It is very tempting for restaurants and hotels to dream of a day when people can just “book an event” online without any interaction from the venue. By enabling party planners to book event spaces like a restaurant, hotel or airline reservation is a terrible idea. If a venue turns over control of the booking process to the internet, they will turn their function space into a commodity, losing money and time.
Ask any Venue Sales Manager and they will tell you that their event space is “unique” or “special” and will go into great lengths to tell you why. The reason for this is that Sales Managers are selling the experience and where the event is being held is a huge part of the experience, I would argue more important than the food or drink. In the eyes of the event planner, who is managing the booking, one venue is no different than the next space down the road. This is why “online booking” turns your unique venue into a commodity.
The risk of losing business and money is very real. Venues are in danger of the event planner simply not booking because you show online that the space is not available for the date they want to hold the event. By allowing for a conversation to happen between the event planner and the venue Event Sales Manager, you can suggest alternative dates, times or possibly locations for the event. You want to open the lines of communication, not shut them down at the most critical point. Venues can also lose money by having an online booking that is simply bogus. Venue space is valuable and just letting anyone book the space without qualifying the business can be very, very costly.
It is very easy to think that by allowing people to book online that the Event Manager will save time. The truth is that over 42% of Event Managers have to go back to the event planners and ask additional questions regarding the booking. There are no time savings, just additional confusion that could have been solved with a simple phone call in the first place.
Booking airline and hotel rooms online is great and very convenient. Booking an event is not the same thing. Details count, communication is very important and every venue’s event space is different. To make the booking of event space better and faster, simply respond to requests for information quickly and get the conversation started.