Entrepreneur Knut Gaskjenn (pictured) has launched a free service, Spacily.com, which can match vacant event spaces with meeting planners and event managers.

The service claims to save events professionals up to 120 hours a year by offering virtual show-arounds, price parity and expert online booking advice. The platform is designed to help its customers discover mid- to high-end meeting rooms and book them online without having to make multiple phone call.

While statistics generally show significant growth in online meeting software – Skype, Flock, Slack and more – a 2016 American Express report discovered that face-to-face meetings are still popular in most industries.

“The London meetings and venue market has been struggling for a very long time – since the recession,” said Gaskjenn. “We wanted to come up with a solution that helped venues to grow by unlocking under-utilised spaces to combat the changes that are happening as a result of the uptake of virtual meetings.

“At the same time, we wanted to introduce simplicity to a time-consuming selection process for users. Face-to-face meetings matter as they facilitate the development of businesses through better and clearer communication. Meeting rooms are conversation starters, talking points and investing in people has never been more important. A handshake lasts longer in the mind than an email.”