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February 13, 2024

Would You Rather: Manage Venue Bookings or Nurture Customer Relationships?

I’ve had the pleasure of managing Events teams and I’ve worked in and around dozens of venues. The professionals who manage events and venues have among the most challenging jobs in the world, and yet they are as customer-centric as anyone I’ve ever met.  

Their jobs are arduous due to rigorous schedules, demanding clients and tedious administrative tasks — all of which can compromise the quality of their events. Many event and venue teams struggle more than they should because they do not have effective technology to assist them.

In this post, we explore this conundrum, its impact on the industry and how innovative venue and event management solutions can liberate event and venue professionals to focus on what they do best: orchestrating extraordinary events. Let's dive in.

Why Are Event Managers Stuck on Administrative Tasks?  

Event managers are constantly inundated with typical administrative needs throughout the event management process.

As a result, event professionals often find their days consumed by organizational tasks rather than meaningful interactions with clients — not just during working hours, but after hours as well.  

According to a recent online bookings venue report by MICE and VenueSuite, 28% of event inquiries requested through a venue’s website occur after hours. And, as the report points out, there is a direct relationship between response time and conversion rates, as 70% of requests addressed within an hour lead to a confirmed event booking — meaning that if venues are not managing booking requests quickly, the customer may look elsewhere.

To help streamline tedious tasks, 85% of event managers turn to event management software to help manage and plan events. MICE and VenueSuite report that integrated booking tools help venues respond to 81% of inquiries and requests for proposals (RFPs) within 24 hours. These tools address 48% of those requests within just one hour.  

Doing so not only helps events run more smoothly, but also improves an event manager’s task load.

But why is this divide occurring in the first place?  

1. Limited Technology Adoption

Some venues or event management teams may not have adopted modern technologies and event management software that streamline the booking process. This can lead to a heavy reliance on manual methods.

2. Outdated Systems

If the venue's booking systems are outdated or lack automation features, event managers may find themselves stuck with time-consuming manual tasks, such as data entry, email communications, and scheduling.

3.Complex Booking Procedures

If the venue's booking procedures are complex and involve multiple steps or stakeholders, event managers may struggle to manage the intricacies manually, especially if there is a high volume of events.

4.Resource Constraints

Some venues may not have dedicated staff or sufficient resources to invest in automated booking systems. In such cases, event managers may resort to manual handling due to limited alternatives.

5.Integration Challenges

Integration issues between different systems used in event management, such as CRM, finance, and scheduling tools, can hinder the seamless flow of information and force event managers to handle bookings manually.

5 Ways Event Management Technology Builds Relationships

Building and nurturing client relationships is crucial for long-term success in the event management industry. Here are several reasons why venue managers should prioritize cultivating strong connections with clients over solely focusing on bookings:

1. Building Client Loyalty

Strong relationships contribute to client loyalty. Loyal clients are less likely to explore alternative event spaces, ensuring a consistent revenue stream for your venue.

2. Creating Referral Opportunities

Happy clients are more inclined to refer your services to others. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a powerful marketing tool and can lead to new and valuable business opportunities.  

According to American Express Global Business Travels’ 2024 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, 59% of meetings are anticipated to occur in-person in 2024 and 67% of event experts are predicting budget increases to meet demand. Therefore, great experiences and happy clients can easily lead to further bookings.  

3. Instilling Brand Advocacy  

Clients who feel a strong connection to your business become advocates for your venue. Their positive testimonials and endorsements can significantly enhance your reputation in the industry.

4. Crisis Management

In times of crisis or unforeseen challenges, a solid client relationship provides a foundation of trust. Clients are more likely to collaborate and work together to find solutions when there is an established rapport.

5. Building an Enhanced Reputation

A focus on client relationships contributes to a positive reputation in the event industry. A stellar reputation attracts more clients and opportunities overall.

How to Spend More Time with Clients

Some venues are managing the space they put people in, but not the relationships with the people in the space. Booking is about more than the room where the event takes place. You are booking space with people. If you want to book more space more frequently and with more accuracy, you need technology that both books space and manages your relationship with the people in the space.

That’s where integrated sales tools like a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes in. CRMs help venue managers maximize revenue while increasing efficiency. How does it do this? By empowering users to manage sales from inquiry to booking, all while tracking progress toward pre-determined goals. Venue managers can also use CRMs to generate proposals and contracts with e-sign components — meaning more closed deals, faster.

How does your venue manage its customer relationships? Do you feel you have outgrown the limited, space-booking-only capabilities of your current software system?

Our platform was designed by event and venue professionals for event and venue professionals. Let us show you how our purpose-built, cloud-based venue management software can help you eliminate tedium and streamline your event operations so you can focus on what is truly important: your customers. 

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Brad Nuccio

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