Here at www.hallsforhire.com.au we know that for many of you being a venue manager (managing venue bookings) is just one part of your role. We know that many of you are volunteers working just a few hours a week on this role, while others are just about the only person running you’re entire organisation! There are lots of reasons why managing bookings and inquiries can sometimes falls low on the priority list.

So we thought we would look at some tips from Top Venue Managers around the world and see how they manage their venues and look at ways that you might be able to incorporate a touch of this into your organisations.

These are just some ideas, and as always I would love to hear about your experiences and ideas on how you manage your venue. Always happy to share your tips to other members!  

1. Respond to inquiries in a timely fashion: With social media, email and mobile phones customers expect responses in lighting time. A recent survey conducted in London found that 32% of customers expect a response within 30 minutes! We know that Facebook tracks response time and praises pages that respond in 10 minutes and less. With everything else that you have to do, these sort of response times are just often not an option, here at www.hallsforhire.com.au we are committed to responding to any inquiry via Facebook, email or phone within 24 hours. What could you commit to? 


2. Aim to be as flexible as possible: Having worked in the event industry for the past 10 years and more closely with community spaces for the past 5 years, I know that sometimes customers have some very specific and strange requests. Whether you are dealing with someone who wants to do their own catering, or someone that wants access a little earlier than normal, trying to be as flexible as possible will win bookings.  Having said that, it is also important to have clear rules in place so you don’t get bothered by inquiries that you simply can’t accommodate.  At www.hallsforhire.com.au you have room to put in a lot of information including pricing, availability and purpose. Make sure you fill out all these tabs to get the most qualified inquires coming through.

3. Be honest and tell people how it is: All venues have different pros and cons, and we love them all because of that! So to, events come in all shapes and sizes so all have different requirements from their venue. The most important thing is to be as honest as you can be. If you have an amazing old building with tons of character but the paint is peeling and could do with some TLC, it’s best to mention that early on so people know what to expect when they arrive. On the other hand if you do not allow people to do their own catering or don’t have access for wheelchairs, these are all important points that will impact whether a venue is right for their event.  Save yourself time and endless inquires by having as much listing on you www.hallsforhire.com.au listing as possible. The more information you provide, the better the inquiries are going to be once they do come through and the more likely they are to book your venue!

4. For site inspections, first impressions count! It is always a good idea to arrange for a potential hirer to have a look at the venue before booking in. Venue managers that create a great first impression are those that are communicative, organised and on time! When you are booking in a site inspection, do it at a time that you know that you will already be at the hall (if you can) to save you a special trip, and make sure it is at a time that the hirer can view all the rooms. To go the extra mile, on the morning of your appointment, call, text or email to confirm the time and share any other important information such as parking etc. 


5. Welcome them into your community: Venues managers that get the best results are those that truly welcome hirers into their communities.  Listen to what the hirer needs and see if there is anywhere else that you might be able to help. Planning an event, no matter how small, can be stressful, if you can make that even just a little easier people will be extremely grateful! Think about someone planning a business meeting – if you can arrange to have the table and chairs they need in the space and ready to set up (or have them set up ready) that is a huge help! Or maybe they are hoping to cater and you have a ladies guild that often does catering for your other functions – perhaps you can make a little extra money and help the hirer out at the same time!

The principals are simple. If you can help someone and it doesn’t hinder you or your organisation, then why not! You can be sure that all your help and kindness will be heard by guests and friends and hopefully lead to more bookings too!

If you have any tips you would like us to add or share with members please let us know. And as always if there are any topics you would like us to cover just email admin@hallsforhire.com.au and we will do our best to write something up that answers your questions.

Hope you have a wonderful month!

Deb