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The Hustle

Name: Micheal McAleenan (VenueViking)

Posted By Joe Hamilton

Micheal McAleenan embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that has become such an essential part of St. Petersburg's story. He is truly plugged into the fabric of the city, offering his services to staples of the St. Pete business and cultural community, including Et Cultura and Station House. McAleenan is hustling to help introduce St. Pete to the world through his venture, VenueViking. VenueViking has positioned itself as the one-stop platform for all event planning needs. By bringing together venues, vendors, and event planners in one place, McAleenan is showcasing the best and brightest event spaces and innovative vendors that St. Pete has to offer.

Years in Tampa Bay

3 yrs

Hustle (job)

Founder / CEO

What do you do?  

Venue Viking is a digital platform that changes the event planning process for venues, vendors, and planners alike. Comprised of both technological and operational features, Venue Viking solves many challenges faced by those in the event industry today. Venue Viking offers online listings and a lead generation tool that assists venues and vendors in getting more localized exposure; in turn, increasing the amount of bookings and providing a seamless experience for the individual planning the event. Venue Viking leverages the latest 3-D digital mapping and virtual tour software available. This allows explorers to virtually navigate the venue without leaving their homes or from Venue Vikings home office in downtown St. Pete! This technology encourages exploration of a venue and it allows a customer to decide on a venue even outside regular business hours. In our technology driven world over 70% of customers do online research before interacting with an actual person. This means flawless digital storefronts and enhanced user experiences is of the up most importance. Outside of VR and our digital venue storefronts, we offer: vendor listings such as; DJ’s, florist, caterers, photographers and limo services just to name a few. We also have a full service event planning team to help clients or business plan and execute top notch events. At the end of the day our goal is to create a community around Venue Viking so that regardless of who you are or what you do, if you hear the word “EVENT”, Venue Viking would be your first thought.

Why do you do it?

I love helping other business grow, It is so gratifying to see a company grow because of your direct efforts. Nothing can take that away from you.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

With a background in operations & event management I have helped companies like Eddie Vs Prime Seafood, Rococo Steak and Station House open and grow there business through local marketing and private events. It was with my entrepreneurial spirit that I could recreate this experience through Venue Viking which allowed me to help venues and vendors nationwide grow their business and get more events.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Our listing site which started off just for venues is now including vendors. We are also now offering 3D mapping and virtual tours for venues.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

I would say the industry itself has a lot of turnover making B2B communication difficult and leads to quickly become inaccurate.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Dont try and grow to fast, start targeted, test, test test your model then once perfected scale.

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