Account Director, Steve Schwartz gives his advice for making the most of your data.
It’s surprising how many of our clients have never seen a comprehensive data set of their booking spend. If you’re an organiser you may think, “I booked it, I know it” or if you’re working in procurement, you’re probably overwhelmed with data and need some support to make sense of it all. That’s where we come in. At Venues and Events International we offer monthly, quarterly and annual management information packs to all of our clients, regardless of how much you spend with us, or how long you’ve been trading with us. We never charge for creating reports and for our contracted clients, if we’re ever late sending your monthly pack, we’ll fine ourselves £150 to go towards your Christmas party or the charity of your choice!
Whenever we take on a new client, or perhaps we’ve been working with a client who has some key objectives for our category we always take them through the 3 T’s!
The number one activity for anyone looking to achieve any objective in a spend category is to “Track” – you have got to understand what you are spending and why. We don’t just provide summary data, we provide fully itemised spend information ensuring that you know how every penny has been spent. This information is provided to you in a format that’s detailed enough to be valuable, but clear enough to make sense.
Once you know what you’ve spent it is then important to understand why, this is where the “Trend” comes in. We’ll help you to understand who is booking, what they are booking and why? What is driving their choices; could it be venue location relevant to one of your own offices, your customer or supplier? Could it be the personal preference of one of the leadership team? Do you have specific needs for a training course that you wouldn’t trust another venue to deliver? There are many factors that drive decision making when it comes to offsite meetings and events and budget is rarely the driving force!
Finally, once you’ve understood the behaviours that drive your spend you can start to influence them. For example, if you’d like to encourage your bookers to use a cheaper alternative to a popular venue, perhaps an educational event could build product knowledge and help to aid the transition. We have vast experience in the implementation of preferred venue programmes, a mandated approach will give you the biggest cost savings, but we are well versed in the soft approach, switching bookers through increased education and of course, fantastic service.
If you’re struggling to understand your spend or are using so many suppliers that you don’t have visibility, we can help, get in touch with us today.