How to Choose the RIGHT Events Management Software and Venue Management Program for your Venue
At our recent Eldred Functions & Events Sales Training Workshop, attendees compared their different CRM & Venue software. This Events Management & Calendar software can be used for marketing, selling and running their Functions & Events.
Your Function Sales Team can use a variety of software to keep track of function & event enquiries & bookings.
FOUR TYPES OF EVENT VENUE SOFTWARE
There are FOUR TYPES of SOFTWARE used for Venue Events Management based on your venue’s needs and budget.
1. BASIC SPREADSHEETS – Some Venues just use common spreadsheets for tracking enquiries, prospects and events. It’s MUCH better than just using a paper based system.
2. GENERAL CRM SOFTWARE is GOOD for keeping track of event prospects and function enquiries. Event enquiries come from many different sources and need to be nurtured along the buyer journey to making a booking. But this software just doesn’t have the capabilities for organising and managing the running of events at a venue.
3. EVENT & VENUE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE has many more features to help organise and run the whole event (see below). This is especially useful to help improve communication between management, the venue & Event teams and your customers.
4. SPECIALIST VENUE SOFTWARE is great if your venue is large and you are booking many spaces. It’s really designed for BIG convention centres, stadiums and educational facilities. This software can also be helpful for selling tickets to events, concerts and shows.
1. BASIC SPREADSHEETS – LOW COST TRACKING OF LEADS & EVENTS
- Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets
- Google Sheets
Many new and smaller function venues & restaurants move from using a paper-based Booking Diary or MS Outlook Calendar to tracking their Function and Event enquiries & bookings on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets.
It is a great idea to keep a duplicate online back up of ANY paper booking systems in case of LOSS of a diary through theft or venue fire.
2. GENERAL CRM FOR PROSPECTING & SALES
There are many great low-cost CRM systems for keeping track of prospects and bookings. If you aren’t ready for or can’t afford a Venue Management CRM (Boss won’t pay) then these are great tools for any Function Sales Coordinator and many offer integration to your website and social media. Some popular lower cost CRMs for venues include:
3. POPULAR VENUE CRM & EVENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE IN AUSTRALIA
Most of the hundreds of function & event venues that have attended our training use these POPULAR Function & Event Management programs:
- Easyweddings CRM (provided by Easyweddings Website Directory)
OTHER POPULAR VENUE & EVENT SOFTWARE
These are some NEW Function & Event Software that look very good – mostly used in USA.
- Gather – Multi Event & Caterers
USEFUL FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN VENUE & EVENTS SOFTWARE
When looking for software for your Function or Event Venue you should seek:
- A Web-Based Event Program that can be easily accessed via Mobile
- Booking Calendar
- Contact Management and Communications
- Event Costings to make quotes
- Facility Design Setup / Room Planner
- Menu Management
- Rostering of Event Staff
- Contracts & Invoices
- Reporting for Management, Accounts and Sales
- Integration with Venue Accounts systems like Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks
- Event Marketing Tools – e.g. event publishing to the web or social media
- 24/7 Support and Local Training would help too
4. SPECIALIST VENUE SOFTWARE – MANAGING BOOKING SPACE & ROOMS FOR BIG VENUES
for Big Halls, Convention Centres & Stadiums etc
Here are some examples of programs primarily used by bigger venues to manage their event spaces.
- Artifax Events
MAKING THE MOST OF THE FUNCTION SOFTWARE YOU ALREADY HAVE
ANY software can be helpful in increasing your function and event sales. Just remember it’s a database NOT a datadump. You and the team have to collect and put in accurate & useful information and most importantly – USE that information for enquiry and event follow-up and future promotion & marketing.
The THREE most important things in converting more event enquiries to sales are
- SPEED of enquiry response – Usually via the same channel – e.g. email, phone or chat
- QUALITY of the response – friendly, customised & inviting a reply
- FOLLOWING UP FOREVER – the initial enquiry, the prospect and post event
Using a great Function and Events Program can really help you be more effective and achieve your sales targets & venue goals.
ABOUT THE BLOG AUTHOR – David Staughton CSP
Big Hat Professional Services can help you grow your hospitality business and improve your Function Event & Wedding Sales. David & Kevin can help you!
David Staughton CSP is an award-winning International keynote speaker, and experienced Small Business consultant. With over 15 years ‘hands on’ experience in the Hospitality industry, he speaks and consults on a wide range of hospitality business improvement in the areas of sales, staffing, service and strategy.
Kevin Kosky is a skilled business communications trainer. He is a specialist on inbound phone skills, presentation skills and delivering sales presentations. Kevin is an expert teacher of face to face communication skills like sales, supervision, and presentation skills.
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