Cross-industry partnership to power venue booking


GRATIS Advisory Board launches

An Advisory Board, representing a collective buying power of £320m, has been established for GRATIS, the end-to-end sourcing and booking tool provided by Comprising of TMCs, CVBs, venues and agencies, the Board will examine the strategic direction of the industry and ensure GRATIS remains agile and responsive to market needs. 

At the inaugural meeting, Instant Book topped the agenda as part of the group’s drive to progress venue booking. The Board’s overall aim is to collaborate to encourage hotels and venues to embrace the technology. They’ll also work to standardise terms and conditions for small meetings via Instant Book as well as review online price points so that Agents have the ability to negotiate rates.

“Representing a diverse range of clients from construction, automotive UK government and finance, our Advisory Board has significant size and buying power within the industry,” explains Michael Begley, managing director of “Together, we’ll work with clients and contacts to help drive considerable change within our sector, notably around Instant Book. Instant Book offers so many valuable business benefits as well as sheer simplicity all around – and it’s an area where we hope to make great strides this year.

“In our current business climate, it’s important to remain flexible, and our Board has been created to work with our team to ensure GRATIS, the end-to-end sourcing and booking tool, evolves to continue to meet the requirements of both buyers and suppliers.”

Anita Lowe, CEO of Venues and Events International, adds: “Collaboration drives our industry and this Advisory Board is a prime example of this. Together industry leaders from all corners of our sector – TMCs, CVBs, venues and agencies – will come together to share learnings, challenges and power progress.”

GRATIS Advisory Board representatives include:

●    Michael Begley –

●    Mark Bevan – Greengage

●    Kim Henstock – arrangeMY

●    Guy Mason – Brief2events

●    Anita Lowe – Venues and Events International

●    Katy Johnson – Inntel

●    Sue Robinson – Greengage – ECOsmart division

●    Louse Lowe – Exec Space

●    Penny Banyard – First Choice

●    Mandy Jennings – Venues of Excellence

●    Claire Heap – Visit Leeds

●    James Turner, Calders.