How to plan an event: A step by step guide

Businesses and individuals are constantly looking for places to throw events, have seminars or a simple offsite meeting. But finding a place that fits your need can be a painful experience.

Whether that you need to search everywhere on the internet from Google, Facebook or asking your friends to send you places on Whatsapp, chances are that they have no idea of what your event is like and may not give you the best solution.

As specific as it goes, location scouts are looking for places that can fit 50 people seated, with natural lights, sound proof, with projector, microphones, sound system and nearby LRT station. We understand that pain as we’ve been there, done that.

Things to look for when sourcing a place

As most people’s best guess is to find a cafe, coworking space or hotel for their next seminar or event, most places are not found online easily. We’ve written down several steps that you could take when you’re checking the place out.

1. Set your dates & time

Knowing the details of the event is crucial when you’re looking to find a place. The first thing that any place would want to know BEFORE they answer you any relevant details is to know if they’re able to accommodate your business.

Feel free to set a tentative date and time for your event and be flexible with it. If you really like the place, try to find a time that the space is available to rent.

2. Know the number of people and type of event

As every space is unique on its own, the number of people that they’re able to fit is different. Also, bear in mind that the owners may only accept a certain type of event that is suitable for them.

If you’re looking to have a musical rehearsal, it is less likely that places like cafes and coworking spaces can accept your request. Your best bet is to tell them immediately the type of activity that you’re planning to have.

3. Send out requests

Once you have the 4 elements in hand, start sending out requests via phone call & email. It is also important to understand who exactly are you talking to when inquiring.

Our experience of calling these places is that, the receptionist is not the person in charge and they have no clue of what’s happening. Give yourself some time to follow up with each places that you’ve asked in 2-3 days if they have not gotten back to you.

4. Site visit or recce

After you’ve sent out requests, the owners will usually asks you to visit the place and see it for yourself. Bear in mind that most places will ask you to check their place out but it’ll costs you a significant amount of time to travel and visit.

Here’s a few thing that people would look for when doing site recce:

  • Location & access

Make sure that the place exist and how to access there. How is the traffic like at your event start time? And most importantly, you can see clearly what amenities are available in the location and if you need to bring additional equipment or items.

Understand how to access the location from parking lot or main entrance is crucial, especially if the space is located inside a shopping mall or office tower. It is fairly difficult to locate if no proper guidance is provided.

  • Price

For most places, they have no fixed price for space rental. But rather, they’ll take into account the usual cost they need to cover an hour of operations when you’re renting the place.

Hotels, restaurants and cafes are priced higher based on the number of people they need to serve you, plus the amount of sales that they’re not able to generate at the time. Example, if a cafe can generate RM1000 in sales every hour, booking the space will costs you at least RM1000 per hour which does not make sense for most people.

A way to solve this is to find less packed places and the price would definitely be lower as compared to these prime locations.

  • Looks & amenities

Do the place look and feel exactly as you intended? Is the location able to fit the number of people that is coming for the event?

As most places will not show you a full set of photos that showcase their place, it is very difficult to judge whether these places suit your needs. As some use wide angle cameras to make their space look bigger which will give you a misjudgement if your decision is based solely on photos.

While it’s the norm to visit places before you place a booking, Chupspace provides you with a platform where you can easily do all the above by having these in mind when we build the website.

5. Understand the rules

All spaces are unique and hosts would have different rules & terms for their space. Ask the hosts if they allow parties, smoking or alcohol would be crucial to a successful planning.

Here’s a few things to ask the hosts before you book:

  • Overtime charges

In case you exceed the booking hours, will there be any additional charges for it. If you think that you may need additional hours, let the host know in advance so it won’t affect the next guests.

  • Additional charges

Make sure that the amenities and equipment that you need to use it included in your booking. Some places may require additional charges if you want to use the projector, additional tables & chairs and more.

  • Security deposits & cleaning fees

Usually hosts will make it clear if the booking will require additional cleaning fees and security deposits for certain events like parties.

How can we simplify it?

Planning a party or event should be fun and enjoyable, that’s why Chupspace is here to make sure the planning process is simple and easy. You can find the perfect place easily through an easy to use platform, at the same time knowing availability, price & any other information that you need from booking the place.

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How homestays stay afloat on COVID-19

Ever since COVID-19 outbreak, businesses, people and even countries took heavy hit. This is especially true for the travel industry, where Airbnb’s valuation halved earlier this year. As Airbnb is an intersect of the two market that got affected by COVID-19, real estate & travel. Here’s our analysis on what is going to happen in (at least) the next 12 months.

Image from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World_Hotel_%26_Plaza

Impact to travel industry in Malaysia

As we have seen, international travels are very heavily affected. And countries who have previously lifted travel ban, have high chances to get themselves into the second wave of pandemic, making country officials to think twice before lifting any bans in the future.

As Malaysia have previously lifted domestic travel ban, we can now travel cross state with ease. However, as inbound tourism is still banned, hoteliers and home stay operators tend to lose millions of foreign travellers who travels to Malaysia every year.

We’ve seen dozens of home stays and hotels closed down, or they have to focus on other businesses to stay afloat, that includes monthly stays, cleaning services & others.

Impact on home stays & home sharing

As we have already know, there are about 50,000 hosts in Malaysia who share their homes for travellers to stay. Many of them, are on the commercial side, which means that they rent a house from the owner, renovate, and share it on booking platforms including Airbnb, Agoda, Booking and others, earning margin in between, or simply get a management fee from the owners when they help to manage properties.

Most hosts make a living on getting a share from renting out these homes for the owners, and when the pandemic hits. We see over at least 90%, if not all, of the bookings cancelled overnight. This heavily affects people who operate and work on this field, while relying solely on domestic travels only.

Screenshot from Airbnb https://www.airbnb.com/

We’ve talked to hundreds of hosts & owners on their take to stay afloat during this pandemic. Many of them accepted the fact that domestic travels is not enough to cover operation costs.

But what can you, and thousands of others, do during this pandemic to keep yourself afloat before it is a norm to travel again?

Are you going to move back into monthly stays, where you compete with other home owners and make rental that barely cover your instalment?

Or, are you looking for a better way out?

As we all have been through it, staying at home makes people go nuts. We’ve seen memes like this

Image from YouTube

People are urging to go out, despite the fact that places are restricted and not as safe as before. We’ve seen people in bars, cafes, restaurants just like before, even with the restriction and guidelines in place. It seems social meetup is here to stay, even during the pandemic.

How can hosts monetise social & commercial activities?

As some hosts already found out that people are more likely to book a stay when your space is better equipped for gathering, which includes things like BBQ pit, board games, karaoke, swimming pools, etc. 

There are other things that can be done inside the property which includes meetings, networking, filming, parties and others.

Offsite meetings
House parties
Filming location

Host your space for a purpose

With over thousands of searches every month on Chupspace, people are looking for great spaces to work, or simply to have fun. While hosts are struggling to make rent, why not try to list your space for a purpose?

We’ve opened up a new market for people who have a space or home, to share it for a few hours. Think your space like a gathering spot, where you can host small weddings, meeting, meetups, yoga classes and any other activities that only need a few hours of the space.

Your space can be shared in the morning for a simple meeting, and a photo shoot session in the afternoon. As people are using your space for small meetups, you can set restrictions on how these spaces can be used for

“Made RM7,500 in 3 days when I shared my house for filming on weekdays. It’s interesting to see how my space is being used and I always look forward to the next booking.”

– Anne W., Host in Kuala Lumpur since 2019

How space rental works?

As you have previously rented for a whole night, and have less worries on the charges, changing it to hourly rental may seem a little confusing. But it is worth it, especially when it helps to cover your idle days like Monday – Thursday, when you less likely to have bookings.

Sharing your space can be lucrative as you can charge more than you rent for stays. As some hosts may have concerns on the cleaning, you can always impose cleaning fees. But the best is to let the guests clean up after themselves, by imposing cleaning charges if the guests did not clean up. 

If your space is always used for filming, birthday parties or gathering, you can list it on Chupspace. We provide safety nets for hosts who rent their space at a RM50k insurance coverage, in case there are any damages during the booking.

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New Normal Guidelines

We have measures before each booking take place so you can be safe

Follow these guidelines to make sure that you’re safe. We are always here to ensure the space is clean and sanitised for each and every guests

For Guests

Basic guidelines for each guest

The basics of infection prevention are the following three:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Wearing a mask
  • Hand wash

It is appropriate to have a distance of 2m (at least 1m) from people, and the appropriate number of people to use is 1 person per 10 sqft.

Reserve a space that is appropriate for the number of people so that you can avoid “dense” conditions in the space and maintain a proper distance from other people.

In addition, the following is a list of ideas that guests can do to maintain their distance from others.

Example of use

  • Use a desk for 4 people with only 1-2 people
  • Change the layout of desks and chairs so that attendees do not face each other in front

Make sure that you maintain an appropriate distance from people in the space.

Please wear a mask when using the space.

Also, when you cough or sneeze, be sure to covers your nose with a tissue, handkerchief, sleeves, etc.

To prevent infection, wash your hands and disinfect your hands after entering the space.

In addition, we recommend our hosts to provide hand sanitiser. You can also bring your own disinfecting goods etc. with your guests as much as possible.

Ventilation of the space

To prevent the space from becoming a “closed space with poor ventilation”, open the window when you’re using the space or turn the ventilation fan to ventilate the space frequently.

Also, check with the host of the space in advance about the availability of ventilation equipment and how to use it.

Leave a gap between bookings

By booking an hour earlier before you start using, you can design social distances before your guests arrive and prepare disinfecting goods before using the space.

It also gives you time to check with the host that the measures are necessary.

Manage your own health

Please take proper measures such as controlling your own health condition, temperature measurement, frequent hand washing, and taking a good rest.

Also, please refrain from using the space if you are a little uncomfortable due to fever or drowsiness, or if any of the participants are concerned about your physical condition.

If you want to cancel the reservation or change the usage date, please contact the host of the space for consultation.

Check in before use

You and your guests should check in before start using the space with the host. Also, prepare to take temperature readings of your guests. Please check with your host if they provide these facilities to ensure safety condition of yourself, your guests and the host.

For hosts

As hosts, we understand that you want to keep you and the guests safe on the duration of booking. We set guidelines for you to follow and we also provide cleaning professionals that we trust, so you can host with a peace of mind.

Standard cleaning protocols

All hosts are required to do the following prior to each booking. 

  • Sweep, mop, vacuum and clean the space
  • Supply a hand washing station with soap, warm water, and paper towels or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Clean common areas allowing guest access including bathrooms, kitchens, and entrances
  • Collect and clean dishes, silverware, and other provided host amenities, if applicable
  • Remove rubbish and add new lining to cans

Enhanced measures

We used recommendations from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to compile a list of additional precautions hosts can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to the standard cleaning protocol.

  • Limit guest count based on state and local capacity guidelines
  • Space out bookings to allow for enhanced cleaning
  • Follow MoH guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the space between every booking
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces and shared amenities such as light switches, door knobs and coffee machines
  • Properly clean or remove soft, porous materials
  • Schedule a licensed professional cleaner to come between bookings
  • Provide a supply of disinfecting wipes, disposable gloves, or disposable masks for guests
  • Reconfigure the space or add markers to allow for physical distance
a cleaner sanitising a space

Let the professionals do it for you

We partner with professional cleaners to help you clean & sanitise your space after each booking, at no cost from you

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Connecting people to idle spaces

Chupspace is an online space sharing platform that matches idle hidden spaces and spaces outside of service hours with people who want to borrow or rent.

Small business owners are looking for ways to cover the increasing rental cost, while entrepreneurs are looking for spaces for various purposes, from renting a restaurant during off-hours for their pop-up shop once a month to having video shoot in office desk areas at night.

Since our inception in 2018, we’ve met with entrepreneurs and companies who are constantly looking for a space that they can use. The most interesting one is a booking before Chinese New Year, where hamper companies are looking for a workshop space to pack hampers.

Why do people rent?

Office-based tech startups can always rent a place in co-working spaces, but there are other entrepreneurs who are looking for other types of locations like a yoga studio, kitchen, heritage houses and performance studio for various purposes.

While the concept of borrowing our space has always been around, there are no easy ways for people who are just starting up and not knowing people in the field. For instance, production crews have no easy way to shoot in a cafe on operation hours. Sometimes finding a location takes days or even weeks to search for and get approval from the owner.

Matching site of "people who want to lend" and "people who want to rent"

Owners who have land, buildings, and stores that they are not using had to “lease” or “sell” to use the property. Actually, there are needs such as “I do not use much, but I use it occasionally. I want to lend only for free time.” However, there was no service that could respond to such small needs.

To make it easy for people to book and share spaces, we come up with a platform that connects people to spaces that is previously unavailable. From bars in the morning, houses with tenants, vacant warehouses, private music studios and hundreds of other locations can be borrowed with 3 simple clicks.

Difference from renting from venue

As venues found online are commercialised and more expensive, a lot of times it is not the most affordable choice to go for. Commercial venues typically pay a monthly rent to landlords and sublet it at a smaller fraction (typically 1-3 days) to guests.

On the other hand, in Chupspace, we do not rent a room. The biggest difference between us and venues is that we only find borrowers and matches them, and gives the owner an opportunity to profit from their existing spaces.

Value provided by Chupspace

Attract customers

Chupspace will discover and introduce customers who want to rent a space by conducting various marketing activities on the Internet.

Management system

We provide a reservation management system necessary for operation, such as room availability, reservation status, and customer interaction.

Collection

A transaction function that collects money from users and pays the owner. It provides all the basic functions necessary for an owner to start a space rental business. Providers that provide all the necessary elements for such businesses are called “platforms”.

Creating a new ecosystem

We are creating new business value by renting and borrowing “idle real estate” by the hour. We believe that it will be a platform that can provide the one answer to current social issues, such as the problem of unoccupied houses, which will become increasingly problematic in Southeast Asia.

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