Social Tables Connects with a Capital Infusion
Funds will enable greater enhancements in product automation and collaboration
Three years ago Dan Berger founded Social Tables in Washington D.C. in an effort to address the lack of communication in event planning. As an experienced hospitality professional himself, Berger could personally attest to the difficulties in getting dozens of vendors to sync together flawlessly, and found real-time check-in and communication nearly impossible. His understanding of the inefficiencies of event planning led him to create Social Tables, a dynamic software that allows for collaboration, online sales, marketing, 2D and 3D room diagramming, event attendee management, and business intelligence for hotels.
As to the inefficiencies he chose to target and alleviate, Berger says: “If I had pick one thing it’s the lack of communication around planning. I have found it so ironic: we rely on dozens of vendors working in concert to get an event done right and yet our level of teamwork is just not where it should be and there are so many redundancies. The need for real-time check-in and a definitive floor plan (instead of three to five) are two examples that come to mind.”
By achieving this, and more, Social Tables has become an award-winning software system and has helped 2,500 customers plan more than 175,000 events. Its diverse clientele ranges from hotel chains such as the Hyatt Hotel Corporation to academic institutions such as Harvard Business School, and even corporate meetings like Genentech. The company continues to see unprecedented growth and recently secured $8 million in funding to continue its growth.
Securing the money took Social Tables approximately four months and a dozen conversations with established venture capital firms, Berger says. The company settled on Bessemer due to its extensive experience in cloud software and portfolio of similar companies like LinkedIn and Pinterest. Leading hospitality venture capital firm, Thayer Ventures will also participate, alongside previous investors Militello Capital, 500 Startups, Middleland Capital, and Fortify Ventures.
Berger states that the $8 million will be focused on automation and collaboration. “For example,” Berger says, “We are taking 3D to the next level by building virtual tours using augmented reality. We also will make collaboration smoother by adding a layer of annotation to floor plans. And yet another goal is to create smart floor plans that will know the event’s objective and even ensure that the plan follows fire codes. These enhancements are the tip of the iceberg.”
Berger notes that the new Pocket Planner Social Tables designed in partnership with the Convention Industry Council is a great example of this. The mobile application quickly gives clients accurate estimates for their events, makes last-minute orders, and allows an event designer to use their own standards or industry best practices.
Hospitality leaders from across the industry are excited for the software’s expansion including Greg O’Dell, President and CEO of Events DC and Karen Kotowski, CEO of the Convention Industry Council, both of which have spoken in favor of Social Tables.
Mayor Gray of Washington D.C. also spoke in support of Social Tables, stating “The hospitality and technology industries in the District of Columbia play a critical role in strengthening the city’s economy and ensuring the District remains a world-class city. Social Tables’ creative approach to merging these two vital sectors has been phenomenal, and I congratulate Dan and his team for securing funding that will allow Social Tables to continue to grow and thrive.”
Using new technology to advance services, this opportunity to grow and expand operations will offer many exciting benefits to the event industry as a whole.
eNews August 2014