Juggling spreadsheets, emails and multiple apps is no way to manage your events business, and hotel management software often isn’t the best fit either. Our platform offers 20+ integrated event management tools in one convenient solution so you are always in control.
Know your facility availability at-a-glance and never, ever double book a space or time with our easy-to-use event scheduling software tools. Plus you can even track prospective event dates for leads and put a hold on spaces/times while prospects are making a decision.
Our hotel event management software gives your banquet sales team a seamless process for growing revenues. From lead CRM tracking, email communications and electronic contracts to branded proposals and invoices, we make it easy for you to make a big impression on customers.
Streamline your facility scheduling process
Our easy-to-use, color-coded event booking calendar makes sure your event sales and front-of-house staff are in-the-know when adding or managing bookings. View in "event mode" or in "room/space mode" to see your availability. Add reservations and appointments for walkthroughs or venue tours. Sync with other popular e-calendars (Google, Outlook, Apple, etc.).
Manage event and catering orders
Whether your venue has on-premise restaurants, runs a dedicated catering kitchen or contracts with off-site caterers, our hotel catering software tools let you manage all your event orders and food-and-beverage details. Track customer details and orders history with customer CRM tools. Add menus and food items to events and track vendor deliverables via worksheets. Create BEOs for kitchen, serving and setup staff. Build to-scale floorplans and room setup designs for exact placement of tables, chairs and guests.
Business tools for smoother customer interactions
Simplify how customers do business with your facility with smarter sales and billing tools. Take in leads with lead webforms and manage them through your sales funnel. Create event proposals that shine and collect electronic signatures on contracts and proposals. Send out detailed invoices for event billings and set up payment schedules. Collect credit card payments online. And stay on top of the status of everything with comprehensive dashboards and downloadable reports.
Collaborate with staff and clients in real time
Communicating with team members, clients and vendors and sharing information with them just got a lot easier. Send and track all event-related email communications from a central inbox (and use your own business email addresses). Invite unlimited users into your account and set permissions for what they can view and edit. Provide clients access to event management tools for managing attendees, building event websites and collecting event registrations and RSVPs. Build event itineraries with staff and vendor assignments.
Easy to use … easy to TRY IT FREE
We built our hotel management software for events to be user friendly and flexible to adapt to your needs. Customize your account and downloadable documents with your logo and brand colors. Build reusable templates for proposals, contracts, line items, invoices, task lists, more. Planning Pod is cloud based and mobile friendly so you can use it on any device - smartphones, tablets or computers. And it integrates with hundreds of applications like Quickbooks, Xero, Salesforce and MailChimp via the Zapier platform.
If you run a hotel, motel or inn that hosts events, then you are well aware that running a banquet business in addition to managing your regular guest room bookings can be a big revenue boost. With that said, managing events and catering also requires more time, resources, staff and an additional set of tools to help you track all the details involved.
While some hospitality software applications do offer some event management tools, dedicated hotel event management software platforms often offer the best tools simply because they are built specifically for handling the events side of the business, with all its attendant client, vendor, sales, booking/scheduling, marketing, billing and reporting management needs.
The great thing about hotel sales and catering software is that whether you run a single facility, a multi-property/multi-venue operation or a hotel franchise, many applications can scale to meet your needs.
So what should you look for when assessing hotel management software for events? Here are seven must-haves that you should add to your checklist.
Does your facility have its own restaurants or dedicated catering kitchen? Or do you sell catering provided by off-site vendors? Either way, managing your food-and-beverage sales is a big priority and so your software must have tools for tracking things like headcounts, catering orders, menus and individual food items, recipes and the like.
In addition, the ability to produce banquet event orders (BEOs) or banquet checks is a huge asset, as is the ability to manage additional suppliers like outside A/V, transportation, decor/design and rentals vendors. Another option some platforms offer is a vendor network for searching and sourcing suppliers.
The second major asset of a solid hotel event management software is the ability to track all your leads, sales, billing and payments for all your group sales / banquet sales. And the foundation of this is a comprehensive event CRM system that lets you manage all your prospect and customer information, including contact details, order history and communications.
Look for venue software solutions that offer lead pipeline tracking and the ability to add webforms to your website to collect leads; proposal creation and signoff; contracts and electronic signature capture; invoicing and billing; and online payment processing with reputable credit card processing providers.
Additional bonuses here include the ability to build custom event floor plans and room layouts - 2D or 3D - to show prospects what they can expect if they book with you and marketing management tools such as email marketing and company websites.
The third crucial leg of any event and hotel catering software is the ability to track event bookings in one centralized place. Unfortunately, double-booking events is a common error in the hospitality industry, and what make this so unfortunate is that it is completely avoidable.
A solid facility and event scheduling platform gives you a very clear view of your bookings calendar, including your booked rooms and spaces, on-hold events and availability. Look for added features like different views (events vs. appointments / tours / reservations vs. bookings by rooms/spaces) as well as guest room management and/or room block management (which may already be included in your hotel management system.
Some event and bed and breakfast booking software applications also offer inventory and resource management tools for tracking bookings of equipment, rentals (tables, chairs, flatware/plateware, etc.), decor and other items you may want to allocate to your booked events.
This feature is more subjective but just as vital for finding a hotel event management software system that fits your specific needs, and it is heavily dependent on those needs.
For instance, do you need an all-in-one platform or just a handful of specific tools? Or do you need a mobile-friendly application that works on iPads, iPhones and Androids just as well as it does on a PC or Mac? Do you want a cloud-based application that requires no upkeep or installation or do you prefer to run an application locally on your server or computer? All these questions will dictate what hotel sales and catering software system you gravitate towards.
One thing you should not compromise is if the application is supported or not, which includes phone/email customer support, demos, trials and training. Another thing to look for is the ability to customize the application in a variety of ways, including adding your hotel’s branding, customizing the documents that are produced by the application and adding reusable templates for repetitive tasks like proposals, contracts and task lists.
Finally, because most hotels, B&Bs and lodging venues operate multiple pieces of software to operate, you should look for software that integrates with other applications you are using like Quickbooks, Xero, Salesforce, Google Drive and Constant Contact.
A reputable hotel event planning software tool will not only give you an organized platform for storing and retrieving data but will also provide insights into that data so you can make smart decisions about your business moving forward.
Hence, the system you choose should have comprehensive reporting on a variety of metrics (leads, customers, space/venue usage, invoices, payments, etc.) as well as status dashboards that display real-time data on timely items like upcoming events, unfinished tasks, unsigned documents and the like.
This feature set also depends on your needs, the types of events you host at your venue and the services you provide to your customers.
For instance, if you have an on-side event planner or offer event planning services, you may need additional tools for building detailed budgets and day-of schedules with staff assignments as well as managing event vendors, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers (especially if you have a heavy demand for meetings and conferences). And if you organize your own events (like wine tastings or concerts) you may also need event websites, social media marketing and registration and ticketing tools for promoting your events and managing ticket sales.
Or if you don’t offer event planning as part of your services, you may want to provide your customers event planning tools as a value-add to supplement your other services.
The ability to easily collaborate with staff members and contractors as well as communicate efficiently with prospects and clients is essential in keeping your event business rolling along smoothly. Most hotel event management software offers the ability to add additional users and control their access and permission settings, which enables real-time sharing of information in your account.
However, look for hotel software applications that go the extra mile and enable you to manage the email communications with your leads and customers and integrate with the email platforms you are already using (like Gmail, Outlook, etc.). Some apps will even let you compose and send text messages to customers who prefer that mode of communication.
In addition, tools like event planning checklists / task list managers and shared staff calendars allow you to track your staff’s progress on their assignments, and staff scheduling tools let you set days and times for which events your staff members are assigned to and what they will be doing on those occasions.