“VenueOps bridges gaps—to the point it actually improved our internal culture.”

Veronica Jordan

Read/View Time: 4 minutes

We had the pleasure of speaking with Veronica Jordan, Facilities & Events Coordinator, to learn how VenueOps has transformed the way the team at Calvert Marine Museum books and manages their unique and versatile spaces.

Story Snapshot:

Previous Frustration:

  • Outdated practices became inefficient as they grew
  • Disconnected departments led to miscommunication
  • Client information in files stored locally could quickly be lost

The Solution:

  • VenueOps gave back valuable time & enabled growth
  • VenueOps transformed communication & internal culture
  • VenueOps acts as a central source of information

     

Why VenueOps?

  • Supported by “amazing” customer care & “personalized expertise”
  • Easy to use and adopt across an organization
  • Instant access from any modern browser & device

The Whole Story:

About Calvert Marine Museum

The Calvert Marine Museum is a maritime museum located in Solomons, Maryland. In addition to hosting regular visitors interested in their exhibits and museum programming, they also host events of all sizes throughout the year. Some are staples in the community’s calendar, like the Solomons Maritime Festival in May—which celebrates the region’s maritime heritage through music, food, and traditional crafts. This unique space also plays host to multiple concerts, corporate events, and an annual music series at their outdoor pavilion—making Calvert Marine Museum a truly versatile locale for guests of all ages and interests.

Frustration 1: Old Processes Became Inefficient as they Grew (Click to Expand)

A popular destination in the region, the Calvert Marine Museum Society knows that a vital part of their success lies in their ability to plan and host events. In fact, one of their growth strategies hinges upon hosting more, and the venue will soon undergo changes to accommodate that—such as a new outdoor event space. But even with their current number of events, staff found they were struggling with internal communication and staying organized. This was largely due to using practices they had already outgrown—namely, managing dates in Outlook Calendar and a hand-written “black book”—as well as communicating event details by circulating copies of papers around each department. This was especially inconvenient for last minute changes to an event, in which case new copies had to be re-distributed.

“Our processes were old,” said Veronica, “We were making potential reservations on the phone with people and then passing detailed papers to different departments, which aren’t necessarily down the hallway. Some departments are in different buildings entirely. So by the time some of the papers circulated back to me, I couldn’t even remember that I booked the space. It was crazy.”

Veronica explained how in addition to their antiquated paper process, precious time was spent checking availability in Outlook Calendar and updating their hand-written log multiple times a day. So much time was given to these tasks that it began impeding on those in an administrative role, although this wasn’t in their explicit realm of responsibility or job description. “Before VenueOps, our processes were so time-consuming that it was like a whole separate job for our Admin to maintain. That was the problem. It was so stressful for Administration because they didn’t have the time for this work in addition to their original responsibilities. So that was the goal—to free them up, rather than stress over the calendar all day long,” she said.

Calvert Marine Museum knew it was time to update their venue booking practices if they wanted to grow and host more events, and became aware of VenueOps at an industry conference. “We needed a software that not only met our current needs,” said Veronica, “but one that would allow us to evolve and continue to meet our future needs.”

Solution 1: VenueOps Gives Back Valuable Time & Energy, Enables More Growth

“Coming from such antiquated methods,” Veronica said, “switching to VenueOps has been a big change for our organization—but the best, most necessary change.”

She shared that VenueOps now acts as their foundation for all things related to venue management and booking. “I would say we’re saving 60% of our time by using VenueOps, as opposed to our previous process—or lack thereof,” she said.  

Veronica attributes this newfound efficiency to the core functions of VenueOps, which covers everything from sales, booking, contracting, resource allocation and management, event production, event financials, and more. She added, “Now Administration can focus on their originally intended responsibilities—which are just as important—rather than manually wrangling in all of these event details and making sure everyone is informed. Everything anyone needs to know can be found in VenueOps.”

“We especially love the avails calendar view,” she continued, “It’s funny how we used to think Outlook Calendar was cutting it, but now that we’re using a platform specifically designed for this line of work—the difference is night and day.”

VenueOps is now a vital cornerstone of booking and managing events at Calvert Marine Museum—whether it’s a large concert or small corporate gathering.

“And the beauty is we can continue to build on this foundation,” Veronica observed, “It certainly meets our needs now, but we also have room to grow into it, which means we won’t need to change software every couple years as we evolve and bring in more high-profile events.”

Frustration 2: Disconnected Departments Translated to Miscommunication

The different departments that compose all of Calvert Marine Museum’s initiatives were not only only separated geographically—with some departments operating in distinct buildings on the property—but at times felt disconnected in their communication and collaboration, too.

Veronica explained, “Each department was in it’s own little world with it’s own siloed goals. I might book an event for the Society, and unintentionally take a space the Education department was trying to use for their own initiatives.”

Valuable time, resources, and energy would be spent untangling overlapping logistics and resolving the frustration that might follow suit. “We were stepping on each other’s toes with our previous process, because it left different staff members in the dark,” Veronica said. 

Solution 2: VenueOps Transformed Communication & Internal Culture

Once the team at Calvert Marine Museum began accessing VenueOps in real-time on any device, they began to feel more unified, organized, and confident in their everyday decisions.

“VenueOps has given us the confidence that we’re not missing information or infringing on someone else’s plans,” Veronica said. The VenueOps calendar gives a clear visual representation of what’s taking place or being planned for their spaces at all times, so all relevant staff can be on the same page.

“We were never connecting those dots before, and VenueOps has bridged this gap—to the point where it’s changing the internal culture of our organization,” Veronica continued, ”Every person that interacts with VenueOps has a job that’s been made easier. It’s a good thing for everybody, because if you improve communication with one person it improves your relationship with them. That goes for any relationship—but when it comes to co-workers, that improvement starts happening on an organizational level. The results are just amplified. It’s incredible.”

Better internal practices and culture has also translated into better service to their clients and visitors. VenueOps empowered staff to speak with clients in a quicker, more knowledgeable way—thanks to their instant access to granular event details. ”Now we have the details we need for them on-demand. VenueOps eliminated the back-and-forth dynamic we had in our previous interactions,” she said.

Frustration 3: Client Information Could Quickly Fall Through the Cracks

In addition to the inefficiencies of their other methods, client and prospect information often lived in Excel spreadsheets, stored locally on individual’s computers.

“So if someone stopped working for us,” explained Veronica, “It was so easy to lose valuable information along with them—not just their head knowledge, but certain files that were overlooked in their transition out. Files with brides and their upcoming wedding details, or companies and their holiday party information. It could be a real disaster.”

Solution 3: VenueOps Serves as a Central Source of Truth for Everyone

Since VenueOps is web-based, critical information about clients and prospects is stored in one place and can be accessed anywhere.  “Having VenueOps as a central source of truth has given us peace of mind,” she said, “There’s no reason why someone who needs to be in the loop can’t be.”

Not only is that helpful for present and future events, but eventually the museum can pull out data from the past and consolidate it into reports, so they can reflect on event information and stats—to then make better business decisions moving forward. “Building out reports in VenueOps will help us figure out what is or isn’t the best use of our space,” Veronica said.

Aside from the technical capabilities of VenueOps, Veronica shared that she particularly loves the care and attention Calvert Marine Museum always receives from the team at EventBooking, who ensured their transition to VenueOps was a smooth one. 

“As wonderful as VenueOps is as a product, I don’t think we’d be half as successful as an organization if it weren’t for the customer care and personalized expertise that always accompanies it,” she said.

This “personalized expertise” from the EventBooking team was especially apparent in these two areas:

Experts on VenueOps:

“I love the Implementation Consultants from EventBooking,” Veronica said, “They know the software inside and out. On the very first call we had with them, it’s like they understood our needs more than we even understood our own. Coming from such an antiquated process beforehand, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. And with the challenges we did know we had, they were a step ahead—anticipating them and ready to provide immediate solutions.”

“We told them how we worked before—circulating papers, using spreadsheets, juggling Outlook Calendar and hand-written logs—and they took it all in stride,” she continued, “They listened, and then proceeded to lay out the best workflow for us in VenueOps—based on their expertise and the goals behind our original practices. They’ve been able to really guide us, and it doesn’t feel like their solutions are trying to force a square peg into a round hole. I’m amazed they were able to understand our organization so well, so quickly.”

Experts on Change Management:

“Considering the practices we were all used to,” Veronica said, “Adopting VenueOps was like starting from the ground floor. So we were just honest and vulnerable with the EventBooking team about our fears for how other staff members would take to it—because everyone has different comfort levels with new technology and methods. Some people are more resistant to change than others.”

“But the EventBooking team is so patient,” she added, “They took it upon themselves to walk through everyone’s questions and reservations until everyone was comfortable. Our Implementation Consultant made our staff feel really comfortable with VenueOps, and now they love it.”

“Every person that interacts with VenueOps has a job that’s been made easier.”

“I’d say we save 60% of our time by using VenueOps, as opposed to our previous process.”

“Having VenueOps as a central source of truth has given us peace of mind.”

“I’m amazed the EventBooking team was able to understand our organization so well, so quickly.”

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