Is This the New Threat to Meeting and Collab Spaces?

We recently covered the emergence of ‘collaboration’ spaces with our article on LMHQ. Now it seems there is a new competitor in town being dubbed the “AirBnB for event space”.

Called Splacer, the concept is a variation on the growing “share” theme. In this case to enable local art galleries, old industrial buildings and any otherwise vacant buildings to share their spaces for events. So, a company may host their next social gathering in a private mansion, an art gallery, or even a rooftop garden. In an interview with the New York Business Journal, Lihi Gerstener, co-founder of Splacer described the impetus behind the creation of Splacer. “We spend the majority of the money we have on space,” she said. “Office space, living space. Space is super expensive, so why don’t we share it, and why don’t we make more money out of it?”

The Israeli-based company, has already raised a cool $1.4 million seed round and is getting ready to launch initial operations in Manhattan. With a staff of 8, they already have 80 venues ready to go in their online system. As for their financial model, it’s simple. They will take a percentage of each transaction.

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The real winners of innovations such as Splacer are clearly the businesses who take advantage of them. The new model certainly promises more eye pleasing venues, while putting to use hidden space gems which are sitting vacant. As Daniel Cohen, general partner at Carmel Ventures, one of the prime investors in Splacer, stated,”Splacer is enabling people to create events in the most unconventional locations. The idea that spaces are dynamic is an interesting one, and we certainly believe in Splacer’s community-focused approach. The sharing economy has redefined how we work and travel; it’s about time the event industry embraced this new model.”

Will ‘share’ models such as Splacer take a slice out of more traditional convention space and meeting room markets, or simply expand them? Can business center and coworking space operators get their own slice of the market? Without doubt there is a clear difference between the need for meeting space to conduct serious business and the need for a creative venue to host a cocktail party. But are the lines beginning to blur?

 

photo from New York Business Journal article on Splacer