Public facilities depend on the local economy to survive. Most venues—conference centers, stadiums, and arenas—are loss leaders for the municipalities that own them. They exist primarily to house activities (sports, exhibitions, or concerts, for example) that attract visitors to the cities in which they're located. A portion of the revenue generated from meals and hotel stays goes toward funding the operation of the buildings.
Because of this dependency, facility administrators are constantly in search of ways to positively impact the local economy through decisions they make and operational efficiencies they enjoy. Venue software—from the customer relationship management platform to the operations management and data collection capabilities—can play a huge role in impacting community revenue.
Securing more business
More events booked into a facility mean more visitors to a city. A purpose-built CRM platform, one that can reduce the amount of time sales and marketing teams spend on data entry and reporting, can increase the amount of time devoted to lead generation. More leads generated can translate into more event sales closed.
Operating more efficiently
Guest experience—from coordinating the food and beverage details to delivering the right equipment at the right time to ensuring that the appropriate staffing is in place—is critical for publicly owned venues. Software that improves operational efficiencies and enhances a facility's reputation helps attract more visitors through word of mouth.
Gathering more intelligence
Putting more bodies in a building doesn't necessarily boost economic impact in the community. Placing the right individuals (when possible) in the facility does. Using software to gather data, for example, on the types of events, local vs. out-of-town groups, length of use of the building, numbers of visitors per event, or per-capita spending can provide building administrators with data they need to direct sales and marketing efforts.
In order for a facility to drive economic impact, it needs to be marketed, maintained, and understood. Facility managers have to be in control of sales and marketing so they can bring in the most events and the best events. They need to operate their properties so that guests are not only pleased, but they are amazed. And, they have to learn what kinds of customers they have and what kinds of customers they want in order to plan for the future.
State-of-the-art software with features and benefits specifically suited for public- event facilities can help managers lower operational costs, build a case for renovation and improvements, and keep venues competitive. But, because of the unique relationship between municipalities and facilities, software can do more than help administrators manage the "business" of a public venue, it can help them invest in the communities on which they so closely depend.