Is Your Event Management System Too Small For Your Venue
Sometimes an event business can be a lot like kids. When a venue is growing, it is expensive and can outgrow things quickly. As it becomes more fully-developed, it’s still expensive but now most of that expense manifests itself different ways. The event management system that a venue uses is usually at the middle of this conversation. It is the figurative clothing that our child wears.
Finding an event management system that fits is not as much about technology as it about processes and how they are supported. When I talk to venues that have been in operation for more than a hundred years I find that they have some of the best and most precise business processes; yet they struggle the most with legacy systems and outdated practices. When I talk to state-of-art new venues I find that they truly understand the need for precise technology in their business, but often lack the implementation of industry best practices.
Neither of these problems can be solved by implementing any form of software or technology. They must be fixed from the ground up. Figuring out where to start, and if your venue is using an event management system that is too small, is the hard part.
Not every system is a good system.
When you’re single, you can buy a sports car. When you get married it can be good to find something more practical; like a sedan. When the time comes and you have kids, it makes sense to purchase a SUV or van to accommodate for the new members and an overwhelming amount of necessities.
Event professionals make similar choices as it relates to event management systems and processes. As time progresses, choices that were made in the past must be updated to accommodate new situations. How many venues operate today the same as they did 30 years ago? Often what worked well before is now missing something. As systems develop, they require more and more feedback. There is usually a tipping point where systems and processes are outgrown and must be completely revisited.
Have Your Outgrown your event Management systems and processes?
Can you remember when your business could be operated out of one room? One building? One city? You could walk over to someone to make a change to this or adjust that. And now? Your business is expanding more rapidly than you can keep track of. This kind of sentiment isn’t uncommon.
When communication becomes an issue, it effects more than just your bottom line. For example, employee morale may take a hit because of the increased stress due to a lack of organization. It’s important to evaluate the success of the business with the tools that your employees are given to achieve their target goals.
When you see an increases in things like double-bookings, and refunds made due to an incorrect service received, it is probably time to take a look at the big picture.
Does it take a required amount of overtime to have a successful event? This is a direct sign that something might not be working. I talk to venues all the time that say they require overtime for a large number of their events. They chalk it up to being understaffed, but the truth is that most of the time the tasks being completed are repetitive in nature, and could be supported in better ways.
When these types of things pop up in venue businesses, it is the first sign that an event management system or process is fundamentally failing the business. This is a sign that a venue has outgrown a part of how they previously operated. Traditionally, these problems only get worse over time. It’s worth checking out sooner rather than later.
FINDING THE BEST FIT
If you’ve determined that there are critical issues in your business that need to be addressed. Any new event management system being considered should address current communication issues. Giving the staff the vital tools they need to succeed is just the first step. If the event management systems and processes that are implemented can not only make your staff's lives easier, but also help to drive people to your venue, you’ve restructured your business for long-standing success.
When addressing these kinds of issues it’s important to ask other questions as well. If your system was too small to prevent overtime and double-bookings, what other issues and errors exist in the business? What other problems can be solved a part of a new system adoption? Asking these questions together will help prevent future system shake-ups.
THE BIG SWITCH
They say doing what you’ve always done will get you what you’ve always got. Although implementing a new event management system may seem difficult (it depends) the biggest hurdle to overcome will be the realization of all the things that you probably haven’t been doing. The logical flow between information, action, and success will be more apparent.
Once the dots have been connected between the concepts and execution, the foundation has been laid. The time that was previously spent on tracking information down or double and triple-checking certain processes can now be used to cultivate new prospects or enhance utilization.
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