Webwatch: Venuecheck.com

What's the idea? The basic concept is to allow conference bookers to check venues against a 'date-searchable availability system'. Clients can enter specific requirements, including location, room layout and the number of delegates, as well as preferred dates. Similar systems already exist, but this claims to be the first in Europe to offer such versatility.

When did it launch?

It went live in July this year with a database of 40 venues in Kent and Devon. By the end of the year, parent company Availability Systems forecasts that more than 500 venues will be on board, from London and the M4 corridor to the Midlands, the north west and Yorkshire.

What do they say about the service?

Venuecheck.com managing director Andrew Finley added: "A date-searchable availability system has been the holy grail for the industry for some time. Until now, no-one had been able to crack the technological challenges and create a workable product." Meanwhile, Rand chairman Peter Rand has described it as "the most significant development to hit the industry in a decade".

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