You’re planning your wedding and you’ve checked off the guest list, the dress, and your wedding party. But what about where the magic happens — the venue? From square footage to lighting, choosing a venue can be just as stressful as saying yes to the dress. With preParti‘s 3D renditions of local venues, you can do all the venue searching from the comfort of your couch.
Founded in 2016 by Factory Girls founder Regina Weir and her brother Dosa Kim, the team utilized video game technology with customizable features to provide true to life renditions of venues for your next event. Change the linens, the lighting and even the centerpieces — all from the app.You can find the Venetian Room, the Gathering Spot, the Frazer Center, and other local venues already on the app. It’s also a great tool for event planners to create mockups for clients.
As they gear up for the release of their iOS app (they are already on Android), Weir shares more about the technology behind preParti’s virtual experience, its unique features, and why Atlanta is a great place to grow their company.
What’s your pitch?
preParti is a mobile app that helps anyone lay out their event inside real venues. The end user can walk through real spaces to make better decisions about their choice of venue and they can even design within that space to help them really see what their event will look like. preParti allows the end user to change their linen colors and the design aspects down to the centerpieces, and we capture the details of each space to give the user the visualization that does not exist in the mobile market. We are currently looking for strategic partners looking to grow their interests in the events industry.
How did preParti come together?
Dosa helped a company create something similar for an architecture project in LA while I was in Atlanta running the largest linen rental company in the metro area. The linen company was sold as Dosa was looking to move back, and we talked about his architecture project as an idea for the events industry. When he moved back to Atlanta, we talked more about how the app would work, who it would help, and how we could create a business around the idea.
What problem are you solving?
Engaged couples, or anyone planning an event, can browse and walk through real event spaces on their mobile phone, saving time and money. Instead of going from one website to another, looking at pictures that might not accurately depict what a space looks like, the user can walk through any space in the app to give them a better understanding of each site.
Tell me more about the 3D technology being used in the app. How is it unique to the app?
There were no mobile tools for event layouts, so we took video game 3D technology and repurposed it. We use 3D virtual tour cameras and use those scans for reference as we recreate the venues to ensure all of the spaces are to scale. By using video game technology, we allow the end user to manipulate real spaces with graphics that rival some of the best mobile games on the market today.
What features can customers expect?
Almost everything in the app is customizable such as table linens and centerpieces and the user can even change the lighting from day to night. They can actually see their event and make more informed decisions based on something they can see as opposed to something they imagine. Users can share their designs and walk through each other’s designed spaces. This way if a planner wants to share their design with a client, they don’t have to be in the same room, and they never have to go back to the venue. Everything can be done quickly and easily through their phones.
For venues, this solves a number of problems as well. preParti allows the venue owners an option for people who are unable to schedule a time to see their space whether that reason is because they live out of town or because of other scheduling conflicts. The app also helps alleviate the time their clients come back again and again to see the space with their family members, friends, or planner. We aim to change the way people plan real spaces and give them the power to make more informed decisions.
Which Atlanta venues are currently in the preParti database?
So far we have a good range of different types of venues from barns to upscale luxury spaces. Some of the venues we are most proud of are the Venetian Room, the Gathering Spot, Mason Fine Art, the Payne-Corley House, and the Roswell Mill.
We don’t have any requirements to have a venue in the app because we want to feature as many venues as possible to help people find the right place for their event. The venues that we have right now really see the value in what we’ve created. They see that their clients are moving toward mobile. Many of them have said that having an app that is easy to use for their clients was a big reason for signing on with us.
What’s your current funding situation?
We had a friends and family round and the rest is bootstrapped. We seek outside investment when look to scale. Our goal is to scale nationwide and to popular wedding destinations such as Mexico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. We want to make sure we make the right moves here in Atlanta first.
What’s your revenue model?
The venues pay a monthly subscription to be represented on the app which is based on their square footage. The app is free, however there will be downloadable content that we will charge for such as table linen fabric options, a variety of centerpieces, etc.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
Our biggest competitors are Social Tables and AllSeated, however we don’t see them as direct competitors because they don’t have a mobile option that complements their web and desktop software. Also, their 3D layout renderings are done in CAD, which doesn’t give the detail that preParti does. We believe in an industry where visualization is key, we have an advantage by giving our users an unbeatable virtual experience.
How does ATL weave into your story?
Dosa and I are both proud Atlanta natives and after spending time in LA and New York, respectively, we are happy to be back. Our first city we are covering is Atlanta not only because our offices are located here but because we also feel like Atlanta has a lot to offer. We’re super excited to showcase the city we love and all the different places in and around the metro area.