Venues working in today’s fast-recovering marketplace now have better data tools than ever before – but does your business have the courage and culture to make the most of what you discover?
The industry has traditionally lagged behind other sectors such as hotels when it comes to the capture and analysis of data – but that’s now changed radically, according to Luis De Souza, CEO of NFS Technology.
“It’s now become possible to compare your venue’s actual performance not only against current competitors, but also against those who you would like to compete with, and against entire market trends,” he says.
But there’s one issue: it’s no good being afraid of what you might find.
“It takes courage to test your business metrics like that,” says Luis. “It’s easy to stick with the data you already capture, that feels safe. But if you only rely on what you know, you can never evolve.”
Shining a spotlight on your venue’s strengths and identifying areas of opportunity opens up possibilities when it comes to sales and marketing. That’s where the element of culture comes in.
“It’s important that your venue has the culture in place which can take that data, analyse it and draw actionable conclusions about the direction of your business,” says Luis.
“This helps you strengthen your offering, discover new revenue streams and make solid decisions based on more than gut instinct and guesswork.”
The level of data comparison Luis is describing has never previously been available to venues.
Users of Rendezvous venue management technology by NFS can now subscribe to a national survey that constantly takes the temperature of the industry and provides unprecedented insight on a weekly basis.
Why good data means good business
The most thriving venues understand that analysing the right kind data, captured by venue management software such as Rendezvous, helps them understand their customers and business better.
This enables efficiency, cost savings and streamlined operations that keep clients satisfied.
Experts say systems like Rendezvous hit the mark on the 5 Vs of Big Data:
Volume – they capture a vast number of insights
Veracity – it’s accurate information
Variety – the info is collected from a wide range of sources
Velocity – real-time capture is ideal
Value – the system must enable actionable analysis.
How data boosts your venue business
Sales and marketing: It’s easier to be effective with competitor and market insight at your fingertips, plus a venue management system that integrates with CRM for greater understanding of clients.
The fully integrated venue management system also maximises the efforts of your sales teams in the right areas, automatically updating events data instead of using manual spreadsheets.
Customer service: Understanding how customers and potential clients use venues including yours, provides solid foundations for business success.
Within your own business, access to customer data via a CRM ensures clients’ preferences and requirements are met. It also highlights opportunities for further business – eg, if customers book space for an AGM, your sales team can approach them at the right time the following year.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) generates important events revenue across its multiple campus buildings, and is using data to future-proof its business – read more here.
In-depth data analysis and benchmarking against competitors (and venues you wish to compete against) helps identify growing trends, such as the current strong market for small meetings, and ensure your space configuration evolves.
Your event venue management software and the data it collates drives efficiencies in areas including labour control, making it simple to match demand to supply at the busiest times.
Watch this video to see how Eamonn Cole, Managing Director of London’s Union Club, uses Rendezvous to streamline processes.
Take these 4 steps to enhance your venue’s data capabilities
- Invest time in speaking to a supplier with a consultative approach who will understand your venue business’ challenges and offer useful solutions.
- Upgrade your venue management software to one with an API-first approach that integrates with other technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
- Take advantage of nationally-generated reports on competitor activity and market trends to create your business direction and drive sales activity.
- Communicate the benefits of the system effectively to the people who will be using it – you need their engagement.
Operating a venue in 2022 without maximising the use of data is like driving a car while wearing a blindfold – possible, but not likely to succeed…
Luis De Souza says: “Venues have done a lot of soul searching recently, and made some bold decisions that are transforming the way the industry operates. Now is the time to capitalise on that.
“And who will be the winners? There’s no doubt – it is the venues who display the courage to interrogate their own performance against others’, and who have the go-ahead culture to learn from and act upon the results.”