Events are complex and require a whole host of people, equipment, and software to ensure smooth sailing. One of these integral event components is venue managers, who are in charge of many day-to-day operations.
But what does a venue manager do? What skills do they need? And are venue managers necessary to host a successful event?
Whether you’re aiming to become a venue manager or you’re looking to hire one, here is everything you need to know about venue managers.
What Does a Venue Manager Do?
Venue managers are in charge of venue management. The venue manager oversees the venue and all its components, including bars, outdoor spaces, and administrative tasks. Venue managers are also responsible for managing contractors, talent, staff, and vendors before, during, and after events.
Pinning down all venue managers' official duties can be difficult because a venue manager often shifts to what the venue needs in moments of crisis. They are creative individuals who seamlessly manage FOH (front of house), BOH (back of house), and any other event or venue-related tasks – often for multiple venues.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the most common venue manager duties and responsibilities.
Venue managers are in charge of coordinating practical aspects of venue spaces. This includes managing event talent and communicating with talent management, coordinating BOH and FOH staff, and streamlining all venue management on the day of the event.
Venue management encompasses a large variety of processes. Venue managers must be capable of adapting to changing venue operations and coordinating teams to solve problems.
Supervise In-House Staff
Events have a lot of moving bodies, from wait staff to valets. The in-house staff, while working under independent groups, report back to the venue manager – especially to resolve issues that naturally come with hosting events.
Beyond managing event staff on event days, venue managers are also in charge of interviewing, hiring, and training (or assigning training) to staff. Part of the in-house supervision duties include managing the staff payroll after events.
Larger venues might delegate these tasks to a different venue or event manager and leave their main venue manager to supervise instead of training.
Check Venue & Venue Equipment
Venue managers are also in charge of venue maintenance and equipment checks.
For maintenance, venue managers oversee event prep staff and cleaners. They also examine the facilities for any issues. If there are issues, they are responsible for contacting relevant parties and fixing the problems.
Maintenance checks also include examining venue equipment – kitchen equipment, audio and video equipment, lighting, etc. All in all, venue managers need to ensure the venue space is in perfect condition for event hire.
A venue manager's greatest goal is ensuring the venue generates profit. For smaller venues, where there isn’t a dedicated marketing team, the venue manager might also adsorb venue marketing duties. This includes managing venue bookings and using marketing channels to promote the event space.
Why Is Venue Management Essential?
Whether you’re a restaurant that doubles as a venue or an event management company, venues are versatile and great for business. However, venues that aren’t managed well will cause internal friction and waste valuable resources.
To put things in perspective, let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits of effective venue management.
- Improve Venue Operations: Venue operations are notoriously difficult. Without a guiding hand to streamline operations and unite different sectors, it’s difficult for venues to host cohesive events. A venue manager acts as that guiding hand and ensures events go off without a hitch.
- Put Stakeholders At Ease: Stakeholders are putting a lot of faith and resources into your venue. To put them at ease and encourage better investments, there must be a capable venue manager on hand.
- Better Chance Of Venue Success: Venue managers are the secret ingredient to a successful venue. Improved venue operations and more investments will increase your chance of success.
- Build Better Venue Reputation: As important as marketing is for venue promotions, nothing beats the power of referrals. When people or companies have a good experience, they will recommend your venue to people in their network. One surefire way to increase referral rates and improve the venue's reputation is to have a skilled venue manager on hand.
- Increase Revenue: As venue managers streamline operations and improve relationships with stakeholders and clients, revenue will naturally increase.
From these benefits, it’s clear why venue management and an effective venue manager are so essential to success.
Venue Manager Skills
To finish off, let’s take a look at some necessary skills every venue manager should have.
- Interpersonal Skills: Because venue managers are constantly dealing with people – some of whom can be difficult – they need to have great interpersonal skills. That includes social skills and emotional intelligence.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Problems are unavoidable for venue managers. A good venue manager will solve problems calmly, critically, and creatively.
- Leadership Skills: Because venue managers are leading staff members and external teams, they need to be friendly but firm. Leadership skills are necessary for the company and staff to feel confident in the venue manager's decision-making.
- Operations Management: Venue managers are communicating and booking artists, cleaners, event staff, maintenance, etc. Venue managers need to be able to book and organize these groups to optimize venue operations.
- Accounting: Venue managers oversee payroll, which includes managing accounting formulas and accounting software.
- Communication Skills: Communication is key for a venue manager. They need to communicate through both verbal and written communication. If they can’t communicate effectively with teams, it could lead to event blunders and conflict.
- Contract Negotiation: Talent, vendors, and event bookings often involve contracts. Venue managers need to negotiate contracts smartly and ensure both parties are happy with the outcome.
Hosting events comes with its fair share of issues. While there is no magic ingredient to success, hiring a venue manager will improve operations, management, and coordination, and increase revenue.
Now that you know what a venue manager does and why they’re so beneficial, use the venue manager skill set guide to find an effective venue manager for all your event locations.
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