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Guest post time! At Noodle Towers, we’ve had a few questions about digital venue-booking systems recently, so we thought we’d bring in the experts and give you a little break from our constant chatter about event apps (which are awesome by the way). The lovely team from HeadBox.com agreed to fill us in:

It may have slowly crept up on you, but more and more of what you do – or to put it better, the way you do things – relies on technology. From ordering your shopping online, to booking your next holiday, hailing a taxi, keeping up to date with friends – it all centres around clever technology. And in the same way that technology has infiltrated everyone’s lives, it’s also an integral part of the events industry. The millennial generation want things on demand and are used to having all the information they need at their fingertips. Trends move quickly, the landscape changes and it’s important for businesses and providers within the events industry to be keeping up or, even better, staying one step ahead.

For event planners, venue search is one of the most important parts of organising a great event. Without the perfect venue, there is no event! But for a long time this was one part of the events industry that was firmly stuck in the past, to a somewhat terrifying extent. The entire process of finding an amazing venue involved going through a middle man, someone who had exclusive access to all the information the event planners needed – venues, their prices and availability – and upon whom event planners were forced to rely. There was a total lack of transparency and choice. Not to mention this being an extremely time-consuming process involving continual back and forth, with the middle man being the link between the event planner and the venue. And technology can be a complete game-changer in improving the way this process works in a number of important ways.

Event planners need to be able to navigate the entire venue booking process themselves, from start to finish. And bringing the process online is the main way of giving them this power. Making it digital also means that venues wishing to hire out Space can quickly and easily list themselves with a few clicks. Not only is this efficient and simple, it also means that everyone can make the most of space, which would otherwise be underutilised. A whole new market of potential spaces can be opened up, with more choice for event planners and more potential revenue for venues.

In the past, another main stumbling block for event planners was the seemingly arbitrary prices and quotes they would be provided with when looking at venues. With the amount of information that people have access to in an instant on the Internet, to not display prices upfront seems outdated. Event planners want to be confident that the price they are given is the price that the venue itself has provided, and the price that everyone is offered. They don’t want that fear of thinking that they might be being charged a premium, whereas someone else has got an exclusive discounted rate. A key benefit of price transparency is that event planners can compare venues based on price and make sure they are working within their budget. Technology here, in displaying all of this information online, can provide a level of transparency that was not previously the norm in the events industry. This transparency makes it far easier for event planners to be sure they are getting a good deal, and it also makes pricing amongst venues more competitive.

One of the great benefits of advances in technology in general is that communication channels have widened. You can contact anyone, anywhere, at the touch of a button. In a world where online messaging systems and texting are becoming more and more frequently used it seems only natural that this should be a part of the venue booking process. Instant messenger systems on consumer websites are an important way of incorporating this technology into a business or service. In the case of the venue-booking sector, it can put event planners directly in contact with venues, allowing them to finalise any last details and answer any quick questions without having to go through a middle man. In short, it can put the control back in the hands of both the event planners and the venues.

In this day and age, the one thing everyone seems to be lacking is time. And with all the benefits that technology brings, there are many ways we can make processes more efficient and save time. An area where this is very relevant in the world of venue finding is paying visits to venues to see first hand what they look like and what the layout is. This is a time-consuming process, particularly if you need to visit several different venues to get a good idea of what they really look like. More often than not, event planners also then need to relay this information to several other people, to other stakeholders who are involved in the decision-making process. One of the greatest advancements in this area, alongside professional photography of course, is 3D tours. In particular, 3D tours are invaluable in bringing venues alive and allowing everyone to get a very good idea of what a Space really looks like and how it fits together, without having to physically visit the venue.

A digital venue-booking process simplifies the way people book venues and speeds up the process. Bringing the whole process online, from searching to booking to paying, has taken this integral part of the events industry into the modern age, providing more transparency for bookers and opening up many underused and inspiring spaces that would otherwise be sitting empty.

This desire to work with technology to disrupt the venue-booking process is where HeadBox came from, in a bid to create a single online platform that solves all of the struggles event planners had been facing to secure the best venues. A website was created that has a huge selection of venues for all kinds of events and allows guests and hosts to communicate directly. And, most importantly, HeadBox.com is committed to total transparency, displaying all the costs upfront, as well as photos and 3D tours, allowing event planners to save time by searching, booking and paying for their venues online.

With more technology comes easier access to information and, in turn, this gives power to the customer. Instead of fighting this development it is vital to embrace it, to work with technology to see how it can revolutionise the way you work, safeguard your business for the future and provide a better service to your customer.

HeadBox is an online marketplace for creative, inspiring meeting, offsite and event venues. You can instantly search, book and pay for over 4000 venues across the UK via the platform, all in a matter of clicks. Their vision is to re-invent the events industry through technology – which is why Team Noodle get on with them so well. Since their launch in London, they’ve changed the way people search, book and pay for spaces by bringing the whole process online and making it much more efficient. Nice work HeadBox.com! Back to event apps and RFID next week – promise. 

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