How Wedding Venues Can Leverage Technology
Published date: 10th January 2022 | Author: Gracie Pritchard
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Wedding venues are often traditional or historic buildings but they are also businesses, just like any other. And like all well-run businesses embracing the latest technology offers an opportunity to get ahead of the market. Adopting streamlined processes and digital tools can allow even a traditional venue to dramatically increase efficiency while providing those couple-pleasing add-ons that often make all the difference. As well as improving margins, wedding venue technology can make it possible to get more done in less time, an invaluable possibility when facing a wedding backlog or in peak season. We’d go as far as saying tech is now a key competitive advantage.
In this post, we take a deeper look at some of the specific types of technology that you might want to implement at your venue and how they can enhance your offering.
Wedding Venue Software
Wedding venue software is a 360 degree management tool designed with wedding venues in mind. Unlike generic event planning apps, wedding venue software offers a host of features that streamline the specific workflows of a wedding venue business and is probably the single most important part of your wedding tech.
Sonas – a major player in this space – is an example of an all-in-one software package that has tailored its suite of features to the unique needs of UK wedding venues.
Its customer management feature, for instance, allows venues to offer a standalone portal to the bride and groom and collab on details such as seating arrangements and dietary requirements. This outsources some of the planning directly to the couple and is the kind of wedding-specific feature that would not be available on a generic event app.
Most wedding venue apps will also offer marketing features which integrate bookings, lead tracking and surveys into the main software without having to use separate tools. Removing the need to constantly switch between apps reduces the chances of human error, saves costs and most importantly makes the complicated task of consistently running perfect weddings, that much easier.
Thanks to virtual reality technology, improved bandwidths and 360-degree cameras, virtual venue tours have now become a reality – something that’s been particularly useful for social distancing. Allowing potential customers to explore your venue from the comfort of their homes without actually having to travel to you first greatly increases your catchment area. While you might not close all of these bookings, removing barriers to consideration is the first step in improving your sales funnel.
Virtual tours can be particularly useful for venues which attract a large share of overseas clients. Couples-to-be can explore what a venue offers without the expense or inconvenience of international travel. They are also useful for remote or countryside locations looking to showcase at scale to city-dwelling couples.
CloudPano is an example of a company which specialises in providing immersive experiences that embed directly on your website.
The type of in-venue tech you choose depends on your brand and to a certain extent the types of guests that might attend the wedding. Depending on your needs you may want to consider some of the following add-ons:
- GIF photo booths: A digital photo booth option that allows guests to take a series of slick photos and then edit them into humorous animations. Creating shareable memories is something extremely important to most couples and enabling that could be a deciding factor for some.
- 3D printed wedding favours: These personalised gifts are given to wedding guests to show the couple’s appreciation for their attendance. They are an example of how technology can enable both scaling and personalisation.
- Wedding cake projections: LEDs and laser light shows can enhance how the cake appears. While some couples will shy away from a non-traditional appearance others will want their cake to be unique, unforgettable and, of course, instagramable.
- Robot service: The idea of wheeled machines that offer guests directions, information and advice might seem odd at first but they can play a similar role to the master of ceremonies. This can be useful for large and distanced groups and allow the humans to focus on the more critical aspects of event management.
3D Printed Cakes
Getting the perfect wedding cake is now easier for your guests than ever before thanks to 3D printing. Generally, caterers with 3D printing capacity have two ways to contribute:
- To print the topper (the part that sits on top)
- To print the cake itself (the edible part underneath)
The 3D cake making process starts with the scanning and import of a real object, such as an animal or a bottle of wine. The manufacturer then creates the sponge filling, roughly in the same shape as the scanned object before placing the cake in a 3D fondant printer. This device slowly layers icing onto the cake so that it looks like the original object. Artists are then called in to airbrush it and use food colourings to give it its final look.
Custom 3D printing for the topper works in a similar way. Couples pose in a full-body scanner which takes 360-degree photos of them. 3D printers then use the uploaded images to print out the design in either plastic or icing. Artists then paint the resulting object to match the colours of the original scan.
The result is spectacular and unique cakes that seem impossibly complicated to make.
Delegating the playlist to a single individual could easily result in an empty dancefloor but collating every guest’s musical tastes is an equally unappetising prospect. Fortunately crowdsourcing a reception playlist is now relatively easy and can be incorporated into RSVPs. Alternatively tools such as Social Wall allows a real-time public display of social activity such as song requests.
While most venues and couples will carefully choose the official photographer and/or videographer, some of the most cherished moments are invariably candid shots captured by guests themselves. After the event they will end up scattered on multiple devices and this is where solutions like The Knot’s photo sharing app come in. Allowing guests to auto-share their snaps and seamlessly collate to an album is wedding crowdsourcing at its best.
Lastly, live streaming is coming to weddings and fundamentally transforming them into physical + digital events. This allows small weddings to reach large audiences and international attendees to participate without travel. Full service live streaming platforms such as Event Live Pro allow couples to stream their ceremonies for up to 24 hours and receive comments from distanced guests. All that is needed is a dedicated smartphone to download the app to and stream and a tripod. It’s also possible for couples to DIY it through familiar platforms such as YouTube or Facebook often choosing to dedicate a timeslot at the physical event for shout outs from virtual guests.
In summary, leveraging technology allows wedding venues to run more efficiently through bespoke crm software while also adding more value for guests through tech innovation. Although many of the items in this list won’t be applicable to all weddings or venues, they nonetheless show how technology can not only work behind the scenes but also make the wedding experience more engaging for both couples and guests.