With Covid 19 still biting into the events industry, it is a crumb of comfort to know that the government has thrown UK venues a lifeline as they can still run small business meeting events for up to 30 people. With the aid of venue management software it is possible to make these events a great success.
The great news for larger venues is that they can run multiple small events at once as long as they take the necessary precautions.
How technology helps – you need to have a system
A good venue management software solution can help in at least 3 ways:
You’ve got to have a system for capturing and processing enquiries. When times are tight new business is more precious than ever. Once the lead is captured you need to get that to your sales team fast, with a system to remind them to follow up if they can’t make contact first time.
Using tools like Outlook or, worse, sticky notes is not going to suffice – it’s time to get systematic. Given the last-minute nature of many smaller events then the solution should ideally also be integrated with online bookings on your website – the enquirer is dealt with professionally 24/7 and there is no need for your staff to waste time rekeying data.
With aspects to take care of such as social distancing, more time for cleaning and set/up breakdown while ensuring attendees have a great experience, you need a system that is detail-specific. Now, you may like to type up function sheets but it’s really not necessary and is a process that is prone to error.
It’s better to have a venue management software package that can manage catering, organise cleaning and service requests while, importantly, managing and communicating any last-minute changes to the event. The ideal venue management software solution will remind your staff of their daily tasks – much more efficient than a static function sheet.
Having done the hard work of making the booking, running a fantastic event and delighting your customers you now need to start thinking ahead. How can you get them coming back for more? You need to have a system for re-engaging with your clients so that you have a steady stream of repeat business.
Venue management software can help here too by providing the data sets and tools required to see who has booked in previous years, what events they’ve booked in the past and to identify trends such as party size.
You could, for example, run a targeted mailing campaign to clients who booked small meetings last Christmas to see if they would like a similar event this year. Many venue management software solutions integrate with off the shelf CRM solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics, to offer advanced email marketing capabilities.
Of course, today everyone is on social media. Using the CRM you can also reach out to your prospects with timely campaigns and messages to get the message across organically. Client retention is increasingly a multi-channel effort so it pays to have systems in place to engage clients
It pays to have a system in place for managing event bookings – particularly at a time when business is scarce. Venue management software is about end to end efficiency, from enquiry to event management, billing and feedback/reviews. When running with a small team, technology can help you do more, automate processes while giving clients a good experience.
Now may be a good time to reflect on what you need to help your business moving forward.
Check out the Union Club video below to see how venue management software has improved their enquiry handling by a staggering 300% – in the first month.