Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.
After confirming that most planners were creating their own internal spreadsheets of venues, vendors, and agencies, she decided that she wanted to bridge the gap. In 2019, Hoppenot founded The Vendry, a free, comprehensive resource listing venues, vendors, and more for event planners to use, saving the hassle of creating internal databases.
“I launched The Vendry in April 2019 in an effort to help replace those processes, giving planners a digital, organized, and easily searchable home to source the best agencies, venues, and vendors for their events,” writes Hoppenot.
Listings are free for small businesses, as Hoppenot wants to help small businesses be successful. Currently, The Vendry covers New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and Chicago, and over the next 12 months, Hoppenot plans to expand to 12 more cities.
Although, The Vendry does more than list venues and vendors. Another part of The Vendry’s platform is their Professional Profiles, which gives professionals the opportunity to get credit for events that they’ve contributed to. In addition, when the pandemic began, Hoppenot listed a Virtual Event Services tab on the website in order to showcase how these businesses have pivoted and adapted to change.
“When the pandemic hit, we saw many of the small businesses we know quickly pivot their offerings to be relevant in a virtual setting. From virtual cocktail-making classes to live streaming support, we were so impressed by the speed with which they innovated their offerings but realized they didn’t have a place to explicitly market themselves for virtual events,” writes Hoppenot.
The Vendry has 6,000 members as of July, and is quickly growing. In addition to expanding to cover more markets, Hoppenot plans to launch more features on the platform.
“Every day there are two things that drive me: I love the people in this industry, and I love our team. I feel very confident that our team is well positioned to make a positive impact on the events industry, and of course the is motivating. If anything, the current pandemic has only strengthened this view and made our work building community and giving individuals a place to shine on the platform more important,” says Hoppenot.