Event Hollow is a female-founded and diverse Bay Area, California-based startup, providing financing options in an instant vendor booking platform for engaged couples planning their weddings. First of its kind to productize services in any industry, Event Hollow is forging the way to a completely virtual and automated service booking marketplace (in every service industry), made possible by integrated vendor calendars for date availability, a standardized pricing model, previously negotiated vendor contracts, diverse financing options, and complete customer control over the customizations and transactions.
What inspired you to start your company, Event Hollow?
I have been a wedding planner and floral designer for 10 years, running my pretty little business out of my home planning and designing over 350 weddings. In the middle of my career, I noticed a big shift in the clientele. Couples getting married (GenZ and Millennials) grew frustrated with reviewing multiple proposals, paying more than they agreed to, and having to manage multiple bills, vendors, and contracts. I recognized that the wedding industry as a whole had been operating in the same fashion as it had for decades with no improvement. I knew we needed to change, and the only way the industry was going to completely change was if an expert like me took it on.
How big is the wedding market?
Huge. $2.5B just in the SF Bay Area. $100B in the U.S. All untapped. Even the largest wedding company, The Knot, does not have a recognizable market share, and they are worth over $900M.
Wedding planning is extremely time-consuming and expensive. How is your company helping couples to save time and money?
Event Hollow has taken the wedding market and streamlined the shopping experience through standardized pricing, integrated vendor calendars, instant booking and payment plans. By creating this system, we save both customers and vendors dozens of hours that are usually spent asking for availability and pricing, writing and comparing proposals, and chasing each down for payments and signatures. We help customers save money by providing the needed transparency into pricing, giving them the knowledge and power to make educated financial decisions from day 1 (instead of finding out they are spending more than budgeted for 6 months into their journey).
What types of packages are available for your customers when planning their weddings?
Wedding planning and coordination, photography, videography, catering, cakes, desserts, DJ, live music (bands, ensembles and solo musicians), calligraphy, wedding signage, invitations, hair and makeup, floral design, officiant, photo booth, and bar. We are getting ready to launch venues. And soon we will be launching rental companies.
Tell us more about your new virtual wedding planner – Amazon Alexa.
When COVID hit, we knew we needed to conserve capital. Being a major customer service brand, we knew customer service professionals would be costly but were still necessary. So we decided to automate our customer service by creating a virtual guide. Through intelligent email marketing, a smart chat bot, scheduled calls through our wedding planning club that gives users subscription access to wedding planners, and now (very soon) a voice that accesses our rich knowledge base and integrated tools— Amazon Alexa. Once we launch our Alexa skills, we will be able to service our customers just like our smart chat bot, but with voice, creating the feel of having your wedding planner with you at all times, and the ability to ask Alexa to do things like schedule meetings, check venue availability, go over pricing, manage payments, etc. And we are also launching a set of skills that will bring in new customers. With the first mover’s advantage on wedding planning through voice, anyone will be able to ask questions like, “how much does a wedding photographer cost?” and our Event Hollow skill will answer according to our database and provide value to everyone, not just current EH customers.
What are some of the biggest trends you see in the wedding industry?
This is a very broad question. We are very up to date on the fashion and design trends for sure, as well as knowing the unconventional and non-traditional weddings continue to be on the rise. High end elopements (2-20 person weddings with high budgets) have become an increasing trend. Millennials and Gen Z humans value experiences—quality over quantity, more than ever. We see destination weddings with intimate guest counts steadily trending.
What is the long-term vision of your company?
We see Event Hollow becoming the hub for all of life’s greatest events. We started with weddings since my expertise is here, and we know this industry is ripe for disruption. But we see Event Hollow working for all events, making it simple for people to plan any kind of party.
Founder Bio: Jen Edmon (CEO) is an award-winning wedding planner and floral designer with a decade of experience in the bay area wedding industry. She knows the main players, pain points and pressures of both sides of the marketplace. Jen is backed by a seasoned startup team with product relevant early stage enterprise experience with companies including Atomic Ventures, SpringShot, Dell, Wells Fargo and more.