This Events & Tourism Veteran Wants You To Experience The Joy Of Entertaining!
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Gregory Yap, Founder and CEO of TAB.
If you have ever tried to organise an event yourself, be it an old-friends-reunion dinner party or a teambuilding session for your department, you would know how much hassle and pain is involved. Fortunately, TAB is here to save the day!
A first of its kind in Singapore, TAB is a booking platform that revolutionises small-group event planning by offering specially curated services and seamless convenience. From unique dining and cocktail experiences to handcrafted souvenirs, TAB allows users to book, pay and manage event services all on one site!
And, it comes to no surprise that the founder of this novel concept, Gregory Yap, has over 10 years of experience in the events and tourism industry. Besides being a highly driven and opportunistic entrepreneur, Gregory is also a foodie and gets a thrill from wandering through neighbourhood markets teaming with local produce during his travels.
Read on as I pick his brains on startup challenges, his personal goals and more.
Three words that best describe your business.
Experiences. Events. Seamless.
What stresses keep you up thinking at night?
At the top of everyone’s mind now, including mine is Covid-19. The Pandemic has placed an unprecedented challenge for us and the partners we support. The safety of our users, partners, and staff are of our highest priority. With the situation constantly evolving and new measures and restrictions put in place everyday, we have had to ensure prompt and clear communication and ensure our team was prepared to support our users and partners, assisting them with their bookings and concerns.
We are also using this downtime to refine our product, from making our site more user friendly to offering more varied experiences that meet different budgets and user requirements. Right now, we need to adapt to remain relevant and engaged with our users, ride out this period together and prepare for the recovery.
What has shaped who you are today?
The pleasure I get from hosting small gatherings with friends and family has certainly shaped me. It has been this joy for entertaining that has single-handedly spearheaded my passion for the hospitality industry, inspiring TAB and my wish to provide users with a seamless way to manage and host their own dinners, masterclasses and experiences in a way that is personalised and unique.
Expectations vs Reality. Cite 1 example.
Onboarding a new vendor onto the platform may appear to be easy and fast. In reality, it takes a much longer period of time. We usually have multiple discussions with our vendors to ensure the right experiences are being offered and are varied enough to tailor to a broad range of customers with different budgets, needs and expectations.
In the early stages, we worked with one of our restaurant partners to conceptualise a set of unique workshops that could fully utilise their creative space whilst providing for an interactive and informative element for our users. The result was a selection of food and drinks masterclasses that showcased Ancient Cooking methods and a Craft Beer Tasting Workshop!
If you can travel back in time, what is 1 thing you would have done differently?
I would have told myself, let’s test and go to market with our MVP quicker. We decided to wait and hold back until our product was built and polished. We had this mindset that users are very discerning, especially when dealing with B2B and we only had one shot to capture them.
In reality, our early adopters were more forgiving and generous with their assessment of our product so in hindsight, launching earlier would have allowed us to gather more feedback and iterate our product quicker.
Apoteacary Workshop run by Super Farmers. (Image credit: Super Farmers.)
Would you rather be rich or famous?
Fame is often fleeting. Money can be put towards bettering the lives of the people and communities around you. Beyond material abundance, it is also the wealth of love from family and friends that is of most value to me.
So, if you have all the money in the world, what would you do?
I would love to run a little Bed & Breakfast (B&B) Inn with a vineyard in a place like Napa California offering warm hospitality in a relaxed setting. I’d spend my days serving up great meals and indulging in lively conversation, all enhanced with wine from my own vineyard.
A piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs?
For any entrepreneur venturing out on their own, having “Grit” is so valuable. Passion and sustained persistence are so important as the start-up journey is not all glamour. It’s hard work, filled with curveballs and numerous challenges along the way.
Always remember why you got into the business in the first place and think of your users as your guiding north star. Maintain a strong support system of family, friends and mentors that you can turn to not only just for advice. After those long hours you put in, you need to have a healthy balance to enjoy life and sustain yourself on this journey.
What would you write to your future 80-yo self?
I would remind myself to always stay true to who you are, be present and never give up. You once had a dream of creating something amazing, you stepped out of your comfort zone and you gave it your all. No matter what the outcome was, you lived your life without any regrets and that’s what matters the most.
As Asia’s first online platform for group bookings, TAB removes the middleman (costly event organisers) for small to medium-sized events and supports local businesses who can bring unique offerings to your event. By addressing significant market gaps and adding value to their users, they have successfully carved a foothold for themselves!
Now that you know organising your own group event via TAB can be so much simpler, go on and check out their curated selection of experiences and add-on services here!
Stay tuned for more inspirational stories on local entrepreneurs and businesses!
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