The events industry is primed and ready to go.
The demand for event space is set to soar with a recent survey from Northstar Meetings Group predicting that 74% of planners expect to hold their next event in 2021.
With such optimism in the air, now is the time to start streamlining your processes and getting ready to meet your clients face to face.
Preparation and planning improves performance
Abraham Lincoln famously said “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”
Preparation is key. Analysing what is working, what is not and what can be improved upon is the key to future success – long after the post lockdown honeymoon period is over.
Now is a perfect time to be looking at the ways in which you can improve the processes in your venue so that you can generate revenue with ease and create memorable client experiences each time, every time.
Room for improvement?
Efficiency is pivotal to a successful venue business where being detail-specific is so important. Mistakes can be costly and where bad reviews are a mouse click away they can harm your reputation too.
By continuously improving, you gain a distinct competitive advantage in terms of responsiveness and your venue will run like clockwork.
The key areas for improving business efficiency include:
- Streamlining enquiry handling
- Targeting prospects
- Sales processes
- Improving operations
- Management information
Efficiency at your fingertips
There is no magic bullet for running a successful venue business however aligning your processes in one central venue management software system is a good place to start.
Let’s explore how venue management software can impact sales, marketing and the overall efficiency of your venue:
Enquiry handling – one of the key differentiators between a successful business and a mediocre one is the responsiveness of its sales team to incoming inquiries. Having inefficient and ad hoc processes for managing sales calls is bound to have a detrimental impact.
Replace Excel spreadsheets and scraps of paper with a centralised venue management software which becomes the one source of truth for your enquiries. Using such a system means you never miss an important follow up activity as the venue management software will remind you – far less time consuming than referring to a spreadsheet or Outlook reminder or, worse, a paper diary.
Targeting new business – as we mentioned there is no one magic bullet. We recommend for serious proactive business development a CRM solution is required. This can help in two major ways:
Prospecting – using the CRM you can quickly create social media and email marketing campaigns. In addition, you can create automated email marketing sequences which save vast amounts of time and ensure that all prospects are followed up.
Lead scoring – going further the CRM can identify the most responsive prospects engaging with your campaigns. Those prospects with the highest score are automatically sent to the sales team to follow up. Your sales team no longer expend energy on time wasters and can laser-focus instead on motivated prospects.
Sales management – once you have piqued their interest you want to make sure that you keep it until they are ready to sign. A CRM solution helps here as it enables your sales team to manage proposal templates, keep track of client communication in one central spot and ensure that important sales calls never get missed. Integration with the venue management software means that sales reps can quickly show clients availability and further integrations with applications for processing digital signatures for contracts make the whole process of booking events while eliminating the paperchase that much more efficient.
Operational efficiency – generating sales is only one part of the equation. Once the contract is signed then you have to start planning the event. While it is possible to run an event using function sheets and Outlook it is an error-prone and time-consuming way to do things.
Thanks to venue management software all the minute details can be noted and taken care of, no deadlines are missed and, importantly, all costs are captured automatically. Generating client invoices becomes a greatly simplified process – great for your cashflow.
Crucially, by freeing up your staff’s time from needless admin they can spend more time delivering an outstanding experience for your clients – a win-win for everyone.
A wealth of management information – once the dust has settled on your events then it is time to look for improvement. Having the right management information at your fingertips means you can drive even more efficiencies and, ultimately, more business. This information can be used to drive efficiencies in account management, sales and accounts.
For example, a venue management software will track your top clients making it a simple process to identify who of your existing client base you need to target for more business.
Other reports such as aged debtors are invaluable for your accounts team to improve cash flow while pipeline reporting helps the sales team to manage and close more business.
Using technology to help run your business is a no-brainer. Aligning processes such as operations, sales and accounts under one technological umbrella makes for a more efficient operation which is client-focused, organised, integrated, responsive and has tight fiscal control – all the seeds for success.
Taking that efficiency and translating it into actionable data means you can then introduce the human element of analysis in turn driving even greater improvements and generating more opportunities in, say, client acquisition.
Time is gold and by using an integrated technology toolkit to manage your venue business you can make significant savings. Removing the opportunity costs of inefficient processes, such as typing function sheets, means you can save typically four hours per event. For a successful venue running 100 events a year this translates to a time-saving of 400 hours a year.
Watch the two videos below or read our latest success story to discover how industry peers are benefiting from technology to drive sales and operational improvement.