Category Archives: Technology

When’s the Best Time to Make a Change?

The new year is right around the corner, which is typically the time we see many venues looking to make a change. But even though these venues are actively seeking new solutions, they’re still asking us and themselves when the best time is to make a big switch. The truth is there really isn’t an exact ‘great time’ to make a switch. But there is a way to go about the change so it’s quick, unobtrusive, and set up for success.

Since technology is our sweet spot, we’ll review the best ways to adopt new technology into your venue for the upcoming year so you can significantly increase efficiency, profitability, and security.

1. Define why you want to make a technology change

We can tell you a hundred reasons why you should (and just for fun, here’s 7 of them), but it’s not going to mean anything if you don’t have a reason or objective of your own. Perhaps you want to increase the speed of the night, discover insights about your clients, understand how your venue and employees are doing, or even generate more pre-sale revenue. All of this is possible with the right technology. The more you know about why you want to go down this route, the better technology partner you’ll find and the easier time you’ll have integrating it in.

2. Find the right partner

The best thing you can do is find a company who will act as a true partner in making your club more profitable. They should fully understand your venue’s operations and strategies to provide the best solution to your needs. We recommend using a system like ours that has multiple solutions on one platform. Not only does this reduce the number of vendors you have to work with on a daily basis, but also better integrates data about your venue’s performance.

3. Start small

The reason technology, or any new system for that matter, seems overwhelming is because people think of it as one big overhaul rather than a series of small steps. Adopting technology is a marathon, not a race. Pick the technology solutions that you absolutely need today and blend it into your current operations. Once you get the hang of the new features you added, you’ll feel more comfortable about what technology can do for your venue and will be ready to add more necessary features. This process doesn’t take as long as it sounds. We can get you set up in a day and have you start integrating features in a matter of weeks.

4. Train Staff,

Get all staff members together who will be interacting with the new software. Having everyone in one place makes it easy for you to introduce the system, show them how it works, and answer any questions they may have. It may also be beneficial to bring in the company you’re partnering with to clarify any points or walk through the system. Do this every time a new wave of features is implemented in your venue, and always show continuous support. After all, if you don’t believe in the system, why should your employees? Support and training ensures your venue runs like a well-oiled machine and sees the best results possible.

Whitney Larson is the president and director of marketing at Vēmos. Contact her at

4 Steps to Use Data to Increase Profit

The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data. Yet, most venues don’t look at their data to get an accurate gage of how well their club is performing. The problem is few venues have a system in place to analyze this data, and even fewer have the necessary time and resources to comb through data points to make sense of it all. As a result, venues are operating blindly and wasting time and money on areas that may or may not be working.

To get a true sense of how your venue is performing, you should be able to rattle off:

  • How much money you made or lost over a given time period
  • Which days of the week are your busiest
  • What type of liquor you sell the most on a given day
  • How many tables are reserved a night
  • Which promoters are brining in the most guests
  • Which servers are upselling the most and making the most tips
  • What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic

If you don’t have an answer to these points, it’s time to put an analytics system in place. Here are the 4 steps to do just that.

1. Use a platform that collects data on all areas of your venue

Don’t cut yourself short by only turning to your point of sale (POS) system to provide this data. While it’s true that most POS systems collect data, it’s oftentimes presented in convoluted ways. It’s nearly impossible to get a glimpse of your club’s employee performance, promoter performance, individual guest sales, or trending liquor sales. That’s why it’s more important than ever to turn to a system that not only collects, but also reports, the data you need in meaningful ways.

The best systems are fully integrated solutions that collect data from any area of your club and analyze and present it in one central spot in real-time. Make sure everyone who works at your venue has his/her own login and uses the system correctly to capture the most accurate data.

2. Identify what information is crucial to your venue

There’s a lot of data that gets collected on a given night, and there’s a lot of different ways it can be reported. But just because it gets collected doesn’t mean it’s going to be worthwhile information. Define the areas that are the most critical for you to analyze and set a goal for you to benchmark against. The more focused you are, the easier it’ll be to interpret.

3. Use filters to identify strong and weak areas of your venue

Integrated systems that have a filtering process are beneficial in a number of ways, because they:

  • Allow you to identify the audience you want to measure (servers, promoters, customers, overall club performance, or all of the above)
  • Collect data on any given area of your club
  • Provide insight on trending liquor sales, which helps with inventory planning
  • Report key information on individual guests – average spend, total spend, group size, favorite liquors, and top purchases – so you can better serve them
  • Present the results you chose to identify in easy-to-read charts and graphs, which removes the manual labor of you combing through all the data

4. Optimize your efforts to increase profit

Review the data that’s presented, benchmark it against your goals, and optimize your results to work in your favor. If something isn’t working – such as a certain type of liquor isn’t selling well or a promoter isn’t providing results – then fix the problem. The more you now, the more you can do.

Parag Shah is the founder and director of sales at Vēmos. Contact him at

Finding the Right Event Ticketing Partner

Event ticketing isn’t anything new for nightclubs. Yet, many venues rush through the planning process and don’t set themselves up for success, especially when it comes to selecting their ticketing vendors. It’s incorrect to assume all third-party ticketing companies are the same, and it hurts you to not do your research.

Here are three things you need to ensure your ticketing vendor is able to provide (note: most big-name ticketing vendors don’t provide any of these, which decreases your profit potential).

1. Money goes into your bank right away

Most ticketing sites collect your customers’ payments in their own banks until after the event is over. Once the day of your event has passed, they’ll cut you a check for what you earned, but not until they’ve made sure to take any fees they deem themselves worthy to collect. Then, it takes a few business days for the remaining money to appear in your account, meaning you may not actually get paid until a week after the event happened (and weeks to months since your guests even purchased their ticket).

Instead, you should look to companies that ensure payment goes directly through your own merchant services provider and into your bank account right from the get-go. That way, a guest purchasing a ticket to your event is the same process as that guest buying a drink inside your venue doors.

2. A customized event landing page

Many ticketing sites have online-hosted pages about your event to help promote it and attract buyers. Yet, some of these sites don’t have the capabilities for guests to purchase tickets directly from the site. What’s worse is your event page is chock-full of advertisements and information about “similar venues” (aka competing venues).

Confirm beforehand what’s going to be on your event page. Better yet, look for companies that 1) don’t have competing venues or advertisements, 2) allow guests to purchase tickets directly from the website, 3) have the capabilities for you to fully customize your page to your needs, and 4) are able to provide you with a white-labeled widget to embed directly on your own website.

3. You own the data

It’s sad, but most ticketing sites don’t let venues see detailed information on who bought their tickets. Rather, they leverage this data to sell tickets for other venues on their own site. This is a huge missed opportunity and something you should never let happen.

Always make sure you’re given full access to your data. After all, data is one aspect you absolutely need to make better decisions and grow your profits. Your data should be able to tell you the number of tickets sold, the amount of revenue earned, a comparison of tickets sold and sales by event, the number of parties who attended, and who bought your tickets – including their name, gender, age, zip code, email, and phone number. This information lets you know whether your event was a success, what to improve on for the next event, and toward whom your marketing should be geared.

Parag Shah is the founder and director of sales at Vēmos. Contact him at

Where Does the Money You Make From an Event Go?

Hosting events is one of the best ways for nightclubs to get guests through the doors and to make extra cash on an otherwise standard night. But in order to make that cash, you have to sell tickets, and that’s where third-party ticketing vendors come in. Yet, what most nightclubs fail to realize is that some third-party vendors don’t set your event up for financial success. That’s why it’s more important than ever for you to ask vendors during the vetting process where every cent of your money goes.

The Problem

Most ticketing vendors collect your customers’ payments in their own banks until after the event is over. Once your event has passed, they’ll cut you a check for what you earned…or so you thought.

The fees many of these vendors impose are astronomical and unnecessary. We’ve been trained for years to believe service fees are a necessary evil to selling tickets, and while this is true to some extent, it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for your venue and your guests. We’ve seen some ticket vendors charge a service fee to the nightclub for using their service, a service fee to the guest for buying from the service, and a handling fee for the guest for handing their ticket purchase. The first fee is taken directly out of your revenue stream, and then second two fees are typically added on top of the price of the ticket for your guest to pay. The two fees coupled with the price of the ticket can make the cost of the event not worth it to many guests, which turns away otherwise excellent patrons to your event, which in turn takes a hit on profit you could have made.

Not only are you losing revenue from all the fees, but you’re also not getting the money you eventually earned until after the event happened. So even if you were smart and went through the effort of pre-selling your tickets to earn a profit and pay all your vendors ahead of time, your efforts were essentially in vain since you may not actually get paid until weeks after the event happened (and months since your guests even purchased their ticket).

The Solution

Look to a ticketing vendor that ensures payment goes directly through your merchant services provider and into your bank account right from the get-go. This type of vendor won’t collect any of your money in its own bank account and will work with you and your merchant services provider to make sure every cent you earn is given directly to you, even when you’re conducting pre-sales. That means you’ll be able to pay for your event before it even happens and enjoy the extra profit weeks afterwards rather than worry when your money will arrive.

What’s more is you can wave goodbye to grotesque service fees going this route. Since the vendor isn’t handling your money, there wont’ be extra unnecessary service fees for you to pay. That’s a big financial win for both you and your guests.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing at BookBottles. Contact her at

5 Tips to Improve Your Bottle Service

Bottle service has been around for decades as a way to attract high-status patrons and earn high, fast-growing revenue. Unfortunately, it’s also become such a standard component to the nightlife scene that many venues treat it as a mandatory guideline rather than a premiere service to their most desirable guests. But getting into this rut is more detrimental to your club than you may realize.

While it’s true that bottle service is common amongst most top nightclubs, you’re doing yourself a disservice by treating it as a service for commoners. People expect to pay top-dollar to receive this premier customized service, and if your staff is acting like it’s just another area of your club, your guests aren’t going to get the experience they expect or deserve.

Below are 5 tips to make sure your bottle service stands out as a desirable first-class experience.

1. Know your audience

Your guests define your business. After all, without customers, you don’t have a venue. That’s why it’s more important than ever to truly know your audience – they’re what determines what type of club you are and how your bottle service should be executed. But there’s more to the story than simply identifying your audience segment. In today’s ever-changing fast-paced landscape, it’s more important than ever to truly know who your guests are beyond their niche generalization. In order to be truly successful, you need to know the guests who frequent your venue, who spend a lot of money, and who would be considered loyal. A robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale and integrated into every aspect of your club will allow you to gain a deep insight into your customers and their habits.

2. Use an integrated reservation management system

Too many clubs operate with pen and paper to manage table reservations. Some have graduated onto email as their medium of choice, but this still results in double-booked tables and other errors. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of reservations using these old school processes. Reservations are coming in from different sources, tables are over promised, and what ends up getting marked down isn’t true to what’s actually going to happen that night. That’s where the reservation management system comes into place. Just give your employees and partners access to the system with their own personal login where they can add a reservation for a specific night and choose tables that are only available for that time slot. This streamlines your processes to maximize efficiency and accuracy. And when the reservation system is integrated into all areas of your club, you’re able to capture data about the guest, their party, their orders, and the referrer of the reservation to make better business decisions down the road.

3. Provide personalized service

VIP guests don’t want to be treated like a number. They should be greeted at the door, walked to their table, offered their personal top-purchased liquors, and attended to by their favorite server. Having a CRM system in place helps keep track of this information to give seamless service from all staff members. What’s more is this CRM system boosts upsales for your venue by recommending items based on the guest’s history and interests. You can also upsell a non-VIP customer before they even walk in your door by identifying them in line. The CRM system will tell you if a guest is a regular attendee, which means you have the opportunity to upsell them to bottle service right then and there. The personal treatment you’re able to offer will provide your guest with a better experience, making them more loyal and more likely to refer friends to your venue.

4. Manage inventory accordingly

You can’t afford to run out of a top client’s favorite bottle before he even arrives. That’s where your analytics system comes in. It’s hard to predict the type and amount of liquors to purchase without data. Take time to analyze history and trends of the bottles that are being purchased in your club, especially by your regular guests. Having a system like this in place not only helps you to better plan, but it also strengthens customer experience and allows you to make better business decisions to earn more profit.

5. Market on a personal level

Because your CRM system tracks important customer activity, such as when they come to your club, how much they spend, what they drink, and how many people they bring with them, you’re able to send more targeted, personal and relevant messages to individual guests. This means you’re able to use filters to segment your customers into specific targeted audiences, which in turn means each audience gets messages that are 100% relevant to their habits. That’s powerful marketing and that’s what continues to drive guests into your venue.

Your bottle service shouldn’t be “out of the norm.” Make it personal, make it exceptional, and make it tie back to your data so you can keep improving it month after month.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketin at BookBottles. Contact her at