We caught up with Neil Berry, chief executive of event and venue management software firm VenuePro, to discuss the company’s wide-ranging offering and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the sector…
Could you give a brief overview of the company?
VenuePro is a global technology platform that simplifies the management and operation of venues and events. We work with major venues such as Wembley Stadium to help automate processes and deliver operational efficiency.
Our aim is to solve the issues and overcome the challenges that venue operators face on a daily basis, to allow them to streamline and automate their operation so they can focus on providing the best possible experiences for visitors and guests.
What range of services does VenuePro offer?
VenuePro is made up of 14 distinct modules (with more modules in development) which together create a powerful end-to-end platform. But clients can also select individual modules that are relevant to their operation, to create a tailored solution that fits their specific requirements.
The technology is sophisticated, but simple to use, and is flexible enough to fit in seamlessly with a client’s existing infrastructure and it can be integrated simply with existing technologies. The modules include features such as scheduling, event management, staffing management, accreditation, incident management, facilities management and lost & found.
Who is VenuePro working with?
We have a long-term successful partnership with Wembley Stadium and deployed VenuePro into their operation in 2019. We’re currently in discussions with a number of stadia and major venue operators across the UK, US, Australia, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia.
Is there a particular focus on sports and entertainment venues? Is there any scope to expand to other markets in the future?
Yes we certainly specialise in stadiums and arenas, but VenuePro is highly customisable and flexible and can be used for all types of venues and events. The technology can easily be adopted at any venue with high footfall where managing high levels of traffic and ensuring visitor safety is a paramount concern. We’re in discussions with exhibition centres, shopping malls, train stations, airports and theme parks.
Are there plans for VenuePro to introduce any more modules in the future?
Yes we’re continually looking to improve and enhance our platform and we are adding additional modules, features and functionality following client and user feedback and consultation.
We want to help clients with all aspects of venue and event management and we make operations work better, free up time and save our clients money by delivering operational efficiency, productivity and automation for operators of all sizes.
Our aim is to make VenuePro the ‘go to’ technology for all operators worldwide who want to simplify their operations and provide the best possible experiences for visitors and guests.
What opportunities and challenges has the pandemic presented for VenuePro?
Like many businesses worldwide 2020 was a challenging year. Clearly the venue and events sector was hit particularly hard and many of the new clients we were looking to onboard last year had to delay. However, at the same time interest in VenuePro grew as it naturally assists in the reopening of venues and the ‘new future’ of live events. The last six months has seen a resurgence in confidence and many of those conversations have started back up again and we are signing up new clients and deploying the VenuePro technology once again.
More generally, what do you feel are the main challenges facing stadia, arenas and sports organisations in the COVID-19 era?
Clearly the effects of COVID will be felt for some time to come across stadia, arenas, events and venues more widely. It is likely that some restrictions will stay in place and venues will need to adhere to certain regulations with appropriate checks in place to ensure safety of all visitors. These will mean additional processes and tasks will need to be deployed leading to additional resources and man hours. It is therefore important that all operational processes are streamlined and automated as much as possible to reduce overheads, and this is where VenuePro can come into its own.
How can VenuePro help to meet these challenges?
VenuePro can help to streamline all aspects of a venue’s operation. Day to day operations can be fully automated, communications between team members are significantly enhanced, staffing and accreditations can be fully managed and all data can be monitored, tracked and reported on for continuous improvements. This means that many processes and activities that were traditionally done manually and took up significant amounts of time can be taken on by VenuePro to not only free up resource but also speed up daily tasks.