Category Archives: Technology

How to Pay for Your Event Before it Happens

Imagine it’s hours before your event and your mind is at ease because you have thousands of dollars in pre-sold tickets and inventory. On top of that, your worries about VIP cancelations are a thing of the past since you reservations aren’t simply guaranteed, but purchased in advance. This is not a dream; this is reality, and it’s easier than you think.

Here’s how you can capitalize on pre-sales to generate revenue that will pay for your event before the event even happens.

1. Put the right tools in place to sell tickets

It’s hard to know how your event will go if you don’t get access to your own data – something many ticketing companies fail to provide their clients. Make sure you have full control of your events and get access to all of your data before, during, and after the event. There are technology platforms that incorporate ticketing into the rest of your efforts, giving you that full 360-degree look at how your venue is performing. This platform enables to you to:

  • Create and manage an online event page
  • Sell tickets to consumers right through the page via an e-commerce system
  • Get access to a white-labeled widget so your online ticketing page looks identical to the rest of your website
  • Integrate the event with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices
  • Track ticket sales and results along the way

This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue before the night of your event.

2. Make sure the money goes directly into your bank

Another aspect of a ticketing platform to consider is that of payment. Most ticketing sites collect your customers’ payments in their own banks and hold it 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 your money until a week after the event has happened (and weeks since your guests even purchased a ticket).

Instead, look to companies that ensure payment goes directly through your 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. There’s no point in collecting pre-sales to help pay for your event before it happens if you’re not going to get your money from those sales until weeks after the event is over.

3. Analyze results to increase revenue for the next event

Getting access to your data gives you the opportunity to truly understand how your venue and events are performing. If you get on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event. Optimization is key to long-term success.

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

5 Ways to Benefit from an Integrated Technology Platform

The nightclub industry has evolved from inefficient pen-and-paper practices to digital solutions that can manage and track all areas of your business. While these solutions may seem complex and overwhelming, they’re actually quite simple when it’s a fully integrated platform that’s connected into your daily operations. Because when you have a system that’s fully integrated, you’re able to manage and oversee all areas of your venue from one central spot.

Here are 5 ways an integrated technology platform will help you run a better nightclub.

1. Your point of sale (POS) system will provide better data

Integrated POS systems equate to bigger and better data. It takes your club beyond transactional information, giving you insight into rich details of your club’s results, employee performance, individual guest sales, and trending liquor sales. This is the type of information that gives you critical insight into how your venue is performing, allowing you to make better business decisions.

2. You will know your guests on a deeper level

Your guests – especially your VIP ones – 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 customer relationship management (CRM) system in place helps track 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 guests with a better experience, making them more loyal and more likely to refer friends to your venue.

3. You can better manage VIP reservations

Nightclubs used to 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 process to maximize efficiency and accuracy.

4. You get to see how your venue is performing through in-depth analytics

This is where that rich data we discussed above comes into play. An analytics system takes the guessing work out of the numbers that are being reported. It shows exactly what you want to know about a given area of your club, including your customers. With this type of system, you’re able to define how much money you made or lost over a given time period, whether an event was profitable, which promoters are bringing in the most guests, and which servers are performing the best. All of this information leads to insight about your club to make better decisions for the future.

5. You can handle every aspect of your club while on-the-go

The best scenario is when all of the above tools are programmed to connect to each other through a mobile application. Why bother with five different technologies if it’s going to add five different processes to your club? Integrated technology groups all of these tools together under one platform that operates both on the web and on mobile devices so you can manage your venue even when you’re not physically there. This also allows you to better manage promoters, improve marketing efforts, and increase sales before the night begins.

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

Technology Shouldn’t Slow Down Your Night

We recently discussed the need for nightclubs to retire paper guestlists. The solution? Moving over to a digital guestlist. Not only is it more efficient, but it’s also more accurate and full of in-depth insight your club needs to propel forward in the 21st century. Yet, many nightclub owners and managers respond to these types of messages with hesitation and fear – fear of the unknown, fear of change, and fear that technology will end up slowing down the speed of night. But after working with many nightclubs on switching them over to integrated digital solutions, I can assure you that technology has actually done the opposite of what they feared.

The key ingredient to digital solutions is that it has to be integrated into all areas of your club. We call this interconnectivity. If the technology between different departments of your club isn’t connected, the data and processes will ultimately be useless. After all, why bother with 4 different technologies if it’s going to add 4 different processes to your club? Those are the types of solutions that slow down the speed of night. Instead, look to a technology platform that streamlines all areas of your club into one centralized spot. Not only does this easily give you access to all club information, but it also increases efficiency across the board, gives you in-depth analytics about how your club is performing, and ultimately speeds up your night.

Here’s how you can use an integrated technology system to speed up your night while also increasing your profits.

1. Start small

Technology platforms are robust and come with a lot of bells and whistles. But just because it has everything you could ever want doesn’t mean you have to start using every feature right away. 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. Pick the features that you absolutely need today and blend it into your current operations (keeping that end goal of connecting your whole club together through this one platform). 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 you will be ready to add more necessary features.

2. Give staff access to the platform

Once you’ve identified which features make the most sense for you, it’s time to unveil it to the team. The same platform noted above has the capability to provide individual logins to each member of your team. And, depending on that person’s role in your club, you get to choose what they can and can’t access, helping to keep your data more secure. Giving staff access (even if it’s limited access) to a technology solution that combines information in one spot is an efficient way to get everyone on the same page.

3. Train staff on the platform

Get all staff members together who will be interacting with the platform. 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. After all, your customers interact with multiple members of your staff on any given night, so it’s crucial for each staff member to be adequately trained to handle any type of customer, including VIP customers, and work with one another to give the impression that your club is well run.

Customer experience is elevated when staff and departments are running in sync. While the customer can’t directly attribute their experience to a well-run system, they can feel the difference between a venue running each department in a silo vs. one that is interconnected. This helps increase customer loyalty and customer spending to keep you in business for years to come.

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

It’s Time to Retire Paper Gueslists

I recently helped run a major event at a nightclub during the MLB All Star Baseball week. The party itself was a hit, and the event organizers did a great job pre-selling tickets to generate revenue before the night of the event (one of our 9 tips to throwing a good party). Yet, the lack of organization with their guestlists caused a bit of confusion at the door and ended up bottle-necking the line.

Even though a digital guestlist was used for ticket sales, it was used in tandem with three other paper guestlists that were created separately and printed out right before the event. Every time a guest walked up to the hostess to check in, (s)he was greeted with the question, “which guesltist are you on?” Naturally, the customer had no idea, which meant the hostess had to search through three different lists to find the guest and mark him/her as arrived.

Not only was this process time-consuming, but it also made their operations look unorganized. While the hostess was great at greeting guests and making them feel well taken care of, the process could have been more streamlined had they stuck with just the one, centralized list. The hostess even mentioned to me how much easier it was to work with the digital list since she could just search for the name, swipe to mark them as arrived, and be on to the next guest.

But sheer ease of use isn’t the only benefit to using a digital guestlist. Below are 3 more reasons to retire the old pen & paper guestlist and upgrade to a more powerful, technologically-driven guestlist:

1. Collect guest information

There are digital guestlist systems available that are fully integrated into all areas of your club to present important information in one central spot. This means your guestlist is filled with critical information about your guests, such as demographics, frequency of visits, average group size, and total amount owed at the door. With this type of system, you’re able to check people in and charge cover right on the spot, while also seeing in-depth insight of your guests to treat them with the experience they deserve.

2. Understand guest habits

Going a step further from the previous point, a guestlist system that’s integrated with other technology in the club is able to collect an individual guest’s habits. What type of beverages do they order? How much do they spend once inside the club? Do they only come on big event nights, Friday nights, every weekend night? These answers help to narrow in on who your guests truly are and allow you to better market to them.

3. Upsell guests

With all the provided data, you’re able to make better, more educated decisions about individual guests. This means you’re able to more easily upsell your customers to come on nights they wouldn’t originally have intended, or sell them on bottle service instead of simply attending an event. This is the type of activity that grows your club’s revenue while increasing customer experience – a win-win for all.

Pen and paper can’t provide anything to you other than simply tracking which guests have arrived. Why not go a step further and integrate a digital system into your club? It will not only increase efficiency, but will also propel stronger business decisions to keep your profits and guest experiences high.

9 Steps to Throw a Good Party

Without a great party, you don’t have an audience. And without an audience, you don’t generate revenue. Follow these 9 steps to throw a good party for your guests while also generating profit.

1. Know your audience

The people you are throwing the party for should define your business model. This means you need to know your customers inside and out. It’s not enough to have a basic understanding of only demographics. You need to discover their idea of a good party, the music they like to hear, the alcohol they like to drink, and even the servers they prefer. Do your research and work with a partner like Vēmos who can offer these valuable insights.

2. Plan your event

Planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. You need to first identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

  • What is your goal?
  • What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
  • Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
  • How will you get the word out about this event?

Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how may promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.

3. Hire the right talent

Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? Stay within your budget and plan for your audience to maximize profits and achieve your goal.

4. Price tickets accordingly

When it comes to a good party, it’s the experience – not the deal – that attracts guests. It’s critical to understand what your customers will pay in return for a good party. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short and maximize your revenue when at all possible. People understand and have been programmed to pay top dollar for major events, within reason. Take note, not advantage, of these opportunities if you seek long-term success.

5. Get the word out

You can’t spread the word until you’ve defined your audience. After all, it’s much easier to market and promote your party when you know exactly whom you’re trying to reach. The best strategy is to always keep your customers informed while maintaining a clear and consistent message in all your efforts. Use a multi-channel strategy to get the word out, such as text-message marketing, printed collateral, email updates, and social media. Just using one channel – such as printing flyers – will not do. Diversify your efforts, track returns, and adjust focus based on results.

6. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

We’re talking about pre-sales. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell directly from their devices, and track ticket sales and results along the way. This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue.

7. Avoid double-booked VIP tables

The best way to keep track of reservations to mitigate double-booked table is through a central technology platform to which everyone has access. This means any of your employees or partners can log into the system with their personal username and password, add a guest reservation for a specific night, identify remaining tables for the night and select the most appropriate one. Tables that are already reserved won’t show up in the system, which means they’re never double-booked. Not only that, but the person who refers a guest for a reservation (ex: a promoters) is the person who makes the reservation. They don’t need to email anybody to make it happen or jot it down on a piece of paper to hand to the hostess. It’s all streamlined and centralized to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

8. Be a good host

Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.

9. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event.

At the end of the day, revenue is a byproduct of the value of your party. Make sure you first and foremost throw a good party, then be constantly aware of your guests, surprise them from time to time, and treat them with the service they deserve to keep them coming back.