through AllSeated, the floor plan for that venue also appears.
“Planning a wedding is a mess”
Hosts can share their guest lists, which can be created manually or imported from Facebook or Gmail contacts. The guest list is automatically integrated with the floor plan and both planners and hosts are able to set out the tables and the specific guests at each table through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. The dimensions and shapes of the tables can be visualized and color codes will show which tables are full. In addition to various service-providers, hosts can choose to share the floorplan with anyone else they choose.
“[The idea came to me] because of one of my employees. She was getting married, and for months she wasn’t doing her job! So I said, ‘What’s going on?’ She told me, ‘Yeah, it’s a mess’, and so I wrote a little program, in java back then,” says Anisman. That was in 2002 and that little program became Neetal, the precursor to AllSeated. Neetal is still being bought in CD format and used by venues in Israel because of its Hebrew interface.
“Built by the industry for the industry”
“AllSeated has been in development for two years. For seven months, every month we went to New York. We sat down with the venues, and tailored the product to their needs. So now it’s a product built by the industry for the industry,” Anisman says. According to Anisman, top hotels in New York such as The Plaza and the Mandarin Oriental New York were involved in the development of AllSeated, through AllSeated Chairman Arthur Backal and CEO Sandy Hammer. “That has helped us plunge straight into the United States market.”
AllSeated was launched approx. two months ago at BizBash Ideafest in New York. In contrast to most startups and event-planning tools, the marketing focus has not been on individual users but on venues and planners. Anisman explains the viral effect of concentrating on venues and planners: “Everything is a hive. Because a venue works with maybe 15 clients, and event planners with 10 venues, and all of them work with like 15 designers, once one of them goes into AllSeated, they invites the others to collaborate using AllSeated.”
In the AllSeated interface, any venue, planner or service provider that is not found in the directory can be easily invited and added to the directory for future collaboration. Within the short time frame since its launch, AllSeated boasts more than a hundred venues and two hundred planners on its platform.
AllSeated is a privately-held company and is not looking for venture capital. “We are careful how we spend our money, [so that] we don’t grow too fast [and] keep control of it all, those are the things that can take you down before you even begin,” CEO Sandy Hammer tells NoCamels. Investment in AllSeated has been approx. $500,000, and the budget for the next two years has already been secured, the team says.
AllSeated has no intention of monetizing itself at the moment. According to Anisman, AllSeated is all about the data, such as the floor plans and the guest lists. He is confident that when the amount of data increases, there will be monetizing opportunities.
Photo by epSos.de