Benchmarking for Venues to Drive Success

Benchmarking for Venues to Drive Success

Benchmarking for Venues to Drive Success

We are creatures of habit and that comes into play throughout the events industry. When a system, habits, and/or practices work for you, why would you consider changing it? No need to reinvent the wheel, right?

We’d like to venture to the other side of the wheel for a moment. (We’ll call it the axel, without it, there would be no drive!)

We live in a world of innovative adaptation; there is nothing wrong with taking a concept and driving its growth further and deeper. Take a look at nearly anything around you (Bots like: Apple’s Siri vs. Microsoft’s Cortana vs. Google Now) and you’ll find the successful pioneers will most certainly be followed by “imitators” looking to make the concept bigger and better. So why would a business model be any different?

We discuss best practices for the events industry often. Why? Well, because if someone is doing something right it’s beneficial to learn from them (or to learn from their mistakes). Though following industry best practices is a brilliant and highly suggested model, there is more to the foundation in which those practices are built.

There are performance metrics that must drive the practices. Benchmarking requires a much more systematic, data-driven focus to better identify the opportunities for success. Best practices will be common across an industry vertical but there are other economic and environmental factors to consider. We consider competitive benchmarking a focus related to your particular industry (to better set yourself apart from your competitors), whereas strategic benchmarking metrics will reflect your company on a broader, commonly global scale. See below for a handful of concepts that can be evaluated, however, keep in mind this is a small handful. There are dozens of sources (depending on your particular industry) to consult to find standard benchmarking metrics. We just wanted to get those wheels turnin’.

Benchmarking for Venues to Drive Success

Example Strategic Benchmarks


When new venues are in development or undergoing renovations, sustainability is at the forefront of the planning process. It has become a marketing point for a lot of businesses and it’s important to take into consideration what other buildings in the vicinity have done. It’s better to set the precedence!


The gap between a strategic and competitive benchmark will commonly come into play where cost is concerned. If all baseball stadiums across the US were to base prices solely on the industry, there would be a very large disconnect. The same goes for rates charged at a venue, be it rental rates or concessions, the pricing strategies must be influenced by the demographics of the surrounding areas.


Staff turnover can be a large indicator of underlying issues within your business. The primary reason employees leave their current job is due to conflicts with management. By comparing the management within your business to those on a larger scale, you can get a better idea if a fluctuation inyour staff is due to an extenuating circumstance (returning to school, moving, etc.) or if it directly relates to management within your facility.

Example Competitive Benchmarks


When considering a new position, the salary is a primary focus for a good majority of people. It’s essential to look at the wages your facility offers within the industry as a whole. People aren’t uncommonly opposed to moving for a job.


Depending on the type of facility that you run, the reports given to committees or board members at the end of the fiscal year can determine a whole host of decisions being made. By having the ability to benchmark your success with other venues like your own, you can better validate future expenses and needs.


Considering the benchmarking process to improve your facility is not something that can be completed in a day- nor is it something that can occur just once. The industry we serve changes on a frequent basis and comparing yourself with metrics composed years (or even months) prior will serve as a detriment to your business model. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at benchmarking and how various facilities utilize the data.

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