For some of us, a birthday party involving anything beyond heading to a nice restaurant or pub with friends means far too much complicated planning, while for others, planning an elaborate event down to its last little detail is a good time in itself.
However, even those who love a good planning session would agree that it would be nice to have a tool that makes putting together an event easier. From deciding what kind of event you want to run in itself to finding a venue, caterers, and all that can come with various types of events, it can be hard to gauge the trustworthiness of various service providers and manage the logistics of all the moving pieces.
Looking to be the tool making it easier is Melbourne startup AmazingCo. Founded by Silvia Hope and Jeremy Cox alongside CTO Nick Brozovic, the startup’s platform allows users to plan an event online and then matches them with trusted providers before having its concierge team manage the logistics to ensure it’s all pulled off without a hitch.
The genesis of the business came from Hope’s experience finding work after arriving in Melbourne from Auckland to study her Masters of Public Health. While in Auckland, Hope had been running the kids club at a family holiday resort and, looking for work to get by at uni, decided to run kids birthday parties rather than work in a cafe.
Linking up with Cox, the first ‘Amazing Kids Disco Party’ was run, and the pair began to recruit and train others to be entertainers, building up the marketplace model and turning Amazing Kids Parties into Australia and New Zealand’s largest mobile kids entertainment business. and the seeds for AmazingCo had been planted.
“Through the process of helping literally tens of thousands of mums and corporate clients plan children’s entertainment, we cracked the code on planning and delivering the perfect events,” Hope said.
With a view to expanding the marketplace beyond kids parties, Hope and Cox added Brozovic to the team.
“We truly believe that helping people maximise their limited celebration time with family, friends and colleagues is important, and we now pour our expertise into making the process and outcomes truly amazing,” Hope said.
For a customer planning an event, the AmazingCo platform allows them to first do some reading around what type of event they are looking to plan. From there, the platform leads them to plan each portion or sub-component of the event, at which point they can get advice to the concierge team via phone, chat, email, or SMS.
Once the user has decided what kind of event they want to run and what they will need, they will be given access to AmazingCo’s provider marketplace, with the platform matching them to providers best suited to their specific requirements. After providers are booked, the AmazingCo team then works to organise logistics.
On the provider side, AmazingCo looks to take away the headaches that can come with admin and logistics by giving them access to a provider portal that allows them to easily manage bookings and invoicing, bookkeeping, equipment management, and customer feedback.
“Due to our scale we can optimise our provider’s time by scheduling them on the perfect combination of events. The result is less total hours and travel invested for great earnings,” Hope said.
According to Hope, scaling the provider marketplace is a key challenge, given the provider reflects the quality and impacts the reputation of AmazingCo.
“As we’ve grown we have focused hard on being a preferred marketplace for our entertainers, tour drivers and team building experts by offering more consistent work, treating them as part of the core family and building tools that make their life easier to organise,” she explained.
From its start in kids entertainment, the startup has now added corporate team building vents and wine tour experiences to its offering.
As it builds, Hope said AmazingCo is focused on growing according to its customers’ needs and wants; the startup receives feedback from over 75 percent of its customers, quizzing them about their event.
It’s the mix of online and off, with AmazingCo’s concierge team working to plan events alongside the software the startup has built, that makes the startup different, Hope said.
“Having control over the end-to-end ecosystem is truly what makes us unique and is our sustainable competitive advantage,” she said.
“Each part of the event is dependent on how well the parts beforehand have been done. Because we control the full planning and delivery process we can iterate through the stages and make sure what happens on the day is a true reflection of the planning process.”
To facilitate further growth, AmazingCo recently raised $835,000 in funding in a round led by Macdoch Ventures.
The funding will go towards expanding the startup’s engineering team, with a particular focus on making the platform globally applicable, Hope said.
“After all, a parent planning a party in Sydney is going through much the same planning process as a parent in Los Angeles or London and therefore our planning software is applicable anywhere,” she said.
AmazingCo is looking beyond Australia and New Zealand to California, planning to launch its kids entertainment vertical in Los Angeles and its wine tour offering in the Napa Valley.
Image: the AmazingCo team. Source: Supplied.