2020 will forever be remembered as the year that COVID-19 took over the world, resulting in the introduction of social distancing measures and, in many cases, forcing people into their homes. As a result, the events industry in many countries across the world came to grinding halt as public gatherings and events were restricted/prohibited in an effort to #stopthespread. And while many countries are still well and truly in the thick of it, others have managed to contain the virus are slowly going back to a “new normal” as venues reopen after covid. So, how can venue and event managers prepare to reopen & maximise profits after Covid-19?
In working with our Australian customers, here are what we have learnt to be the five key strategies that venues and event spaces need to implement to get back up and running – and making a profit – as soon as it is safe to do so:
- Review the latest Government guidelines
Before you even think about opening your doors, take the opportunity to review your relevant government guidelines and update your existing operating procedures to ensure that your staff and customers can be COVID-19-safe at all times. All procedures should be clearly documented and supported by ample signage throughout your venue.
Check your relevant government website for more information about the guidelines/restrictions in your area. For example:
– Australia: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
– UK: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus – US: https://www.state.gov/coronavirus/
– Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
- Update your website & online listings to reflect changes
As a result of new government restrictions, many of our customers have made changes to the way that they run their businesses and the products/services that they offer. For some, this has meant changing menus (e.g. offering take away options), altering service options (e.g. shifting from table service to bistro and kiosk service), revising venue configurations/capacities and even adjusting opening hours.
The key to maximising profits once you have reopened is to ensure that all changes are clearly communicated with potential customers. An easy way of doing this is to update all of your digital touchpoints, including your website, social media pages, Google My Business listing and any other directories where you advertise your business.
- Review your contracts
When COVID-19 first hit, one of the biggest challenges for our customers was dealing with postponements and cancellations. Given that this experience was something so unusual, it made it difficult for our customers to decide how to approach awkward conversations with their clients – i.e. forfeiting deposit payments and cancellation fees.
Please take this opportunity to review the terms and conditions outlined in your contracts. By doing so, you will ensure that in the event something like this were to happen again, your customers have a clear understanding of what options are available to them.
Note: We’d highly recommend appointing a lawyer to help you review your terms and conditions/contracts. They will ensure your business is protected, that any conditions you impose are legal and that you are also doing the right thing by your business as well as your customers.
- Take advantage of funding opportunities
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 will have impacted your business in some way or another, so be sure to check to see if there are any Government funding opportunities available in your area to help you get back on your feet. Eligibility and funding will differ depending on where you are located, so check your relevant government websites for more information. For example:
– Australia: https://www.australia.gov.au/work-and-financial-support
– UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding
– USA: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
- Capitalise on postponed bookings and existing enquiries
Once you are back up and running when venues reopen after covid, it’s vital that you make the most of the bookings that were postponed and the existing enquiries that you received before and during your closure.
For Priava customers, we recommend generating a report of all cancelled or postponed events and future opportunities and contacting them as soon as you are open to suggest alternative dates for their event. Watch our latest webinar for more information on how to do this
If you are not yet a Priava customer, contact us to learn how our enterprise-grade solution can help you to prepare to reopen your doors and maximise profits in the wake of a COVID-19.