- Advanced booking behaviour growing in Malaysia, boosting platform’s growth
- Range of services available besides event booking contribute to popularity
MALAYSIAN instant event venue and services portal startup VMO Rocks Sdn Bhd saw a booking growth of 435% year-on-year from 2015 until 2016 on its booking portal vmo.rocks. VMO is estimating double-digit growth for this year.
VMO is an instant booking platform for event venues and services with more than 1000 event venues across Malaysia on its vmo.rocks site. It has generated more than RM40 million (US$9,344,253) worth of inquiries since going in 2015, and the platform also lists supporting event services.
Alternative and DIY event venues are all the rage nowadays when it comes to booking venues online as more and more Malaysians plan ahead to organise personalised events instead of the more traditional “been there, done that” venues.
“The venue booking landscape is changing rapidly with consumers planning almost a year ahead of time. Some customers have even paid in advance, especially for popular venues,” said VMO Rocks chief eventgelist Vincent Kok (pic) when announcing the latest growth figures.
According to Kok, at the end of December 2016, VMO received RM39 million in enquiry value compared to RM9.5 million in 2015. The value of bookings also increased from RM223,000 in 2015 to RM1.19 million in 2016, a growth of more than five times.
As of June 30, 2017, VMO’s total number of bookings was 2.2 times more than bookings made in the first half of 2016, giving VMO a competitive edge in the online event venue and services booking industry in the country and perhaps in the region.
VMO’s figures also show that restaurants are getting the bulk of the online booking revenue at 64%, followed by pubs at 17%, event spaces at 9% and cafes at 7%.
“Consumers today are serious about making online bookings and getting instant confirmation on the newest ‘hipster’ and ‘instagrammable’ spaces in town,” said Kok.
“The hottest trend in the country currently, however, is booking ‘blank spaces’, where customers decorate and fill up a completely empty venue space by themselves.”
Though booking ahead is quite a common practice, especially for weddings, VMO boasts that it attracts consumers to book venue spaces online with instant confirmation of dates and menu as well as access to a range of different services, such as florist, bands, photography, catering services.
“They want the wow factor and they want things fast. They want to curate their very own unique event with their selected venue, creativity and flexibility,” said Kok. “It is in line with this that VMO now celebrates its new tagline, ‘Celebrating Creatively’.”
VMO’s recent success in raising RM500,000 (US$116,818) in an equity crowdfunding campaign to further advance its business has seen an increase in listings to 1,000 establishments, and its expansion to the southern Malaysian state of Johor and the state of Sabah in East Malaysia.
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