For planners, finding and booking an event venue is likely the biggest decision they’ll make. And because it’s also typically the largest line item in the total budget, the pressure is on to find a venue that is a true partner and works collaboratively to bring event goals to fruition.
However, being collaborative doesn’t mean anything goes. After all, venue management has rules for a good reason — you’ve made the investments, you’re there every day overseeing all the details, you have to cover your overhead and most importantly, your reputation is on the line.
So how can you open up your event venue for more collaboration between all parties that create a win/win for everyone involved? Try these six ideas that set the tone for increased collaboration with planners – and keep the headaches to a minimum.
1. Host Open Houses
An open house is a perfect opportunity for planners to tour your space, meet and connect with vendors/partners, and most importantly, envision how their event would look in your venue.
An open house allows you to show off all of your venue’s best features – whether that’s through serving up sample food tastings, setting up different décor options or configuring event spaces into a variety of different looks to illustrate versatility.
Try these tips to make your open house successful:
- Set the open house date and start promoting early – ideally about six to eight weeks out.
- Encourage guests to bring colleagues or friends – the more the merrier! You never know where a referral may come from.
- Extend invitations to other industry vendors too, like photographers, bands, musicians and DJs. These can be a great source of referrals too!
- And if you do something a little unexpected at your open house, like incorporate a fun theme or provide special entertainment, guests will see you’re open to innovation and collaboration.
2. Host Association Events
Just like holding an open house for planners and industry vendors, hosting association events shows you’re open to collaboration.
From regional groups to local association chapter meetings to advisory board meetings, smaller industry groups get a first-hand experience of both working and collaborating with your venue.
3. Conduct Surveys
There’s no better way to show you’re open to new ideas and feedback than directly asking partners. Whether it’s informally asking questions or turning to simple survey tools like Survey Monkey, it’s quick and easy to get a pulse from vendors and planners alike.
For example, start by asking current venue vendors what’s important to them and what they like most about working in your space. Let them know honest feedback is appreciated as the goal is to make it easier for all involved.
Surveys are also a powerful strategy for gathering information from current and potential planner clients. One idea is to ask them to rank in priority order the venue upgrades that would be most desired or beneficial.
Not only do surveys provide valuable insight to assist in your sales and marketing efforts, but it also sets the tone that your venue is a collaborative partner who takes the voice of vendor partners and customers seriously.
4. Use Digital Planning Tools
One of the best ways to create stronger open communication is through the use of digital planning tools. With platforms like Prismm, vendors and planners easily collaborate on room design, room layouts, diagrams, floorplans, seating arrangements and more.
Digital platforms like these keep everyone on the same page so there are no surprises. And, planners and venues are both able to share their unique skills and perspectives, and collaborate on the best way to achieve the event goals.
Virtual Reality is a powerful tool for a venue to consider with the highest ROI in the history of event technology. Prismm VR opens up an incredible avenue for venues to offer their space in virtual reality, allowing for 360 degree virtual tours from anywhere in the world. VR is transforming the way we plan and visualize events. Learn more about Prismm VR here.
5. Utilize Project Management Software
Managing all of the tasks, deadlines and moving deliverables associated with event planning and keeping all relevant parties up-to-date is difficult on a good day — but can become nearly impossible with inefficient processes or complicated communication chains.
Fortunately, there are plenty of project management software options to streamline processes and ensure everyone on the entire team is on the same page.
Venues that collaborate through project management software like Trello or Basecamp keep communication streamlined, deadlines on track and make it easy to find and store files such as venue rules and room layouts. Other helpful collaborative tools like Slack allow dispersed planning and venue teams to quickly collaborate and get questions answered at any time.
6. Create an Advisory Council
There’s a reason so many start-ups to Fortune 100 companies have advisory councils – they provide unbiased insight and advice that help organizations grow.
Venues can benefit from advisory councils too, especially those that include different planners and vendors who you work with frequently (or want to work with one day)!
An advisory council provides an effective sounding board for important venue decisions, such as investments in the building or other infrastructure, expansion of services provided and more. Plus, being open to other different perspectives sets an overall tone that strong collaboration is encouraged among all team members.
To learn more about Prismm VR and how Prismm’s event planning platform facilitates collaboration between venues and planners, contact us for more information.