As pandemic uncertainty continues, in-person events are likely to stay small for the foreseeable future. Serving the sub 30 delegate market can still provide a big opportunity if venues nail operational efficiency and keep costs down.
Right now, every aspect of delivering service feels like it is beset with lower revenue and higher costs. From smaller capacities reducing earnings potential for events, to strict safety obligations increasing operational costs. From public fear lowering appetite for sales, to limitations on complimentary food and beverage services stifling up-sell.
And on top of that teams will inevitably need to stay on furlough for as long as possible, and then in many cases shrink to balance the books, making it difficult to serve the market with fewer heads and more onerous processes.
With all that in mind, running smaller events and meetings profitably might appear impossible.
But what if the sales process could be simplified using technology? What if the cost to serve was far lower by reducing manual touch points? What if the investment to get this technology could be entirely covered by a new government grant scheme?
The beauty of smaller events is they are far more vanilla than large conferences. They don't require anything like the level of bespoke customer management. They are easier to package up, price, and prepare for. The customer is able to largely self-serve when it comes to booking and organising their visit.
If the technology is in place, venues can remove a big chunk of enquiry and bookings admin from smaller events, and in parallel deliver robust, best in class Covid guest protocols.
Without this simpler bookings remain admin heavy, relying on venue team's manually processing each enquiry through to booking and beyond.
Imagine you had a system that could:
Provide a live booking system via you website
Offer a guest portal to allow customers to manage the particulars of their booking (from add-ons to agenda), register guests, pre-order food, pay and chat to you when they needed help
Provide contactless check-in, manage staggered arrival, enable track and trace reporting at the touch of the button
Manage workflow for setup and cleaning of facilities AND you could
Use a grant to cover the cost of onboarding and running this system
Switch can do all of this right now. It is the perfect solution for small events and meetings hire AND scales appropriately to deliver bespoke services for larger events so you can manage your whole operation in one place.
This can be entirely funded using the government's new £20m grant scheme to support recovery, issued through local Growth Hubs and available to deploy on adopting new technology to deliver business activity.
Your own branded booking service using a live availability calendar and all your rate cards and promotions for pricing. And an online portal for guests to shape their events, pay you and compliantly capture all the particulars you need to deliver a robust safe service with contact tracing reporting.
It's daunting to make an investment in your business when it's so challenging to operate a cost effective service, but if that investment can be covered entirely and it facilitates running smaller events profitably, it's well worth taking a look.