Forged during the ‘adapt or perish’ challenges of the pandemic, Sheetal Sachdev, has developed and launched QHost, the first end-to-end online solution as a one-stop SaaS to streamline the management of all the processes for exhibition organisers. With big brands signing up, this will spell a new era for the exhibitions industry.
To date, SaaS products for the exhibitions industry have enforced a fragmented approach to organising shows, forcing managers to adopt several disconnected pieces of software before, during and after a show. Combinations of software are used, such as LiveBuzz or ASP Events for event websites, Hopin and Bizzabo for virtual event platforms and Uppler and Events United for post-event audience engagement. This procurement quagmire was exactly what inspired the creation of QHost, as a holistic and powerful alternative.
Decluttering IT for Exhibitions
“The ‘pain’ felt by exhibitors using software for support, was that they had to invest into several products and manage them independently for each phase of an exhibition,” said QHost CEO, Sheetal Sachdev. “It could be complex, time-consuming, expensive and messy when dealing with these, all in sequence.”
She realised there was no SaaS that dealt with the whole process from end-to-end, that could be carried forward to further shows as one source of data, and she had a clear idea of how to develop it.
“We created the only platform that allows event organisers to use one technology for every phase, so pre-event it’s an event website, during it becomes a virtual event and post-event it becomes a marketplace. Normally, they would sign up with at least three different service providers. This is one place for everything, so it’s easier and keeps the data central and available.”
Today, the demand for the SaaS is palpable, it not only solved problems for exhibitors without exhibition space during the dark days of the pandemic, but it has since evolved as a complete support platform for exhibitions and shows, online and hybrid. Before one piece of marketing was out, the ‘big hitters’ were biting.
“My non-exec advised me to be ready because as he said, this is a monster, this is big!” she recalled.
Sheetal realised she was dealing with something disruptive and industry changing.
Being the first is important
“We began in 2021, straight away attracting clients such as Conde Nast and Clarion,” said Sachdev. “Our platform supported the launch of virtual events such as Vogue Wedding Show, Architectural Digest, Top Drawer to name a few and we had incredible metrics – like 10 million page views. Only a year in, we are transforming the way major exhibitions are run. We now need to continue to grow the proposition in the events industry and keep momentum. This is definitely the way forward for running these kinds of events, we have proven its value to our initial clients.”
The platform is white-labelled and customisable to adapt to each client’s branding and requirements. It provides a marketplace for sellers to showcase their collections in one place whilst consumers can see trends and launches, schedule meetings, raise enquiries and request quotes, whilst international payments and worldwide deliveries are possible.
Sheetal is forming a dedicated team and a robust structure around the business, with an eye on further product development.
“Being the first to do this is important, and we intend to keep ahead. My priority is this. It’s what is needed by the industry, and we have it, this is a big moment.”
Sheetal Sachdev is CEO of QHost and Treniq. She previously led teams at Tesco, Western Union, Achica. Find Sheetal Sachdev on LinkedIn.
QHost was founded and launched by Sheetal Sachdev and Nitesh Thandani in 2021 with a supporting team. QHost is a SaaS providing a ‘white labelled’, fully customisable end-to-end ‘one-stop’ platform for exhibition and trade show organisers, functioning as a website, a virtual event platform, marketplace and a database to provide a central hub before, during and after events’ lifecycles.