Time to re-evaluate your venue technology stack?

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Our answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”.

With delegate experience coming to the fore, in a new and competitive post-pandemic world having the right set of tools in place is key to success.

It is best to take action now, rethink your technology stack and how it can transform your processes. Let’s explore the options and answer some typical questions.

Why do I need to invest in software?

With cloud-based solutions becoming the norm the upfront investment is low. With minimal capital expenditure, the return on investment is immediate.

With an affordable monthly rental and no need for complex hardware installation, now is the ideal time to road test what is available.

You get all the new features automatically at no extra cost and with no down time. It gives your IT team one less thing to manage and with support included in the monthly fee keeping control of costs is a no-brainer.

Ready to expand? Great – simply add more users and properties. Today’s venue and event management software is designed to be easily scalable matching both your budget and ambition.

Why do I need a dedicated venue management system?

While it is perfectly possible to manage a events diary using paper, Excel or Outlook it is not the ideal solution. It is often a false economy prone to errors with the potential for embarrassing double bookings and missed opportunities.

A dedicated booking system for your venue manages your diary and much more. With a venue and event management software solution you can easily unify a number of different processes as part of an integrated solution:

Diary management – eliminate the need trawl through an Excel spreadsheet or Outlook calendar. Get a clear view by day, week all month of room availability on one easy to understand graphical calendar. Make double bookings a thing of the past!

Wait list management – With the venue an event management software you can easily create a wait list of interested prospects. If a client cancels, then you can then easily fill the diary with a waitlisted client. Achieve optimal room occupancy at the touch of button.

Improved enquiry handling – new booking enquiries are the lifeblood of any venue. With a dedicated solution you can improve the enquiry handling process and conversion rates. Capture valuable sales leads and client communications in one easy to access place. Built in task management ensures that all potential business gets followed up.

Watch a video from Brighton Airways i360 where they explain how moving from pen and paper streamlined their busy events business.

How can technology help me generate more revenue?

In order to grow your sales pipeline, you need to have a strategy for generating interest outside of traditional inbound media such as trade shows, a website or print advertising.

Thanks to technology you can cast your net wider, efficiently and effectively.

We recommend the integration of the venue and event software with a CRM solution such as Microsoft Dynamics.

Combining the advantages of both solutions you achieve:

Better email marketing capabilities – Mass mailing is ineffective. With a dedicated CRM you can segment your list and design attractive, targeted and effective emails that get results.

Lead nurturing – To be effective your email marketing needs to be personalised and targeted. With a CRM system in place you can communicate with your prospects every step of the way in the buyers journey. Automated follow up campaigns keep your venue top of their mind.

Lead scoring – Thanks to lead scoring in your CRM you can easily identify which clients are most engaged by your campaigns and take action. The good news is that Dynamics will alert your sales team automatically to these warm leads. Time wasted on tire kickers is invested in motivated buyers.

Greater efficiency – solutions such as Dynamics are integrated with Microsoft Office so preparing eye-catching proposals is easy and thanks to tight integration with Outlook all email communications with clients and prospects is logged automatically in the CRM – a great time saver.

An integrated sales and booking process – sales teams can access live availability in the venue and event software without having to leave the CRM – great for when they are on a call with a prospect or preparing a proposal. Once the deal is done all the client data is shared with the venue and event management software – another great time saver.

Actionable management information at your fingertips – see at a glance on attractive dashboards where your prospects are in the sales process and take the right corrective action. Identify which clients are contributing the most revenue and craft a client retention campaign.

How else can integration help me?

Progressive vendors are offering a wide range of integrations as they realise “the sum is greater than the parts.”

As we have seen, the venue and event management software and CRM integration offers several benefits.

Integration drives digital transformation in a number of ways:

Visitor management – visitor safety is key. With an integrated visitor management solution, you can ensure that visitors get the utmost personal service from your reception team, that an efficient visitor flow is maintained and that health guidelines are adhered to.

Digital signage – digital signage offers a great and modern way for guests to feel welcome and for them to navigate their way to the correct room. Integration with the venue and event management software ensures that the signs always display up to date information.

E-signatures – integration between the venue and event management software eliminates the paper chase when confirming orders. Signed contracts can be processed in a matter of seconds and sent to both you and the client – automatically.

Online bookings – integration with your website ensures that you can be open for business 24/7, taking bookings and payments. The integration ensures that the booking is entered into the event diary automatically – your team never have to rekey form data ever again!

Conclusion

From the initial enquiry through to the booking to the event itself, integrated technology will transform your business.

Sales, marketing and online bookings are three areas which also benefit from the intelligent use of technology.

With a low cost of ownership for such outstanding benefits and features, the time is now to take action.

For more information on how technology will impact your business, check out our new Venue Leaders Handbook packed with insights and best practice advice.