What is First-Hold.com?
For the planner it's magic. For the venue it's marvelous. Technically however, First-Hold is a state-of-the-art online real-time space management system that allows venues to publish their available space, dates & rates. The system will then allow planners to hold space on a first-come, first-served basis - pretty much just like we have always done - but now all automated online. Pretty cool, huh?
Is this a free service?
Yes, but let me further explain. Anyone can search venues, see specifications, view the availability calendar & respective rental rates. If you are a registered customer with First-Hold, you can even put space on a courtesy hold based on a first-come, first-served basis. It's only when you want to officially book (contract) the space that you will be required to put down a deposit. This deposit is fully applied to the published venue rental rate, so to you the planner there is no additional charge incurred.
Can you elaborate on the deposit requirements?
No problem, easy one - but remember this is only when you want to book (contract) the venue...holding space on a courtesy basis is always free of charge. Venues charge room rental for their respective properties. In order to book this space an advance deposit is required by First-Hold in an amount equal to 10% of the published room rental. So if you wanted to book a venue that rents for $1,000, you would pay First-Hold a $100.00 deposit and the balance of $900.00 would be due to the venue under their contracting terms.
Do I plan my whole event on First-Hold.com?
Oh goodness no. The venues have onsite professionals that are far more capable of creatively customizing event plans for their space to your specific needs. You will be working on those intimate and in-depth details with these hospitality pros. First-Hold is here to simply provide you with 2 things: 1) real time venue availability & 2) "bookability" with point & click convenience! You know, kind of like booking an airline seat or a hotel room.
Can I still call the venue to check space?
What's a call? Just kidding, yes of course you can. When you speak to the venue manager they will logon to FIRST-HOLD and let you know the dates & rates that are available for you. You of course do realize that you have access to this same information online...but the call (pun intended) is yours.
How long will my hold remain in effect?
Think of how things work today in our planning world. It's pretty much the same. When you have a 1st hold on a venue, you can remain in effect until "contractually challenged." If a 2nd hold is put in behind you or even a 3rd - you will remain in 1st indefinitely. However, if #2 or #3 want to "challenge" your hold by paying a deposit to book - you will have 24-72 hours "right of first refusal." In other words, you have to book or release the space within 24-72 hours of being notified of the challenge, otherwise you will lose the space. (your time to act varies pending your holding position)
Can I hold multiple venues on the same day?
You do this now, correct? (hint: answer is yes) Well, FIRST-HOLD wants to mirror this sourcing process for you. Putting a venue on 1st, 2nd or 3rd hold has always been free and will remain that way with FIRST-HOLD. What's new is that it is FAST since you can simply point, click and confirm those holds instantly.
Is my First-Hold.com deposit refundable?
Yes & No, let me explain. First-Hold allows you to hold venues on a complimentary, no obligation basis. When you pull out your credit card in order to book (contract) - both the venue and First-Hold see that as an assured commitment on your behalf. If within 10-days of the First-Hold credit card deposit transaction you need to cancel for any reason, you will receive a full refund, less a $30.00 administration fee. After 10-days from the charge, there are no refunds.
Is First-Hold.com for the planner or venue?
The beauty is, it is for both. For the planner a powerful tool to do more than just "search and see." First-Hold gives the planner the platform to actually hold space & when ready, even book space - online, real-time, anytime! For the venue it gives them an online space management system to publish and manage their rates & availability in real-time. In essence, First-Hold is an automated "cloud collaboration" between both parties...I guess you could say a match made in heaven.