“The 'aha' moment came when I realized we don’t need more buildings, and could instead harvest existing space,” he says.
The real estate project was transitioned into a tech company, creating the LiquidSpace app and Web interface, and he set about building a catalog of diverse meeting spaces located in office spaces, executive suites and hotels around the country.
A year and a half ago LiquidSpace began allowing anyone to list available spaces, and now offers sites in more than 260 U.S. cities.
Gilbreath predicts that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
“Demand is strongest in meetings,” he says, and LiquidSpace’s most common booking is two-hour meetings of three to four people.
The company has partnered with Marriott, helping promote the hotels as more than just a place to sleep via the Workspace on Demand program. Westin properties are also moving into the fold as the brand rolls out its Tangent program.
Keri Robinson, general manager of the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, says that the Westin team has been working to repurpose a portion of the hotel’s business center or lobby as a flexible meeting space with basic amenities and she expects Tangent to debut on-site by end of the year. The 450-room Westin currently offers four floors of standard meeting space.
“The rooms will always be ready for impromptu meetings," she says. “These spaces are great for people who need to meet on the road, but a guest room is too personal and the lobby isn’t private enough. We've already seen this type of demand grow."
Five Westin properties already have Tangent spaces, including the Westin Arlington Gateway and Boston Waterfront, and 40 more will roll it out by the end of this year, including the Westin Grand in Munich, Germany.
LiquidSpace is available for both iPhone and Android.