Monday, October 1, 2012

New Website, "Vimbly" Virtually Navigates the City For Busy Activity-Seekers

Vimbly Navigates the City for  Busy Activity-Seekers
New website, "Vimbly," launches today, and seeks to change the way New Yorkers find and book activities. Ever want to try a new class or activity in NYC but feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available? How do you sort through available activities, times, and costs, remaining confident that you'll discover the best deal? According to Vimbly, "71% of people have decided against signing up for an activity due to the hassle of booking." With that in mind, Vimbly takes the hard work out of actually booking the activity, allowing patrons to save time and energy, which they can devote to the actual experience, instead of the chore of finding that experience.

Vimbly hopes to do for activities what sites like Orbitz did for air travel or Open Table for dining out, by streamlining the search and booking process. Surf over to the site and instantly book your desired lesson or activity. If you're just browsing for something to do, perhaps seeking to impress a date, Vimbly's home page highlights featured activities that can be booked instantly, with a calendar matrix showing available class times and dates. For now, all activities offered are on weeknights and evenings, as the site seems geared towards busy professionals.

Whether you want to try a martial art, learn a new cooking technique, or dance like a star, Vimbly is the place to go to discover and book low-cost activities. The site streamlines the process by breaking classes into categories, such as "food adventure," "dance for beginners," and "photography," as well as giving patrons the option to search for an activity by specific keyword, if you already have an activity idea in mind, or by location (with the help of an expandable google maps icon), date, time and/or price, if you're browsing for a new hobby.

Suppose you want to browse free intro and trial classes. On the top left corner of the site, you can change the price search option to "$0," and find a class to meet your mood. Learn the basics of bartending in a free mixology trial class, whirl a date across the dance floor during an introductory salsa and swing class, or discipline your mind and body in intro Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and more. More unique activity, date and hobby ideas can be found under the category "Make Me Interesting," where you can book intro to pole dancing classes, improv comedy, chess or guitar lessons, or make a reservation to visit a local exhibit such as Dialog in the Dark.

Vimbly Virtual Ticket With Booking Information
The name "Vimbly" is part acronym, part word-mash up, and stands for "very nimbly." This could be a reference to the many nimble activities offered, or a shout-out to the site's own agility, and the ease and speed with which activities can be reserved. Just click on your desired date/time, fill in your name and email address, and number of guests (including yourself), and you will instantly see a virtual ticket with all of your booking information. Don't worry about printing this, as Vimbly is fairly paperless. You will instantly receive an e-mail confirmation that you should keep handy on your smartphone, if you have one, or via printout if you don't, but Vimbly works closely with each and every vendor so that you can just walk in and say, "Hi, my name is Heather, I booked the 5pm Popping and Locking class on Vimbly," and immediately be recognized and welcomed.

The staff of Vimbly don't just pick vendors willy nilly, but often actually try out the classes they offer to book for you. Vimbly is continuing to expand and is frequently adding new vendors and categories. Vimbly also keeps a blog of fun ideas and articles to broaden your activity-search experience. Consider reading "Why Dinner is a Terrible Date Idea," and learn why you may want to book an alternative activity with your would-be partner (on Vimbly, of course...), or read about the benefits of a martial arts workout, in "Martial Arts: 30% More Calories, 100% More Fun Than Traditional Workouts."

Customer service is key at Vimbly. There are absolutely no booking fees, and most activities do not even require pre-payment, but instead allow payment on arrival. (See Vimbly's FAQs for more payment explanations). Rest assured that should you run into any unlikely problems with your booking, the "Vimbly Handshake" acts as a virtual guarantee that your issue will be resolved quickly and efficiently. Just e-mail, and Vimbly staff will respond to you within six hours. If you were truly unsatisfied with a vendor, Vimbly may even refund the cost of your activity, regardless of whether or not you pre-paid through Vimbly's site.

Vimbly is just starting out, but the site ran some recent beta tests, and WGINY was very impressed with how easy and fun it was to book an interesting class. With Vimbly, users bypass all the time-consuming google-searching, sifting through link after link after link, manually comparing vendors and class schedules, and other draining work. Vimbly has already taken all of this information from around the web and gathered it for you, presenting it in a manner that makes it easily searchable and instantly bookable. Read more about "bookability" and how Vimbly is working to fix a broken system here, and then go discover your activity. Your new Krav Maga instructor is waiting for you.