Can you hear that sound? It’s the rumbling of pent-up demand as wedding and event bookers get ready to take advantage of the reopening of venues and conference facilities…
It looks like some great revenue opportunities lie ahead – so let’s look at how to spring clean your processes so your venue is ready for what promises to be an exciting time.
Cut the paper trail
Are you duplicating processes on disconnected systems such as Excel, Word or Outlook? Is information hard to find?
Maintaining bookings through centralised venue management software wipes out the errors caused by cobbling together solutions like Outlook to maintain a busy bookings diary. What’s more, double bookings become a thing of the past – you can even waitlist potential clients.
And there are also other processes you can streamline with digitisation:
Invoicing – a venue management software solution saves time by generating invoices automatically. All event costs are captured, eliminating error-prone spreadsheets, invoices in Word and lost revenue. Integration with accounting packages such as Sage makes the process painless, it’s simple to produce key information such as aged debtors.
Managing contracts – Integration between signature solutions and the venue management software means all is saved safely and electronically. Contracts can be signed in seconds – convenient for you and your clients.
Function sheets – Typing function sheets in Word is a thankless task. A venue management software solution automates the process, captures costs for invoicing and ensures tasks happen on time because as service staff are notified automatically of any requirements and changes. Supporting detailed documentation such as catering sheets and event sheets can also be produced in seconds.
Streamline sales and marketing
The world of marketing has moved online in the last 12 months. Here’s what you need to look at in terms of sales and marketing processes:
Fast and efficient enquiry handling – not everything can be done online – for complex events speaking to a knowledgeable sales person is often the preferred option. A venue management software package drives the follow-up process by capturing enquiries in seconds. It automates reminders so the sales team are in contact at the right time in the buyer’s decision making process.
Multi-channel marketing – you need a process in place to generate a pipeline of future enquiries. We recommend an integrated approach between the venue management software system and a CRM system, managing the digital touch points from website enquiry to email to social media. A great system enables your marketing teams to create email campaigns quickly and schedule social media across multiple channels.
Sales management – Information from the venue management software on availability feeds back to the CRM so sales teams to have one point of reference when managing bookings. They can also schedule follow up tasks, record client communication and quickly check their sales pipeline.
Marketing automation – this is key to your success. Nurturing prospects may take several pieces of content and multiple emails. The CRM system enables you to create sophisticated marketing flows which can be triggered when a prospect clicks on a link, for example. Even better, the CRM notifies your sales team of the most engaged prospects so they spend less effort on time wasters.
Digitise your proposals and brochures – now’s a great time to throw away those dusty paper brochures and create new digital collateral for your website to capture leads and also email to prospects. Integration between Office and the CRM means you can create stunning client proposals and, crucially, track the progress of the proposal through the sales cycle.
Automate the booking process
An online enquiry form is mandatory for taking enquiries but it still relies on human intervention. The personal approach is great for selling complex events but for smaller events with simple needs it makes sense to also offer online booking, because:
- It’s fast and convenient for prospective clients
- Integration between website and venue management software means the booker sees all relevant information
- Payment integration means you get paid instantly
- The data is entered directly into the venue management software
- It’s like having a 24/7 booking desk – never miss a sales opportunity!
The possibilities are boundless – further integration of the venue management software with popular sites like venuebooking.com enables you to promote your spaces to an even wider audience.
Look to the future
Reporting is key to unlocking future opportunities for revenue and streamlining processes.
So when you’re choosing a venue management software reporting suite, look for one that has:
- A wide selection of built-in reports. Look for a solution that can provide a comprehensive reporting suite that measures all aspects of the business from sales to financials to room utilisation. Auto-schedule reports and save more time – set it and forget it.
- The ability to create custom reports on the fly. You should also have the flexibility to create your own reports as well to meet your own specific needs. Look for a solution which offers the tools to query databases in an intuitive yet rigorous manner.
- Dashboard capabilities – A dashboard enables you to see clearly where the business is going, what corrective action needs to be taken and what can be learnt from past performance in real time.
Having disjointed processes is a recipe for disaster. A specialised venue management software system will remove human error and ensure all data is captured and acted upon.
Automating processes – such as function sheets and task management – frees up your time to focus on growing your business and delighting clients.
So spring clean your venue processes and develop an integrated approach for success. With venue management software that works seamlessly with CRM, accounting and online booking, you’ll boost your sales and marketing firepower, improve your cash flow and find new income streams. – what venue could ask for more?
* Find out more about improving your processes – check out our resources below.
Watch the Union Club video for a great real-life example of how venue management software has eliminated all their manual processes.