With science and technology riding to the rescue of the pandemic-struck venues industry, it looks likely that a combo of vaccinations and testing will allow re-opening to begin.
It’s great news. But now’s the perfect time to check that during the long closure, your venue hasn’t gone a bit…flabby – and make the moves that will ensure your business is match fit when re-opening day arrives.
We’ve identified 4 steps you should take now to get your venue match fit for the return to business:
1. Analyse your data
2. Reach the changed market
3. Connect your sales and marketing
4. Overcome the fear
Analyse your data
This is no time to be chasing unlikely prospects – in the new world, you’ll focus purely on your existing clients and genuine prospects.
So now is the time to cleanse your databases with the help of reports in areas including revenues, lead times and activity provided by robust venue management software. Not all data is useful or equal – you need to make sure you are working with quality information.
Analysing this data will provide valuable insight when it comes to making the right decisions, and allow you to benchmark your performance against competitors – it’s good to have the bigger picture.
Consider partnerships, such as ours with Venue Performance, to gain efficient access to market data.
It’s also worth mentioning that following Brexit, it’s more important than ever for your venues to comply with data law. It’s a good time for a data audit, using your venue management software’s capabilities for data purging, anonymisation, right to be forgotten etc.
Reach the changed market
Consumer behaviour has changed radically, and that’s as true in the meetings and events venue industry as anywhere else.
With a virtual working year behind us, clients are more digitally-savvy and far more used to interacting on-screen. Hybrid events combining live and virtual attendance are probably here to stay.
So it’s time to upgrade the way you engage with existing and potential clients, with more automation to enhance your responses to enquiries, and the development of an online strategy to help them locate and book the facilities they need 24/7.
Connect your sales and marketing
Power up your sales and marketing team by putting technology at their fingertips. venue management software with a CRM system such as Microsoft Dynamics brings together all aspects of the sales process from enquiry handling with efficient client management.
The platform synchronises client and contact data seamlessly, offers real-time venue availability and an advanced marketing capability, which even covers social media.
When it comes to repeat business, the more you know about your clients, the easier it is to provide what they want on a repeat basis.
Your venue management software and CRM help you identify your most valuable customers by revenue, discover what events and space they have booked before, and any regular activity that you can tap into, such as an annual AGM.
That makes it easier to reach out to them with targeted marketing activity that is more likely to bring a positive result.
Overcome the fear
This is going to take some time – a year of social distancing has bred worries and habits that won’t be easily overcome.
But your venue can reassure visitors – and your staff, who have the same concerns – that it’s safe to return, even in the earliest days of the lockdown being eased.
For instance, a venue visitor management system (part of your venue management software) can offer a pre-visit health self-certification, then provide touch-free access to your premises. Important documents that visitors supply are saved securely after the visit for security purposes.
It’s been a long haul, and re-opening is just the start of the big climb back to normality. But signs are good – one recent report showed bookings for live events are already strong for Q4, and the industry is hoping to benefit from pent-up demand.
So life’s probably going to get pretty hectic, pretty soon, and it’s time to get match fit – the hard work you put in now getting your venue in shape with robust venue management software will certainly pay off as 2021 finally gets underway.
Discover more – How your venue can power through the post-pandemic landscape