2020 was quite the year – yes, at times it felt a bit like a dumpster fire but it also reinvigorated the hospitality tech industry and new venue technology trends emerged. As vaccines are distributed and markets reopen, venues are able to start putting meetings and events back on the books.
While this is exciting news, the reality is that venues are still in recovery. They need to be conscious of operating costs and find innovative ways to increase overall efficiency without breaking the bank. Venues can’t afford to bring back entire teams but also can’t risk losing any more business. Now, more than ever, venues need to invest in new technology to help run cost-effective and efficient operations.
Here are the top trends we’re seeing with venue technology that will save you time and money, allowing you to spend more time on the thing that matters – your customers.
With the ever changing government regulations and differing levels of customer comfort, venues are having to get creative and virtual. We’re starting to see virtual tools being used throughout the entire sales and event planning process. From prospecting with virtual tours to hosting hybrid events, the options are limitless on how venues can leverage virtual technologies.
Here are a few of our favorite virtual tools for venues to use:
ExVo is “a live expo, meeting or event with a fully-integrated and parallel, virtual dimension.” ExVo’s technology allows venues to host a mix of in-person and virtual attendees. Not only does this allow for social distanced events, it also eliminates capacity issues for event planners. Events can now be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world. Can you imagine the possibilities?
Covid-19 has made venue tours almost impossible. For this, you can look to invest in software programs that allow you to do online virtual tours of your space. You can personally send these tours to prospects or include them on your website. The more information you have online the more likely a prospect is going to pursue your venue.
The world is itching to get traveling again and, with the vaccine slowly rolling out, we’re going to see local travel turn into domestic and international travel. While we might be sick of Zoom and Facetime, the reality is these tools allow us to connect with people worldwide through a screen. You can present a 2022 event proposal over zoom to add that personalized touch or connect with a prospect over Zoom to fully understand their needs.
Technology automation improves your business efficiency by streamlining your internal processes while optimizing you and your team’s time. This past year has shown a deep need for automation within a venue’s operations and will be one of the top venue technology trends for 2021.
We’ve touched on automation for hotels but what does it look like for venues?
CRMs with Automatic Workflows
Systems like Event Temple, HubSpot, and Pipedrive are all CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools with workflows. While all CRMs operate a little differently, generally speaking, workflows auto-generate tasks and send personalized email templates to your clients. This feature keeps you and your team organized and ensures you’re not missing any important steps in your sales and event planning process.
If you’ve been following our blog, you may have noticed that we are firm believers that integrated cloud-based technology is the future. What could this look like for venues?
Let’s look at the Event Temple and Janus Displays integration described in our November webinar.
The integration sends event details to the Janus Displays readerboard. Any updates to an event or changes to an event are reflected on the readerboard without a staff member needing to manually input data. Not only does this integration save you time (you no longer have to manually change your displays), the auto-triggered sync, ensures that the correct information is being displayed to your attendees.
How many hours do you spend scheduling your team? Now venues can invest in scheduling software that can quickly generate a front desk or banquet schedule based on availability and peak business periods.
Businesses Intelligence Tools
At Event Temple, we believe that businesses should make data-driven decisions. Business intelligence tools, like ProfitSword, generate reports and provide users with powerful data. Now, your team can spend less time inputting data and more time analyzing the data and developing strong business strategies to support the growth of your venue.
Venues cannot afford a poor customer experience which can lead to a negative review.
Automation provides your team with the tools necessary to increase their overall productivity without taking away from the guest experience.
Email Integration And Tracking
Efficient communication is key to improving your client experience and streamlining your operations. We touched on automating workflows to streamline personalized email templates and now we will discuss the importance of a strong email integration and tracking system within your CRM.
The reality is that venues are still operating with skeleton-level staffing. Having part-time or furloughed employees increases the risk of miscommunication. How do you avoid these risks? By investing in technology that can integrate with your email and provide you with tracking insights.
This feature connects your technology to your email inbox. We highly recommend investing in a CRM or event management technology that has this feature. Not only will you be able to send an email from your CRM that is also saved in your outbox, you and your team will also be able to see the back and forth communication in the CRM. You no longer need to share passwords or forward replies – just a click of a button and you can get up to speed on all customer communications.
Email tracking typically uses a digital time stamp and records when a client opens an email. This feature can be used throughout the entire sales cycle from prospecting to invoicing.
Imagine – you send an automated email campaign to potential prospects and want to test out different subject headings. With email tracking, you can see which email subjects were opened and the links that were clicked. All that data can help you tweak your subject lines to optimize your open rate.
Email tracking can also be used to see if a client has opened a proposal or an invoice. This information can be used to increase your close rate or shorten your payment periods.
The current pandemic has negatively impacted the MICE space. Venue owners have to make difficult decisions. Most are choosing to operate with a lean team in order to cut down on costs and stay afloat. Now is the time to look at your current tech stack and see if it’s serving you in this new era of doing business. Are you able to do virtual events or tours? Can it automate certain processes to improve your overall efficiency? Do you have transparency with client communication? If the answer is ‘No’ to any of these questions it’s time to do some research and bring your business into the future by investing in these venue technology trends.