Technology no doubt plays a part in facilitating meetings and events. However, a lot of meetings and events activity is not simply a remote transaction where you can rely on the consistency of the supply chain as you can with transient activity. For example, the variables required to find the right bedroom are significantly less than those required to find the right meeting/event space that meets your requirements for room layouts, sizes, access, turnaround times, quality, catering, proximity to attendees, legal, compliance, sustainability and so on.
Having the right knowledge of an application and placing it at the fingertips of those contracting your venues on a day-to-day basis is key in ensuring your venue sourcing program is highly effective and has appropriate governance. Here, we talk with Trisha Delaney, Operations Manager, to understand how BCD M&E uses technology to amplify venue search efforts.
The Technology of Venue Search:
4 Questions with TRISHA DELANEY
What would you say are the three biggest benefits of using a venue search tool like the one BCD M&E offers?
Customization of dashboards – clients can login to their own custom page that greets them with personalized information such as their company logo, their preferred hotel partners, and photographs of the team supporting their sourcing to help put a face to a name, and many other elements that are important to them.
Reporting – custom questions can be incorporated into the meeting request form which enables us to produce reports on pretty much anything the client needs or wants. We have the ability to report on savings, total spend, frequently used properties, etc.
Built in meetings calendar – clients can use the tool to check their internal calendar for confirmed meetings. This helps to avoid clashes with existing programs and alleviates a lot of unnecessary resourcing and re-contracting.
What makes a venue search tool stand out?
BCD M&E's proprietary tool has been developed with our clients and their specific needs in mind. With complete configuration at our fingertips, we’re able to build individual client dashboards that can source venues and run reports according to clients’ individual preferences. It was created with the aim to delight our clients and supplier partners, and to provide them with better insights and access for their meetings.
How does the tool ensure that clients’ hotel preferences will be available to source?
Our teams utilize the same comprehensive database as all other platforms on the market. In addition to this, we have an incredible Supplier Relations team that develops and maintains very strong relationships with our industry hotel partners. They are always 'in the know' whenever a new property is opening or undergoing renovations. We also have a dedicated Product and Engineering team that is constantly evolving our platform to meet the current and future needs of our clients and industry.
What drove investment in the tool?
The need for customization was evident.
Previous applications were not very user-friendly and, let’s face it, they weren’t visually appealing either. In order to ensure they had all the information required for reporting, clients were having to complete tedious meeting request forms in Microsoft Excel. The platforms simply did not offer an alternative way to capture the diverse needs of our clients, and this was costing everyone unnecessary time and, in turn, money.
Now, clients can feed their precise requirements directly into the venue search tool. Our team are then able to seamlessly transform that data into an RFP for our hotel partners, speeding up the process considerably. This is a huge step forward in today’s market, and definitely one worth investing in.