Issue Highlights

The way events are managed is changing. Long gone are the days when event management was no more than an operational tool for simply logging enquiries, checking the diary and generating a function sheet.It’s time for change – the kind of change that involves using social media more, getting proactively involved with clients, understanding the difference between enquiries and leads and using the latest advances in mobile technology.All this and more is covered in this newsletter from NFS Technology.

The Role of Social Media

The smart worker today acknowledges the growing and ever-changing role of social media in business, and the way it is changing the meetings and events landscape. Social media offers the opportunity to interact directly with events attendees, allowing for greater distribution of information to broader audiences. Successful planners use social media to monitor their events, and to collect and evaluate feedback after an event. Using social media enables you to plan ahead and create channels for attendees to access and share content.

If you haven’t considered the use of social media in your event management policies, here are some statistics that you might find surprising:

  • 93% of marketers use social media for their business.
  • Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is in the 55-64 year age bracket.
  • 189,000,000 Facebook users are mobile only.
  • Two new members join Linked-In every second.
  • 25% of smart phone users aged 18-44 cannot remember the last time they did not have their phone with them.

Do statistics like these make you rethink your approach to social media? Maybe it’s time to keep older users more in mind. With so many using mobile devices, perhaps you should give thought to the way your content displays on a small screen. With so many keeping their smart phone with them at all times, you shouldn’t lose the opportunity to engage with them at almost any time. Is now the time to employ a full-time blogger to set the tone for your organisation, share news and keep clients up to speed on your activities?

Proactive Engagement

Today, prospective clients don’t want to be merely consulted, they want to be proactively engaged. While cold calls are a fact of life, it should be acknowledged that engagement is about more than bombarding prospectiveclients with often irrelevant content. Instead, you need to manage your messages by sending relevant content to the right audiences, at the right time, across all your marketing channels.

It’s also about personal contact, and how you engage with a client, keeping things professional, whilst showing concern and confidence, matched to the client’s need.

The key to all this is to correctly analyse and quantify information fromprospective clients, keeping in mind that it’s the quality, not the quantity of that information that counts.

Enquiries Versus Leads

Organisations that understand the need to be proactive turn to Rendezvous from NFSfor their events management requirements. Rendezvous Events enables users to reserve space and resources, request deposits and manage payments, assign and oversee tasks, track booking changes and ensure the proper delivery of catering and AV equipment.

  • An enquiry is when someone has expressed an interest in your service, providing an indication of use and a period of time.
  • A lead is an enquiry that has been contacted, profiled and qualified according to specific business criteria.

Now, to help you understand the difference between the two and make the most of your event management facilities, NFS has introduced the Rendezvous Sales Lead Module. Here’s what it can do for you:

  • It allows your sales team to quickly log and track leads and enquiries without making a booking.
  • It manages lead generation, maximising the amount of time sales people spend on following hot leads versus cold calling.
  • It measures individual or group targets, examines trends and lead response time.
  • Using the new Module, your lead process workflow looks like this:

Event Management on the Move

Acknowledging the importance of mobility today, the Rendezvous Self-Service module gives functionality via a tablet, allowing staff to make decisions while with clients on the move.

It boosts productivity of team members as they make/request room bookings, put in room requests, view the diary, request additional resources, reschedule bookings and add visitors to their meetings.

At the same time, meeting room managers retain overall control over the rooms, and are able to decide exactly how much information is available to users.

Putting Rendezvous to Work

Rendezvous event management software is used internationally. Here’s how three users around the world are putting the solution to work for them.

In South Africa…
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is a South African tertiary education institution that dates back to 1882. It draws international students from the USA, Germany, China, Belgium, Finland, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

To handle the bookings and the day-to-day management of 50 venues spread over the campus in Port Elizabeth – including conference centres, sports clubs and sports arenas – the University uses Rendezvous.

“Thanks to Rendezvous we no longer have to struggle with the workload manually,” says Eleanore Pillay, the University’s Support Services Co-coordinator. “My colleagues, who are often sitting a few kilometres away at another venue on the Port Elizabeth campus, no longer have to physically phone in and check with me on a particular booking. With Rendezvous, all bookings are carried out instantly online. It gives users a bird’s eye view of each booking they are dealing with at all venues overall.”

Currently, there are 15 users of the software, all linked to the file server at the Port Elizabeth campus, to allow them easy and immediate access to any information they require.

“Rendezvous saves us hours of manual work by enabling the block booking of any venue,” says Eleanore. “It is the type of investment that pays for itself over-and-over again.”

In the UK…

Corporate catering company CH&Co embraces an exciting group of specialist businesses designed especially to help locate the ideal catering or service solution to suit all needs. The company uses Rendezvous to handle all its event management requirements.

“We trialled Rendezvous at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, and plan to roll it out soon to other venues within our estate,” says IT Director Michael Garcia. “Rendezvous has helped us to streamline the booking and billing process, saving valuable time which our staff can now use to deliver better service. Having Rendezvous will also help with revenue generation as it gives us better information on our clients’ booking and consumption patterns.”

Venue Area Sales Manager Claire Phelps adds: “Introducing the solution was an easy decision to make. We reviewed other systems, but found Rendezvous the best solution for our business because we find the system user friendly. That helped with the initial set up and got the team up and running as quickly as possible. Rendezvous is also fantastic because of the information and data we can gain from the system for all departments of our business, enabling us to run as efficiently as possible.”

In the US…
The Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange is the largest annual gathering of media executives in North America. This year Rendezvous was chosen to manage meeting rooms and bookings.

“At mediaXchange, advertisers were offered access to Rendezvous’ End User Portal,” says Gay Macleod, Project Coordinator NAA.“This not only allowed them to view meeting room availability, but also to gain access to each room’s description and amenities. They could reserve the room that was right for their needs and received an email confirmation, while retaining the option to view, change or cancel any booking.”

United Kingdom USA South Africa Ireland Asia
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