Let’s cut straight to the chase, how are you finding isolation both on a personal and a business level?
Ted: Isolation is not easy for anyone! However, we at HOPP are focusing on a 3-pronged ‘attack’ to help our business make the most of this time, and give our users the best possible chance to plan and prepare their special party, whatever that may be, as soon as lockdown ends! We all have time on our hands, and this is the time to get organized! We are focusing on being Positive; Proactive; and Productive. We are trying to be as positive as possible during a difficult time; we are being typically proactive by helping to provide our HOPP Suppliers with a platform to promote all of their incredible initiatives that are helping people during lock-down such as food & drink deliveries, flower deliveries and many more; and we are driving a significant amount of our resource into content production, to generate fun, interesting and useful content for all those people whose event had been scheduled in the summer and further afield.
We have found it took a bit of adjusting but we are back in the groove now, what are the main opportunities that you think can come out of this period where both our industries have essentially been put on hold?
Tor: As the old event industry saying goes, ‘perfect planning makes for perfect events!’ We are encouraging all of our wedding couples and those trying to schedule events over the course of the next year or so, to use this opportunity to really spend the free time they have at their disposal, to research their suppliers and build relationships with them. Now more than ever, the industry is crying out for engagement with clients, and you may find that you can secure incredible deals as well as really helping to fine-tune your big day by spending a bit of time doing your research! Whether on social media or platforms similar to HOPP, it really is worth it.
The advice I often gave to my clients when I was working in the Events industry, was to focus on the ‘critical non-essentials’. The little things that once added together, combine to make a big difference. Think table-scaping techniques; floral combinations; seating plans; after-dinner cocktail selections. These all make a big difference at the end of the day, and it is worth spending the time on them and talking to suppliers to get their help and advice.
What was the main motive for launching HOPP?
Tor: I couldn’t find any inspirational websites for milestone birthdays, kids parties, corporate events, marketing events etc. There is an overload of wedding blogs and a lack of clarity in terms of how to differentiate between suppliers. How could I trust them? Would they be any good? Weddings and Events are often high budget affairs, with an equally high amount of emotional investment – therefore you want to use trustworthy suppliers you can rely on and who are also enjoyable to work with (as remember we are in the business of creating celebrations!).
So, HOPP was born. A truly unique and inspiring single destination for all things Events-related, with a carefully-curated and vetted community of the leading suppliers in the industry. All tried and tested. We have developed a new and modern way of digitising the ‘word of mouth’ way to source suppliers. These guys are the best in the business at what they do, many of whom have worked on some of the largest projects in the world, from Royal Weddings, to Global Corporate Events and Celebrity Birthdays. Each of our Suppliers has a profile page with a bio; a photo and video gallery of past events; FAQs; and testimonials – plus, we include our own “HOPP Top Tip” on each of them, giving our thoughts on what makes them great and how best to use them! Users can then create their own Party Dashboard, and effectively ‘build’ their party by selecting and saving their ideal suppliers, before enquiring availability and suitability for their dream party.
The second key area that we have found when talking to the uninitiated event organiser, the discerning bride, or disorganised son looking for last minute inspiration for his mother’s 60th, is that there was very little useful or inspiring information out there to help people sift through the ‘noise’ to help them plan their events. So, we created a dedicated party-planning online magazine- Top of the HOPPs. This area of the website is jam-packed with exciting insights and anecdotes from industry experts, and tonnes of fun snippets on things like How to Avoid a Sea of Phones at Your Wedding, or even The Burden of Being a Bridesmaid. All with the aim of providing our users with the most engaging and useful content to help them make the right choices when planning their celebrations.