We'll ditch the C word on this one. Other than to say that it's obviously had some implications for what customers will want from your venue going forward, and that will impact you and your teams.
The irreversible move to remote working and abandoning big offices is going to mean more small meetings bookings, as teams look for ad-hoc space to get together and collaborate.
And many of those customers really don't need a hands-on enquiry management process to convert them to a booking.
Yet it's still pretty much a rarity for us to to find a venue with a live booking service on their website.
Don't worry about the how for now (we can help with that and deal with all the rules, nuances and restrictions that govern the availability of your space), just focus on what time that would give your team back to focus on the really good stuff like business development, marketing and service delivery.
Here's how you get your time back!
Let's take a really simple example. You have one meeting room on site. It can hold up to 20 people and it can be sold on a dry hire or DDR basis. Customers can hire equipment too. They have options, but it's all pretty straightforward stuff.
Now let's assume you take 10 bookings a month for that space. Roughly one every other day.
Each of those bookings comes through, as is typical, on an enquiry form. And let's assume, for ease, that half of current enquiries become bookings. So it takes 20 enquiries a month to generate those 10 bookings.
Each of those enquires will take a little time to qualify in and out of booking. Your team will need to review them, make contact, discuss with the customer, finalise whether they are going ahead and take payment and / or sign a contract. There are likely to be fewer steps for those that don't go ahead, but there will likely be more time trying to get hold of people.
So let's therefore assume, irrespective of whether the enquiry becomes a booking or not, it takes 30 minutes of your team's time. So, given half of enquiries convert to bookings, you need 2 enquiries per booking, so each booking takes an hour of your team's time.
Now. Let's say you have live booking for these spaces. As a result, a number of your bookings happen without any manual intervention from your team. And a number of the let's say 'unrealistic' enquiries, get qualified out before they bother you.
With live booking our data says that of those who were going to book, 80% now complete the journey online. These journeys also remove some of the time wasters from the process, increasing the conversion rate so Switch clients see only 1.25 enquiries per booking.
So - here's the tricky maths - for each booking with a live availability system:
Only 20% of those that book still submit an enquiry so it takes just 6 minutes to deal with this (20% x 30 minutes)
Only 0.25 send an enquiry form and don't end up booking, so it takes just 7.5 minutes for your team to deal with this (0.25 x 30 minutes)
In total therefore, your team spends 13.5 minutes managing each booking. This is a saving of 46 and a half minutes from the enquiry form model.
Based on 10 bookings a month, this is 7.75 hours a month, or basically a whole day.
And obviously that number gets larger and larger for each room that you have that lends itself to online booking. So for a 5 meeting room venue, that's a whole week a month back!
In a market with changing customer needs, new services to meet them and costs challenges from being closed for so long, what could your team achieve with a whole week of admin removed from their role???
Consumers book and buy things online. That's our lives. Why overcomplicate small event and meeting space?