From unemployment to entrepreneurship, event planner Meltem Algan decided to launch her first business in the midst of a global pandemic. Her start-up company, Welcomely App, is centred around face-to-face meetings. It is her way of shining light on Vancouver’s hospitality industry.
In the early days of the pandemic, Meltem received the inevitable call from her employer informing her that she was being furloughed. She viewed her unemployment status as an opportunity to innovate. Challenging times breed innovation.
Having worked in 5 different cities during the course of the past 5 years, Meltem heavily relied on the internet to quickly build her inventory of venues. Event planning in a new city involves hours of research. Even local planners struggle to stay up-to-date with what spaces are available. Now with remote/hybrid work on the rise, professional planners will not be the only ones seeking occasional, professional meeting spaces.
Meltem decided to solve this problem by creating Welcomely App – an online marketplace for small, fully-equipped meeting spaces. From private dining rooms with AV capabilities, to endless hotel meeting spaces – the days of filling your browser with countless tabs are over. Welcomely even includes the city’s hidden gems, beauties that are unveiled through word-of-mouth.
“Each meeting is unique”, explains Meltem, “and non-traditional spaces, like art galleries, can foster more creativity”. While professional boardrooms are great for the average meeting, planners are beginning to seek alternative spaces.
“I have always loved the hospitality industry. It’s an entire industry focused on creating memorable experiences. An industry that works tirelessly to put a smile on everyone’s face. It’s beautiful,” said Meltem. From doing PR for luxury hotels abroad to planning conferences that attract thousands of attendees, the pandemic has not discouraged Meltem from staying connected to her passion.
“Over the past year I watched the hospitality industry particularly struggle. It made me think, wouldn’t it be great if businesses could just ditch their expensive, fixed offices and view the entire city as their office?” said Meltem.
She explained that the average employee commutes to work simply to sit in a cubicle or private office alone. The time spent commuting to and from an expensive office building is otherwise wasted time. Instead, commute time could be traded in for healthy habits like exercise, meditation or cooking a nutritious lunch.
“Commuting is necessarily for face-to-face meetings. It just seems odd that we normalize taking chunks of time out of our day to sit and work alone” she said.
Meltem shares that “the hybrid or remote model is just overall better for individuals, teams, the environment and our hospitality industry. There are hundreds of versatile, fully-equipped meeting spaces that are ready for bookings”.
Welcomely App. will be launching later in March 2021 in preparation for the day that we can safely meet again.
For more information about Welcomely, please contact founder Meltem Algan at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Welcomely Inc.
Welcomely is an online marketplace for small, fully-equipped meeting spaces. Our purpose is to seamlessly connect planners with the finest meeting spaces in the city. Our hope is to shine light on the hospitality industry in these unprecedented times.
About Meltem Algan
Meltem is a seasoned event planner with international experience in North America,Turkey and the Middle East. She was the Marketing & PR Manager for top luxury hotels and resorts abroad. As a Marketing & PR professional, Meltem has worked on high-profile events such as the Turkish Airlines Open and the largest wedding on the Aegean coast, an event that garnered international media attention.
Meltem is the Director of Communications at Meeting Professionals International (BC Chapter) and is passionate about event planning. She organized international government training programs in British Columbia and coordinated the first Audio Visual Investment Forum in Saudi Arabia, a government initiative that was the first of its kind in the Kingdom.
Meltem is the Founder of Welcomely – an online marketplace for small, fully-equipped meeting spaces.
Visit welcomely.app for more information.