Digby Vollrath chats about all things Feast It
What is Feast It?
Feast It is an operating system for the events industry. It’s a platform that lets anyone organise any event. And no matter what they’re looking for, we’re a solution that lets them seamlessly find it.
How did you have the idea?
Aside from a stint as a low-level music journalist, I’ve always worked in events. That ranged from working behind bars at weddings, to founding hospitality start-ups and running events in the US. I noticed that the market was really fragmented. Tens of thousands of small independent companies – from florists to food trucks – were struggling to connect to a wider user base. And it was hard for people to find them, too.
If you want to run an event, don’t you just use a planner?
The average wedding in the UK has 10 to 15 different suppliers and costs over £20,000. Putting something on like this, you have two choices, go with a wedding planner, or research suppliers individually. In fact, the events industry prior to Feast It looked very similar to the travel industry in the 1990s, with traditional events planners acting a bit like travel agents. But now you have Booking.com and Airbnb, which means you can curate unique travel experiences for yourself. We wanted to create that same level of democratisation and empowerment for the events industry.
How does it work exactly?
We understood initially that about 85% of people who were organising events were going online trying to look for a solution. So, we had to design a platform that allowed users to instantly create an enquiry about an event, get quotes from different suppliers, and tailor it all based on size, budget and location of the event. Crucially, we vet suppliers, so Feast It is populated by only the best service providers. At the heart of it, Feast It is a curated discovery platform, which gives you a number of tools to organise the event from there.
And this is probably great for suppliers too, right?
Yes, we give supplier and entrepreneurs a streamlined acquisition platform. We help them find exactly the customers they’re looking for. And the focus is on empowering small, independent and artisanal businesses with the tools they need to grow. There are 2,000 small businesses on our platform, 99% of those are family-owner, they’re the independent street food trader, they’re the sole photographer. What Shopify might do to the independent T shirt producer, that’s what we’re looking to do for the independent events business.
You must have had some wild requests for events.
Yep, we’ve been asked to ship out food trucks to Dubai. Someone once ripped out their kitchen to install the right equipment so that a specific hamburger brand could do a pop-up. We’ve had major, A list celebrities suddenly just turn up on our chat bots demanding waffles for the next morning for onset catering at huge blockbuster films.
What has been the weirdest?
Well, the weirdest one was something that – oddly enough – we didn’t do. The Daily Mirror decided that we were the primary caterer for Harry and Megan’s wedding, which we weren’t. The article was about how we were best friends with Prince Harry – no one in our company has ever met him. Totally untrue and unfounded, but a helpful PR boost all the same.
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