The Meeting and Events Industry is ever-changing and you need systems, standards, and practices in place to meet increasing demands and changes. Up-to-date information is imperative and customer service and price value are demanded.
To meet these goals, you can put practices in place and hope they work for your venue, but you risk losing ground and creating an ineffective environment. Instead, many venues find it far more effective to look around at peer venues to see what best practices work for them and then implement these practices at home venues.
A best practice, or principle, “is a method or technique which has consistently shown results superior to those achieved by other means.” It is used as a benchmark.
A best principle means finding, and using, systems and tools to achieve your business goals. It means gathering information of how other successful businesses are operating and evaluating your current systems and plans against these parameters.
A best principle is always adjusting to the demands of your industry and guests.
Innovative Systems: Understand Internal Barriers and Information Patterns
In a world of instant gratification, venues and conference services need a complex communication system which can keep up and meet the everyday demands of a changing event management world.
These systems include communication between departments and staff as well as between the multiple software systems a conference department uses to manage housing, key cards, payments, and events. Many conference departments find themselves using multiple systems, hoping they communicate with each other and wishing for a day when there is one complete system.
This is an attainable goal, but first you need to understand how communication flows among departments.
Innovative Systems: Replacing Multiple Systems with just One
A thorough survey of this structure will help determine strengths, missing links, and soft spots. In turn, it will help guide you to solutions to strengthen and enhance overall communication and information sharing, allowing you more time to focus on other improvements.
Johns Hopkins University found themselves looking for a new system when the system being used by one department was losing its software support. When the department started the search, they contacted Kerby Nelson, Director of Conference Services, to see if she was interested in finding a system both departments could use.
“When the other department’s system was becoming obsolete, they asked if we were interested in finding a system which could cross departments.” The old system she was using had limitations on the event conferencing side. “Kx was one of the very few with residential, event scheduling, and catering. There were no other comprehensive systems.
"Kx has enhanced operations, especially in terms of communication. Not only are we able to document for specific events, such as attach a BEO, but overall management and what you can do with one event enhanced overall communication. And it has helped between departments. We are using the same system as other side of campus; we can view each other’s space.
“And it was one of the only systems I felt had plenty of room for us to grow; a system which would allow our venue to grow.”
Innovative Systems: A Few Business Benefits
A few business benefits in having a comprehensive software system crossing departments and all aspects of the event management process:
1. Manage all aspects of the booking process in one location. Up-to-the-minute inquiry or reservation changes update in real-time for all users.
2. Gain a competitive edge by getting proposals to your prospects within minutes of the inquiry being received.
3. Extensive operational reporting ensure last minute changes are not missed.
4. Prioritize resources based on reservation type or status levels.
5. Integrate with academic scheduling, meal card, and financial systems to eliminate duplicate entry and minimize process inefficiencies.
6. Save 2.5 weeks generating 100 business contracts through the automation system, based on details saved in the system.
7. Increase occupancy by 30% by easily identifying gaps in the schedule to improve inventory management.