Venue Management Software
When you work in the hospitality industry, you know the unique challenges that come with venue management—and how important it is to have the right tools to solve those challenges.
Obstacles can especially spring up when it comes to event-driven business at your property. Whether you’re tracking down a payment for a corporate event held at your hotel or trying to remember which group sale contract needs to be countersigned, a lot of challenges can spring up for hospitality brands and property groups, for both guests and internal team members.
That’s where venue management software can help. Properties of all sorts—hotels and event venues, resorts and restaurant groups, you name it—rely on venue management systems not only to solve these common pain points, but to grow their businesses. Venue management companies eliminate struggles for team members while elevating the customer experience—not to mention, they can also drive revenue for your business.
But what is venue management software, exactly? How does it help brands and property groups? What are the top venue management software options, and how can you pick the best venue management software for your property’s unique needs?
It’s understandable if you have lots of questions. In this guide, we’ll touch on everything hospitality brands and property groups need to know about venue management systems. We’ll also cover tips on how to pick the top venue management software for your team.
Ready to get started? Read on for everything you need to know about venue management software.
What is venue management software?
In short, venue management software is a type of SaaS (aka software as a service) that helps properties manage their business. Of course, no two venue management companies are identical, meaning every venue management platform you explore will be a bit different.
For instance, while some venue management systems focus on the nitty-gritty details of event and staff scheduling, others help properties optimize revenue and financial operations. (Don’t worry, we’ll dive into that more later.)
While each system takes a unique approach, the best venue management software should address your property’s distinct needs and, ultimately, help your business grow and thrive.
Challenges facing venue management
Throughout the years, we’ve had the chance to hear directly from hospitality brands and property groups about their biggest pain points. Here are a few of the common obstacles experienced by properties without venue booking software or venue payment software in place:
A Lack of Portfolio Standardization
In the past, hospitality groups with multiple properties have had to deal with a lack of standardization across their portfolio. Oftentimes, each property uses its own unique systems and processes, meaning there’s no standard operating system or venue software in place from property to property.
Even hospitality brands who operate a single property can relate to this struggle, as different types of events may call for different processes. For instance, a team member who focuses on social and corporate events at a hotel might handle invoice payments differently from the team member who handles small group sales.
All this can make for an unwieldy, complicated process for team members—plus, make it difficult for stakeholders to track a property’s performance. Without a standard system in place for venues management, your portfolio can run into unnecessary challenges.
Outdated Payment Methods
Today’s client expects a seamless payment process, no matter what they’re purchasing. If customers can seamlessly buy clothes, electronics, home goods—you name it—from their phones with just a few clicks, they want to be able to do the same with an event payment.
But there’s a disconnect: Even though customers envision a simple, digital payment experience, many properties rely on outdated payment methods instead. Oftentimes, a guest is required to share their payment information by downloading a PDF, by calling a property on the phone, or by mailing in a paper check.
These outdated payment methods can create an arduous experience for prospective clients, rather than making it simple for them to sign and pay for their event or group sale. Of course, it’s not that the venue is doing anything wrong; their existing payment methods are in place for a reason, and historically, a modern solution hasn’t been available. As a result, without a modern venue management platform in place, venue income can be difficult to track and grow.
Chargeback or Fraud Issues
In an ideal scenario, every event or group sale payment would go through without any problems. But finance teams know that unfortunately, credit card issues like chargebacks or fraudulent charges can spring up. Without reliable venue payment software in place, unforeseen circumstances like these usually fall to the property to resolve, adding a time-consuming hurdle to a team’s (already full) plate. That leaves less time for team members to connect with customers or sell the next event.
Delayed or Overdue Payments
Another less-than-ideal scenario properties have to deal with without a modern venue management system in place? Late venue payments. On average, 79% of venue and catering invoices are paid late, whether that’s due to delayed invoice payments from guests or because a team member didn’t have time to remind a client it’s time to pay.
Without the help of venue payment software, important financial schedules can become disrupted, throwing off a property’s up-front cash flow and overall venue income.
Payment Plan Inflexibility
Several properties implement a one-size-fits-all payment plan structure, which may deter some customers from choosing that venue for their event (even if it’s necessary for the venue to do so).
For instance, a wedding venue may require a couple to pay half of their property’s rental fee up front in order to reserve the space. The hefty financial requirement might require the couple to chalk up a majority of their budget at the very beginning of the planning process, leading them to pick a different venue instead. While both perspectives are completely understandable, they can cause a disconnect between the property and the customer they’re trying to attract.
From payment burdens to a lack of standardization, all of the above challenges are common across property and hospitality groups, whether it be an enterprise hotel group or an independent venue. But fortunately, there’s a solution: venue management software.
How can venue management software help your business?
When you’ve worked in venue management for a while, it might feel like the challenges described above are just part of the job. But with software for venues management, those pain points—a lack of standardization, invoicing headaches, outdated payment methods—are resolved.
Take the challenge of using outdated payment methods as an example. When you use a venue management software that includes modern financial tools, your team can offer flexible, digital payment methods to customers. The result? Internal team members can more easily keep track of contracts and invoices, while customers who are looking for easy, accessible ways to pay for an event or group sale may choose your venue over a competitor. (Hello, increased conversions!)
There are tons of other benefits of venues management software too: greater venue revenue optimization, an enhanced customer experience, faster venue payments, improved team collaboration, and more. (We’ll cover the benefits of using venue software in depth later in this article.)
What features to look for in venue management software
In a nutshell, the best venue management software should not only solve any headaches your team experiences, but also help manage and grow your business.
Every venue management system is unique, each bringing its own distinct focus to the table. That said, there are a handful of characteristics that you should look for when you’re implementing a venue management system. Here are the top venue management software features to look for:
It’s especially important for enterprise hospitality groups to ensure that their chosen venue management system is built to accommodate all the properties in their portfolio. Venue management platforms shouldn’t be limited to one venue or one type of event, and property groups with multiple hotels or event spaces should be able to use a venue management app across their portfolio without difficulty. As you know, keeping all your properties aligned is important, and should be a feature to prioritize when searching for the best venue management software for your team.
From billing to invoicing, software for venues management can offload a ton of manual work for your team, but it’s important that everything still feels unique to your portfolio. Prioritize venue management services that allow you to keep your property’s individual branding, from your logo on invoices to your company name in customer interfaces.
Software for venues management can help make your team’s day-to-day responsibilities simpler, from tracking venue payments to sending invoices. But it’s even better if a platform can use that data to help you better understand and manage your overall business too. While a system that sends out invoices is great, a platform that sends out invoices and helps you easily see which ones have been paid and which ones haven’t is better.
You already know that data protection is a top priority, especially when it comes to safe-guarding your customers’ information. And when you implement software for venues management (especially software that handles financial data and payment transactions), data security is especially crucial. Verify that any platform you’re considering for venues management employs the necessary security measures so that your property and your customers stay protected.
Pain-Free Integrations and Venue Management Training
Venue management platforms should have the ability to integrate with existing systems your team uses. It can feel daunting trying to onboard an entire new program (especially if your team already has familiar systems in place), but the top venue management software should feel relatively simple to implement. That means the venue software should integrate into existing workflows without much difficulty, plus require fairly easy venue management training to use the platform.
Sales Tools and Built-in Features
Some software for venues management comes with helpful features that can transform your sales process and streamline the way your team operates.
For instance, tools like built-in notifications and real-time reminders are game-changing features to look for when considering venue management companies. Rather than needing to write a sticky note reminder to follow up on that latest invoice, get reminded by a digital notification that appears at just the right time.
Basically? Keep an eye out for any venue management services that benefit your team beyond daily venue management.
Any software you use for venues management should be helpful to your entire team. By looking for a venue management app that includes helpful financial tools, you can ensure that everyone on your team wins, from finance to sales. Some examples include financial reporting, venue revenue insights, and exportable performance data. Some venue booking software also includes things like event or staff scheduling and reservation tracking, helping to streamline your venue management further.
More eyeballs on your property is always a good thing. Some of the best venue management software companies also offer marketing support for your venue, leading to even more guests choosing your space for their events. Whether you want to learn how to sell your venue to Gen Z or how to sell your venue to Millennials—or just want to have your property seen by more prospects—this additional content marketing can help you convert more leads into customers.
When you work with certain venue management companies or venue software, you can even list your property in their venue marketplace. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, a venue marketplace is a digital collection of venues and properties that users can browse in order to find an ideal location for their event. Listing your properties in a venue marketplace is another great way to boost the amount of prospects considering your space.
It’s important to make sure any venue management platform you’re considering includes customer support. If any software issues arise—whether you’re unsure how to use a certain feature or need help resetting your password—you’ll want to feel confident that the software’s support team is there to help solve the problem in a timely manner.
Whether you’re considering one of the largest venue management companies or one of the smaller venue management companies, it’s important that customer support for your team is included.
Beyond the helpful features mentioned above, it’s important to remember that any venue management app you use should solve your property’s unique challenges, rather than creating additional burdens, as mentioned earlier. The idea of implementing a venue management software might understandably feel nerve-wracking at first, but you should feel confident that the venue payment software you choose will ultimately help your business grow—not hinder it.
What are the different types of venue management software?
When you think of software for venues management, you might think of “heads in beds” booking programs, which is the type of venue booking software guests use to make a reservation at a hotel. While that is certainly a popular type of venue management system, there are several different types of platforms to keep in mind. Some of the top venue management software options include:
- Sales and financial operating systems. These platforms allow hospitality brands and property groups to streamline their sales and financial processes, growing venue income while creating a smoother experience for customers and team members. This type of software for venues management usually focuses more on invoices and payments rather than the actual scheduling of events or staff. For instance, you might use this type of venue management app to increase revenue, modernize your invoicing system, provide flexible payment options to customers, or standardize internal processes.
- Event scheduling tools. Some types of venue management software are designed with a focus on event scheduling and planning, from booking conference rooms to scheduling staff management for an event. These platforms for venue management often include outreach forms that prospective event planners can use to inquire about your property.
- Room and resource inventory software. As briefly discussed above, this type of venue booking software focuses primarily on guests staying at a given property (aka “heads in beds’) rather than venue event management. Often called “property management systems,” these platforms help you keep track of room inventory, rates, reservations, billing, and more. These systems for venue management may also be able to help monitor the amount of resources available, like how many chairs or tables are up for grabs at one of your properties.
Of course, there are additional types of venue management software that can help your team with venues management. That said, it can help to know the general focuses and various platforms as you learn more about the top venue management software options and various venue management companies that might be best for your business. Remember: The top venue management software for your property will be the venue management software that fills your business’s unique needs.
Who should use venue management software?
Just about anyone who works for a hospitality brand or property group can benefit from using venue software. Whether you’re a Director of Sales and Marketing at a major hotel chain searching for ways to increase visibility across properties, or a CFO at an independent venue looking for new strategies to drive revenue, venue management platforms can help.
That said, teams who usually work with venue management services the most include:
Software for venues management is doubly beneficial for members of a property’s sales team. Not only can they tout a seamless experience to prospective customers, they can also enjoy the benefits that come with venue management systems themselves.
For example, let’s say a potential customer is wavering between your hotel and a competitor’s for their company’s off-site corporate retreat. If your sales team can promote a smooth, seamless booking and payment process to the customer thanks to your venue management platform, that could be the ultimate deciding factor for the customer to book their event at your hotel. Or, let’s say an engaged couple is trying to finalize a venue for their wedding reception. If your sales team shares that the couple can complete an invoice or pay another venue cost on their phones or pay their venue deposit over time, that could be the cherry on top that wins them over.
The sales team not only gets to use the benefits of venue management software as a selling point for your property, but they also get to enjoy the venue management platform’s benefits themselves. Seamlessly sending out digital invoices, easily keeping venue payments and venue cost measures reconciled, being able to convert customers faster—all of these built-in benefits of a venue management platform make a noticeable, positive difference to daily workflows, saving your team valuable time and resources surrounding their venue management tasks.
Just like the sales team, the finance team can majorly upgrade their daily processes with a venue management platform. Software for venues management that includes detailed financial reporting, helpful invoice insights, venue cost details, and more streamlines the reconciliation process, giving team members insights into what’s been paid, what hasn’t, and which invoices need a follow-up.
What’s more, some venue management services even integrate with existing software that the finance team might already use, making it an especially painless system to implement.
In addition to improving day-to-day processes, the best venue management system should help grow your business’s revenue as well. Some financial-focused venue management systems include helpful digital invoice and payment tools, which make it easier to send customer invoices, allowing companies to get paid faster, convert more customers, generally streamline venue cost operations, and increase up-front cash flow.
And as mentioned above, with software for venue management that offers guests seamless, digital payment methods and follows the latest venue trends, your property can convert more customers, increasing venue income further by booking more events and group sales.
It’s understandable if you might equate software for venues management under the finance and sales team umbrellas, but other teams can get in on the fun too. Depending on which platform you choose for venue management, your marketing team may be able to leverage built-in tools to help their efforts as well.
For instance, some venue software comes with additional sales and marketing support—think printed and digital collateral, content marketing, editorial coverage, or social media features. All these helpful tools drive overall brand awareness and increase customer conversions, benefiting your marketing team just as much as your finance and sales teams.
Once you’ve started using software for venues management across your portfolio, different departments may use it in different ways. While the sales team might most enjoy being able to seamlessly send out a digital contract with venue software, the finance team might get the most use out of a venue management app’s financial reporting tools that help streamline venue cost operations and boost profits. Even though teams may use the software for venues management in slightly different ways, it can be utilized by several different roles at a hospitality brand or property group.
And of course, other teams besides sales, finance, and marketing benefit from using venue management services. But when you pick a platform for venue management that offers a wide array of advantages, your entire team wins, no matter their title.
Venue management software considerations
It can feel challenging trying to pick the best venue management software for your hospitality brand or property group. With so many different venue management companies out there, it can be hard trying to decipher which platform will actually be the most helpful for your portfolio’s venues management, as well as for your team members who’d use it every day.
What’s more, it can feel daunting to implement a new venue event management software, and understandably so. When a team has used the same processes for a while, the thought of bringing in a new program for venues management may feel unnerving.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure that you pick the best venue management software for your property’s unique needs. It’s important to take a step back and consider your biggest challenges, needs, and areas of opportunity before making a decision on which software to pick to help streamline venues management.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re choosing which platform to use for venue management:
Unique Business Needs
First, think about your property group or hospitality brand’s biggest pain points and goals. For instance, if you’re hoping to reduce stress for your sales and finance teams by implementing a universal venue management system everyone can access, look for a platform for venues management that provides visibility across venue management teams.
Or, maybe you work for a property group that owns a series of event venues and you’re searching for simple ways to modernize and improve your customer payment experience. Look for a venue management system that elevates your billing processes with digital invoicing and follows the latest venue trends.
Perhaps you’re focused on small group sales and want an easy-to-use operating system that makes booking and payment processes simpler. In that case, you’d prioritize a venue event management platform that handles small group sales as well as larger events.
Long story short? Carefully consider your team’s and customer’s top priorities, then keep those must-haves in mind while you’re researching different platforms for venue management.
It’s important to think about your team and company size when you’re deciding on which software to use for venues management. An enterprise hospitality group with hundreds of properties in its portfolio will have considerably different needs than an independently owned resort, for instance. Think about whether or not you’ll need a venue management platform that works across multiple properties. Standardization across venues and payment methods can vastly improve existing processes, so it’s important to keep in mind what each software for venues management can accommodate.
Let’s say you work for a property group with 40 hotels in their portfolio, for example. Imagine how effective it’d be to get a high-level view of all your properties’ event payments, venue revenue streams, and invoice statuses, all at once—and by using just one platform, rather than flip-flopping between systems. (Sounds like a game-changer, right?) The return on investment on a system that works across your portfolio is tenfold, making it an important feature to keep in mind when searching for software for venues management.
Venue Management Software Users
Think about which team members in your hospitality brand or property group will use your chosen venue software on a regular basis, and make sure any platform for venues management is not only accessible to each role, but also helpful to their daily responsibilities.
Often, these are the roles and teams that rely on venue management platforms the most:
- Catering Sales Managers
- Catering Sales Associates
- Group Sales Contacts
- Front Desk Managers
- Directors of Sales and Marketing
- Regional Directors of Sales and Marketing
- Finance Teams
- Revenue Optimization Teams
- General Managers
Bringing those roles and teams into the conversation can ensure you pick the best venue management software for your organization. When you know that the team members who’d use a given software for venues management would actually benefit from the platform, your team is better set up for success.
And if you’re a member of a venue management association, you can ask colleagues in the field about any platforms they recommend. (In case you need a refresher, a venue management association is an organization of individuals who are involved in venue work in some way. For example a common venue management association is The International Association of Venue Managers, which represents 6,800+ active members of people from public assembly venues from around the globe. That said, there are plenty of other venue management association options as well, varying by location, speciality, and more.)
As we briefly touched on above, the thought of bringing in a new platform into your team’s workflow can feel nerve-wracking (and even a little bit scary!). But remember: The ultimate goal of implementing a platform for venues management is to grow your business and make your team’s processes easier, rather than creating new burdens.
That’s why it’s key to consider how you’ll bring in a new tool without causing a ton of headaches to existing venue management processes. Check out a venue management platform’s website or ask a representative from their team about what product implementation typically looks like. Will it require foregoing every element of your current venues management process? Or can the software for venue management be integrated without any major disruptions? Ask other internal stakeholders what they envision when you’re considering the top venue management software options.
Once you know your top priorities for a platform for venues management, it can be especially helpful to take a closer look into your top picks. Reach out to the venue management platform’s team to ask for an in-depth demo of the platform. That way, you can get an even closer look at the software for venues management, ask any questions specific to your property, and learn about additional venue event management features that you might have missed. Plus, if and when you decide to officially start using a new program for venue management, you’ll feel even more confident that it’s a good choice.
Finally, as with any business decision, factor in the price of various venue management companies. Ensure that the cost of using a platform for venue event management will provide a good return on investment (ROI) for your portfolio.
All venue management services come with different capabilities and different fees, and range in price. From the largest venue management companies to the smaller ones, each platform for venues management (and its associated costs) is unique.
To sum it all up: Consider your company’s unique needs, size, team, budget, and existing processes when you’re deciding on a venue management platform, then sign up for a venue software demo to get a closer look before making it official.
Benefits of ROH’s software solutions
Once you’ve considered your company’s unique challenges and opportunities for growth, as well as the priorities you’re looking for in a venue management platform, it’s time to decide on which software is best for your business’s venues management.
ROH is one of the top software options available for hospitality brands and property groups who are looking to improve their venue management. With years of insights from working alongside the best brands in hospitality, we created a purpose-built platform to help properties of all sorts grow their event-driven business, plus streamline venue event management.
Our proptech platform allows the hospitality industry to drive increased conversions and revenue across all events and group sales. With our end-to-end sales and financial operating system, properties get paid faster while their customers enjoy a better, smoother payment experience. It’s not surprising that venues who partner with us experience a 15% increase in revenue.
What’s more, properties can expect a 4.5x ROI when using ROH’s platform. And unlike other venue management services or proptech platforms, we don’t get paid unless you do.
Below, take a look at the top features of our software that make it all possible—and how those features help grow your business:
Digital, Branded, and Mobile-Friendly Methods
When you start sending invoices with ROH, your property immediately offers the modern payment solution that today’s customer expects and follows the latest venue trends. That’s because our platform allows properties to create branded, mobile-friendly invoices—all with just a few clicks.
That’s especially important to the next generation of event planners, whether that be an engaged couple searching for a wedding venue or an HR Director planning her company’s annual conference. In fact, mobile phones are the device of choice for Generation Z, according to a study by IBM.
Making it easy for a customer to sign and pay for an event or group sale or any other venue cost with digital contracts and invoices means properties close business faster and eliminate friction in the sales process, without any extra effort from your team. And of course, customizable branding and language means that the invoice and mobile experience still looks and feels like yours. These custom digital capabilities pay off, literally: With our software, properties get paid faster, receiving 81% of invoices early or on time compared to the industry standard of just 21%.
Digital invoices aren’t just helpful for prospective clients, though—it also helps internal teams stay organized and efficient. Teams no longer need to call a customer to get a credit card number, deal with the hassle of downloading and sending PDFs back and forth, or take the time to deposit physical checks.
All these features allow you to future-proof and up-level your brand’s customer experience, while streamlining your team’s workflows at the same time. And speaking of a better customer experience…
A Standardized Dashboard Solution
Standardization across an organization is crucial for successful venue management—but often, it’s difficult to achieve. In the hospitality industry, the sales team is focused on the next event opportunity while the finance team is prioritizing which events have occurred and whether or not they’ve been paid for. Often, those important yet differing priorities have caused a lack of centralized visibility and information sharing between the two teams.
That’s why we created a solution. Our centralized admin dashboard is the backbone of our platform, and allows all business functions and team members to easily log in and get real-time information they need without a lag in communication—all in an easy-to-read format. Properties can view recent venue payments, invoice statuses, actionable notifications, and much more in a universally accessible place.
All this leads to increased standardization, centralized visibility, and smoother processes—for the entire team, across several aspects of venues management. The whole team wins with our software.
Real-Time Reminders and Notifications
A centralized dashboard isn’t the only benefit of using ROH for your team’s venue
management (far from it, actually!). Our proptech platform includes helpful, actionable reminders and notifications that keep your team organized and automate invoice management.
Get notified when an invoice is paid, and add another invoice (if it’s needed) with one-click creation. Or, if an invoice is past due for an event, you’ll be notified and prompted to send a pre-written, friendly reminder email you can use. Either way, you’ll find all the notifications and status updates you need right on the software dashboard, resulting in greater efficiency and collaboration across your portfolio.
Detailed Financial Reporting
Implementing a venue management system or proptech platform isn’t just helpful for sales and events teams. Finance teams can access detailed financial insights and reporting on all event-driven business with ROH. Benefit from a single system of record across all event revenue streams—weddings, corporate, social, and small group sales—to more easily monitor all venue payments.
Whether you’re interested in tracking venue revenue from corporate events at one hotel or curious about the total amount of invoices across your portfolio, our high-level insights make the data easy to digest at a glance.
Flexible Payment Plans
ROH also lets properties offer flexible payment plans to prospective customers, which is a valuable conversion tool in itself, allowing your property to keep up with the latest venue trends.
Here’s how it works: ROH gives customers the option to pay their venue cost in full, or pay the venue cost over time in four interest-free installments. Plus, customers can choose to pay any way they’d like, whether that’s via credit card or ACH, or on their phone or on a computer. No matter which option customers choose, ROH sends the total invoiced amount to the property right away. That means you receive the entire venue cost upfront, even if customers choose to pay over time.
This is another win-win feature of our proptech platform for both customers and the property. Customers win by not needing to spend a majority of their total event budget when they commit to your venue. (Plus, they may be able to book an event at your property that they might not have been able to consider otherwise due to venue cost.)
Meanwhile, properties experience increased conversions and revenue. They also increase their up-front cash flow since they get paid in full from the start, in addition to following the latest venue trends that today’s customer expects.
No Payment Headaches
Chargeback or fraud issues can be a pain for venues to deal with—not to mention, time-consuming. Our Property Support Team takes this burden off of properties, handling any issues with chargebacks, fraud headaches, or cancellations. That way, your team can spend time doing what they love—helping customers and booking the next event—rather than dealing with payment hassles.
Activating ROH’s platform won’t disrupt your team’s status quo, and will only enhance any venue management tools or venue management system you already use. We can integrate our proptech platform with other popular accounting tools your team already uses, like CI/TY, Sertifi, Amadeus, Oracle, or Tripleseat thanks to our platform’s robust reporting capabilities.
Marketing Support and Sales Tools
Our platform offerings don’t stop with venue management services. ROH also offers helpful marketing solutions and sales tools to venues without any additional lift by providing exclusive access to our marketing experts at Carats & Cake. From custom microsites to content libraries, this unique promotional support will impact your property’s brand awareness and overall goals. From features on social channels (which receive 100 million-plus monthly impressions) to touting your venue in curated editorial content, our team has the ability to drive customers to your property through creative marketing efforts.
How to learn more about ROH’s solutions
We’d love to share more about the best venue management software options with you. If you’re interested in finding out how ROH can help increase your event revenue by an average of 15%, schedule a demo to learn more from an expert on our team. We can walk you through our platform and share why the best hospitality brands trust us to help their businesses grow and streamline venue management.
In the meantime, feel free to learn more about us on our website. We’re consistently publishing new resources made specifically for property groups and hospitality brands, filled with helpful tips, industry insights, and more.