General Managers who run the most successful hospitality venues have seen a real shift in the way they operate recently.
Today, it’s not so much a Mein Host role as a data mining role – and technology is providing GMs with incredible new insights into every aspect of their business from sales and event management to billing.
And as customer demands continues to evolve and the market continues to be uncertain, the GMs who making a splash are those who use data and technology to understand the business landscape and respond to its changes.
This is where the new breed of meeting room and event management software plays a pivotal role.
Today’s General Managers are using their technology toolkit to analyse every aspect of the business – even measuring transaction returns in the bars and restaurant with the help of integrated POS.
GMs should be capturing and analysing at least these 5 key data sets
- Benchmarking – against competitors and venues you would like to compete with
- Key trends in inquiries – by location and type of event
- Lead times – how long is it taking to convert inquiries, and why
- Existing clients – and what can be done to incentivise repeat business
- Feedback on events – to influence the development of customer services and your lead generation strategy.
So how does the GM’s technology toolkit help?
Having meeting room and event software on your side makes it quick and easy to create useful reports at the touch of a button, including:
- Sales and marketing – lead report, opportunity & enquiry reports, conversions
- Finance – forecast your future value of business, confirm your level of invoiced and un-invoiced events for the period, keep track of aged debtors
- Gross profit – by event, month and year
- Full summary of the business – over any period, compared to budget and the previous year.
The reports are available online in real time, giving the kind of end-to-end view of the business that GMs could once only dream of.
Good information supports better planning decisions ranging from how space is configured to the strategic direction avenue should be taking – far better than relying on guesswork or instinct alone.
The benchmarking bonus
The best meeting and events software, such as Rendezvous Events by NFS, provides users with the opportunity to subscribe to a national survey that constantly monitors the industry and provides weekly insight.
As well as identifying developing market trends, this makes it possible to compare your venue’s actual performance against your competitors, and also with those who you would like to compete with, and against entire market trends.
For venues who adopt a culture that adopt a forward-thinking attitude, it’s like taking off the blinkers so you can clearly see the way ahead.
What to look for when choosing your GM technology toolkit
There’s a wide range of technology on the market, so how do you make sure you get the best for your venue? Seek out suppliers who can satisfy you in these 5 key areas:
- A consultative approach. Venues are definitely not ‘one size fits all’ and you need an experienced and expert supplier who will take the time to understand precisely what you need the meeting and events software to achieve.
- The ability to integrate fully. The software you choose should have an API-first approach that integrates with other technologies you use, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and with platforms such as Venue Directory.
- Access to quality benchmarking. Too many venues rely on the same type of data they have always collected – but that is no longer sufficient to stay ahead in a competitive game.
- Easy of deployment and use. To get that all-important buy-in from your staff so they make the most of the system, you need assurances that it is quick to implement, that full training is supplied, and that it’s easy to use.
- After-sales service. Your meeting and events software is the beating heart of your business, and you should select a supplier with a strong track record in providing 24/7 support for any technical issues that might arise.
It’s been a transformative few years in the venue industry. The range and availability of venues has grown, customer demands have evolved dramatically and business challenges have continued to increase.
In today’s tough venues market, only the strongest will prosper – and those are the venues whose GMs keep their ear to the ground, take note of what they hear, and use the information to drive innovation.
The venue GM will always be Mein Host to some degree, of course – personal relationships will always be at the core of great repeat business and customer knowledge.
But General Managers with meeting and events software at their fingertips can access data that takes this understanding of changing client requirements, and how to respond to them, to unprecedented levels.
With comprehensive reporting available in a few clicks, accurate data is always at hand – and the hardworking GM can utilise it in new ways that prompt innovation, create new revenue streams and drive increased profitability. That’s quite a result.
Learn more about the benefits of venue management software. How to grab a bigger share of the online bookings pie