Forging New Paths to Venue Revenue
Just like everything else in life, sometimes if you really want something, you have to be willing to just push forward and make it happen. The same is true for forging new paths to new venue revenue. From most radical to least, here’s a few examples of the changes some venues are making to shake things up and shake out a little more cash flow.
Sweetening the Deal on Suites
As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, Soldier Field is considering upping their game in the luxury biz by adding so-called “bunker suites” at field level. The concept was pioneered by the Seattle Seahawks and has since proved to be a lucrative new source of revenue for several other NFL teams/stadiums.
Sought-after not necessarily for featuring the best view in the house, field-level suites offer the kind of unique, in-the-action experience that hardcore fans and high-rollers alike are willing to pay premium prices for. And in a stadium like Solider Field where expansion is essentially vertical only, it’s a great way to add revenue inside the existing footprint of the facility.
This is obviously an option that requires extensive construction (and the budget to match) and may not be directly transferrable to every venue but it is, nonetheless, an excellent example of innovative thought and the boldness required to put it into action in the drive for new revenue.
A Tasty New Direction on Food
At the Washington Convention Center in DC, there’s something new cooking in on-site dining options. The exterior-facing retail spaces at the center have long been a problem spot for the venue, as they’ve struggled to find options that work well for all parties.
Where conventional businesses have failed, this time around, it seems that venue management is taking a new approach with the announcement of three new restaurants and an upscale grocer. What is notable about the new tenants is that they will all be helmed by famed figures from the DC food scene – offering a one-of-a-kind experience with local flair.
The lesson therein? When at first you don’t succeed, try, try (something different!) again.
Time is Money
As a venue manager, you know this all too well. Every hour your team spends on duplicate data entry or tracking late-stage changes/additions or trying to remember the details of the last conversation they had with a client, is an hour they’re not developing new leads or improving the experience for existing ones.
Venues who have implemented integrated venue management software often realize savings in both actual revenue and improved efficiency that can lead to an increase in new sales and the kind of customer satisfaction levels that lead to return bookings.
Ungerboeck clients actually report an average of 3-6 hours per week/per user of time saved on administrative tasks. For Spokane Convention Center that savings meant that when an admin position became vacant, they didn’t have to hire a replacement. Savings that translated into additional sales staff and a direct increase in revenue. Another client, Hurst Convention Center in Hurst, Texas reported a savings of nearly 4,000 man hours a year since adopting the system.
What could you do with an extra 4,000 hours? Could you grow venue revenue?
Innovation is Key
Each of these examples is distinct in terms of size, scope and impact, but what they all have in common is innovation. A willingness and commitment to look in unexpected places for new venue revenue streams and surge forward even if it seems unusual, unfamiliar or intimidating.