“I’ve never worked with such an easy system. I’ve worked with multiple booking platforms, and VenueOps is my favorite by far.”

Renee McGinnis

Read/View Time: 4 minutes

We had the pleasure of speaking with Renee McGinnis, Director of Sales, Marketing & Event Services, to learn how VenueOps has transformed the way the team at Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority books and manages all their premiere facilities.

Story Snapshot:

Previous Frustration:

  • Their software at the time made it difficult to make quick changes
  • No ability to see all properties & related information in a single calendar display
  • Staff had limited access to important information

The Solution:

  • Rapid staff buy-in to the simple (yet powerful) design & feel of VenueOps
  • A customizable calendar display for event information
  • Access to important information from any device / browser

     

Why VenueOps?

  • Exceptional customer care & on-boarding processes
  • Serves as a reliable and central “source of truth” for staff
  • Easily assign tasks and generate contracts, proposals, and invoices

The Whole Story:

About Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority

The Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA) was established in 1959 as the Washoe County Fair and Recreation Board. The RSCVA acts as a marketing organization for the county to promote convention and tourism business.The RSCVA owns and operates several facilities that are managed by ASM Global, the world’s largest professional operator of convention centers. Through the development of sporting competitions, national meetings and conventions, as well as equestrian and livestock events, the RSCVA attracts groups from across the country, utilizing the following facilities: the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, The multi-use Reno Events Center, the National Bowling Stadium and the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

Frustration #1: Previous Software was Difficult & Complicated (Click to Expand)

Staff were reluctant to use their previous software due to its complicated user experience. Many found their own work-arounds to avoid interacting with it. “Half our team used the old system and the other half just completely disregarded it,” Renee recalled. “We would put information in our previous system but it wasn’t always reflected in the shared files the non-users accessed, so the work of one event was often doubled across our entire staff due to the back-and-forth.”

Solution #1: A Smooth Transition to VenueOps

Renee was surprised to see how easily and quickly staff members began incorporating VenueOps into their daily work. “Because many of our staff members were wary of our previous system, there was a bit of skepticism about transitioning to a new one at first. I think the assumption was that any booking system would be cumbersome,” she explained. “Then there was another portion of our  team that was excited about a new system, because they knew it couldn’t be worse than the one we currently used,” she said.

Regardless of what their initial feelings were, Renee explained how all staff members were pleasantly surprised in their first VenueOps training. “This is so easy. Wow, this one task doesn’t take 20 steps,” were the comments Renee recalled. “So, we actually saw the other 50% of our staff come around to VenueOps pretty quickly,” she concluded.

Frustration #2: Not Able to See All Properties in a Single Calendar Display

One of the biggest challenges the team at Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority faced with their previous software was the inability to see all of their venues in a single calendar view. “We couldn’t see all of our properties on one screen so we would actually have to have four different windows open at the same time,” Renee explained, “So one of our goals was to unify all four properties so it could feel like we were all one team working together—rather than smaller, disparate groups stepping on each other’s toes.”

Solution #2: VenueOps' Customizable Calendar

The different ways VenueOps can display venue and event information in a calendar view proved to be extremely helpful. Users have the option to see as much or as little detail on the calendar as they want, depending on what filters they apply. “Having all four venues available on one screen made a huge difference, and unified our team in a way our previous system couldn’t,” said Renee.

Frustration #3: Circulating Event Details via Paper Copies

Prior to adopting VenueOps, Renee explained how their operations team was heavily “paper based” and relied on circulating paper copies of event orders and other important information. “It was easy for someone to mistakenly reference an out-of-date copy, or simply forget to bring the right copy with you to the other side of the property.”

The lack of instant access to updated information was also a challenge for their sales team if a client was visiting on-site prior to an event, and wanted information about room availability “on the fly.”

“We always try to anticipate a clients needs,” Rennee said, “but sometimes they’d be thinking out loud and wonder—’What about that room over there?’ or ‘I actually like this space better, will this be available?’ and I couldn’t give them a definitive answer on the spot without running back to my desk to check on my computer. I’d have to make a note of their question and get back to them later, rather than being able resolve it immediately.

Solution #3: Mobile Access to Instant, Up-to-Date Info in VenueOps

Because VenueOps is mobile friendly, Renee explained how all the information her team needs is now at their fingertips. “We can access up-to-date, accurate information in an instant with VenueOps on our phones,” she said, “and that has been a game-changer for our operations team, our sales team, and several others.”

Without the “back and forth” dynamic that came with their paper processes, Renee estimated that VenueOps has sped up their usual tasks by 50% and saved them about $10,000 on paper and ink costs alone.

“Take an event order, for instance—we’d have to print all those papers out, put them in order, and distribute them. Or I’d have to say ‘let me get back to you on that’ to any given client with an unexpected question about availability if I wasn’t in my office. The time saving is great, but then there’s the very real savings on the cost of paper and ink. I’d say it’s $10,000 at least.”

Renee shared that they’ve also enjoyed these improvements since adopting VenueOps:

Moving Events:

In their previous system, moving an event to a different date would trigger a domino effect of manual tasks that culminated to at least 30 minutes of work, even for the most menial changes. “It was daunting to make small tweaks,” Renee recalled, “Because it took about 20 steps to change an event date, and then there were 20 more steps to go back and make sure our ducks were in a row according to the contract, with the rates and so forth. I was always worried I forgot a step or overlooked a detail.”

“With VenueOps I can move an event in 30 seconds with total peace of mind—which has been a HUGE help during the pandemic. I can just as easily add rooms or rental fees, too.”

Attaching Event Diagrams:

Prior to VenueOps, Renee explained how the staff used one system for event diagramming and another system for event orders. “So we’d have to print an event diagram from the one system and an event order from the other, and combine those paper copies to get the full picture,” she said, “But with VenueOps, we can upload PDF’s of our event diagrams and they live side by side with the other information we need. It’s all under one ‘roof’ and accessible from any device.”

More Seamless Communication with Catering

“Our catering property or catering department also jumped on VenueOps rather than using a separate system, which proved to be so valuable,” explained Renee, “It’s been so nice to see their relevant info housed in VenueOps too, like menu items and the times we can expect—instead of hunting down those details from them separately and then taking the time to enter it into VenueOps.”

“Everything has come together as one, and the ease translates to smoother interactions with our clients. VenueOps is helping us help them,” she concluded.

Exceptional Customer Care:

“The team at EventBooking has just been outstanding,” said Renee, “They’re so quick to respond—certainly within 24 hours—and then I’m always amazed at how thoroughly and swiftly they’re able to completely resolve whatever our need is.”

We’re honored the Reno Sparks Convention & Visitor’s Authority can do what they do best—promote and share the value of the beautiful Reno Tahoe area—with the help of VenueOps venue management software!

“Everything has come together as one, and the ease translates to smoother interactions with our clients. VenueOps is helping us help them.”

“With VenueOps I can move an event in 30 seconds with peace of mind—which has been a HUGE help during this pandemic.”

“The information we need is all under one ‘roof’ with VenueOps, and accessible from any device.

“The team at EventBooking has just been outstanding.

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