“For a venue like ours, I don’t think there’s anything better on the market than VenueOps.”

Roger Stokke

Read/View Time: 4 minutes

We had the honor of conducting a Q&A with Roger Stokke, Sales & Event Manager, to learn how VenueOps has transformed the way Trondheim Spektrum books and manages their unique and versatile spaces, which compose the largest multi-purpose arena in Europe.

Property Specs:

  • Main facility spans a total of 33,200 m² (357,361 ft²) across 9 adult handball pitches, 6 children handball pitches, and 4 halls.
  • Arena area holds more than 12,000 guests for a concert or 8,960 for seated sporting events (4,800 m² or 51,666 ft²) 
  • 18 corporate meeting rooms in varying sizes, from 14 m² to 186 m² (150 to 2002 ft²)
  • Outdoor area for stalls, tents, and outdoor seating for fairs
  • Common area with snack bar and espresso lounge
  • The area includes Øya stadion, a historic track & field facility
  •  4 outdoor clay courts & an indoor tennis hall as a part of Trondhjems Tennis Club (TTK)

About Trondheim Spektrum:

Located on the banks of the idyllic Nidelva river in Norway, Trondheim Spektrum boasts Europe’s largest multi-purpose arena, as well as a number of outdoor and indoor amenities for events of all kinds. Trondheim Spektrum also serves as the training grounds for Byåsen Handball Elite, the official women’s handball team of Trondheim. Notable events include the men’s European Handball Championship  (Dec. 2020) and the Melodi Grand Prix final (Feb. 2020).

Originally built in 1963, the facility has undergone several renovations and updates—the most recent being a complete reconstruction of the arena from 2017-2019. Especially since it’s re-opening, the versatility and flexibility of the facility also makes it a popular destination for concerts, trade exhibitions, fairs, conferences, seminars, and corporate events of all sizes.

Q & A with Roger Stokke, Sales/Event Manager:

Q: Why did you start searching for a new software solution? (Click for Answer)

A.

With the construction of the new arena, our organization became more commercial—actively publicizing and selling our spaces on a regular basis. When the original property was developed in 1963, it was mainly designed to host fairs and small sporting events, and in years past the organization took a more passive approach when it came to soliciting business. A big driver for building the new facility—and finding the supporting technology—was when we began discussing the idea of hosting the 2020 European Handball Championships with the Handball Federation. But to do that, we’d need an entirely updated arena and the modern tools to support it.

We needed an application that would help us strategically book spaces and generate revenue, while also keeping us organized as we grew and became more commercial. Just a few years ago, I believe bookings were handled by pen and paper—in a blue notebook. Then two years ago the team began using Excel sheets. When I came on board in April 2019, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this wasn’t going to cut it. I knew we needed a more specific solution to meet all our needs, so I began looking.

Q. Why did you choose VenueOps?

A.

I searched the internet for multiple solutions, but the problem was that they were all one-dimensional. I would find a nice CRM tool, but it lacked project management features. Or I would find a good project management platform, without any sales or booking capabilities. We didn’t want to adopt five different systems, so when I came across VenueOps it grabbed my attention. I realized it could provide the different capabilities we needed in one system, so it was an easy choice.

Q. Your team uses VenueOps in Norwegian. Can you tell us more about that?

A.

We actually began in the English version, but yes, now we use it in Norwegian. English is a second language in Norway, so it wasn’t an issue for us when we initially decided to adopt the system. We just assumed Norwegian wasn’t a language option. But when we learned it was possible to have the entire system translated, we opted for that because a native language is obviously easier for everyone involved. We knew it would make things more efficient, especially for our operations team. And in the future as we add more users, their proficiency in English won’t be as much of a factor to consider.

As far as the technical details go, the third party translation tool EventBooking recommended to us was genius. I’d say in total, it only took us two or three days to get the entire system translated to Norwegian. We’d invest 2 hours here and 3 hours there—so I don’t mean consecutive days, but in total hours I’d say it took a couple days. The result has been well worth it, because it has made the system—which was already easy to use—that much quicker to learn.

Q. What’s been one of the biggest improvements since using VenueOps?

A.

The calendar functionality has been amazing for us, because everyone can see what’s going on across the property. The cooperation this has introduced with the catering team has been brilliant as well—they’re using it as a full scale CRM system. Our production guys, operational staff, and custodial staff also reference VenueOps to be in the loop. It’s much, much easier for them to know now if a space will be available for set-up, maintenance, or cleaning at any given hour.

Personally, one of my favorite aspects is the mobile functionality. I use VenueOps on my phone every day. My role lends itself to being available 24/7, even on weekends, so when a customer calls and their question or concern cannot wait—it’s great to just have an answer for them straight away. Whether I’m at the beach or on a mountain or whatever, the calendar function on my phone has been great.

Q. How has your experience been with the remote support from EventBooking?

A.

That was actually one of our biggest skepticisms at first—we were nervous about learning a whole new system without nearby help, since there is not a local support team. But wow, was I wrong. It has been no problem at all. The response time is so short, and we can get help with anything and everything. And now with COVID of course, even if we did have a support team in the area, we realize that our implementation and training would have been digital and remote anyway. It turned out to be a non-issue. We’re thankful that you all have representatives in Germany, which is the same time zone, but even the US team has been great—they work while we sleep, and we always have answers to our questions first thing in the morning.

We’re really happy with the choice we made so far. The support of the staff has been excellent and very solution-oriented.

Q. What would you say to another facility or organization considering VenueOps?

A.

Even if they weren’t looking for a new solution at all, I would tell them about VenueOps! I’d bring it up on my phone and say “Look, this is how it works and why we’re using it. Here’s all the benefits we’ve seen.” For a venue like ours, it really does suit us. I don’t think there’s anything better on the market, so I’m going to recommend it—you don’t have to worry about that.

We’re honored to empower the team at such a premiere facility as Trondheim Spektrum!

“I use VenueOps on my phone every day.”

“We needed an application that would help us strategically book spaces, generate revenue, and keep us organized as we grew and became more commercial.”

“The support from the EventBooking staff has been excellent.

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