Welcome back, venues. And didn’t a lot change while you were away? There was an absolute revolution in the way your clients work, think about space and meet – and that’s just for starters.
As a good business owner, you’ve been thinking all of this through, of course.
But it’s not always easy to work out how to respond to changes as dramatic as this, and some venue leaders privately confess that they are bewildered and anxious.
What’s trending client-side?
1. Agile working looks set to stay, and that means offices are likely to need fewer desks.
2. Video conferencing has grown in usage, although few users consider it the perfect way to meet. Face to face is still felt to be best for training, collaboration and teambuilding.
3. Many organisations will be planning a strategic move to smaller premises, with a more agile workforce doing their daily work at home or in other locations.
4. Short term, many organisations will be locked into lease arrangements and unable to downsize. This gives them a problem – unused space is wasteful and costly.
5. With worker safety still a concern, companies may prefer to join hybrid events virtually – it’s cheaper than sending delegates in person and avoids any potential Covid issues.
What do these trends mean for your venue business?
Short term, some organisations may be repurposing unused space, turning it into training or conference areas and reducing their outside event bookings.
On the other hand, offices that have downsized to cope with average usage may find themselves unable to deal with an unexpected surge in demand, or discover that they do not have suitable resources for teams who need to work together in person.
Hybrid events have already proved popular and might continue to be so. That’s not particularly good news for your venue, which will miss out on revenue from catering etc.
So what should steps should you be taking now?
We’ve consulted our experts and identified best practice from our successful clients – and compiled our top 5 tips for rethinking your venue operations to match the new needs of clients.
1. Be more flexible. Workspaces are being rethought and repurposed, and you need to do the same. Could you provide multi-purpose spaces for co-working, for instance? Event venue management software can provide you with the ability to create and manage bookable dynamic space, giving an up-to-date view of availability.
2. Be more convenient: During the course of the pandemic, customers got used to accessing even more areas of their lives online. Venues have traditionally lagged behind hotels in allowing clients to book online, but event venue management software has now been tailored to provide an ideal 24/7 facility.
It’s particularly useful for the self-service booking of simple small and last-minute meetings, freeing up event professionals to concentrate on the events with more complex requirements where the human touch is most valuable.
3. Be more reassuring: Clients are skittish these days, worried about their wellbeing and that of their delegates.
Technology can help provide assurance in a number of ways, ranging from sending out pre-attendance health questionnaires to providing touch-free check in and out. It can even provide information on how recently spaces and desks have been cleaned, and alert maintenance crews automatically when a space is vacated.
4. Be more friendly: The best event venue management software integrates with CRM systems such as Microsoft Dynamics, which give incredible insight into customers’ needs and preferences, and allow your sales teams to build loyalty and develop great relationships with them.
The data captured also enables targeted marketing with offers that will genuinely appeal to each individual client.
5. Be more automated: Staff are hard to come by these days – are yours bogged down in tedious re-keying of information or filling in endless spreadsheets?
A good venue system streamlines mundane operational activities with clever automation, removing a burden from staff and giving them more time to liaise with clients as well as greater job satisfaction.
Event venue management software also ensures the whole team has instant access to a single real-time view of an event throughout the whole process – no more conflicting spreadsheets – and creates bills of perfect accuracy.
And can there even be advantages to hosting hybrid events?
Of course. Allowing delegates to attend virtually can:
- Extend your venue’s reach globally and build your reputation
- Allow more people to attend
- Enable delegates with mobility or travel issues to attend
- Make it possible to livestream and provide long-lasting content after the events
- Provide good value for clients who will go on to book further events.
Once again, technology provides crucial support for these complex events and conferences – your event venue management software is set up to manage hybrid events and integrate with collaborative technologies such as Teams.
A recent survey by Eventbrite found that out of 3000 respondents in the UK, the US and Australia, 53% are firmly committed to attending both in person and virtual events in future.
Coupled with the changing face of meetings and work, it adds up to a vast transformed marketplace for events and meetings venues.
But as competition continues to heat up, it will be the fittest venues – the ones that support their operations and their customers with event venue management software – that pull ahead and thrive. Time to make sure your venue is one of them.
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