Venue Planner gives bang for the buck
Establishing tangible goals and objectives helps in making an event successful. In today’s age of futuristic technology, not only does technology hold value for business meetings and conferences, but it also helps venue managers. There are very few facets of life today that are completely untouched by technology.
A fitting event venue is likely to be one that enjoys strong Wi-Fi, the right technology for presentations and an easily accessible geographical locality. Finding the right venue can make or break an event and has a persuasive effect on the lasting impression guests walk away with. If the venue is right, meeting, conferences and big events have the power to become resounding success stories.
Start-up companies like VP Venue Planner GmbH headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, helps digitize the planning of event staff and material. It is the first Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for reliable and auditable planning, the basis for transparency and quality management.
Venue Planner is also an online platform where all entities can sign in/sign up and share informations/plans/schedules, etc., for an event or all entities of a stadium/arena can sign in and organize security, concessions, etc.
Rainer Schueler, Founder and CEO of VP Venue Planner GmbH, in a tête-à-tête with ‘Coliseum’, reveal how the company is helping the various venues to make the transition from analogue form to digital and thus help save time and money.
Rainer is armed with a lot of experience as regards working in the events industry and is adept in event management. Prior to taking over the reins of Venue Planner, he was the Head of Operations, Safety and Mobility, Grand Départ Düsseldorf from March 2016 to July 2017. The Tour de France 2017 started from Düsseldorf. The Grand Départ of the most famous bike race in the world was held in North Rhine-Westphalia’s State capital of Düsseldorf in Germany from June 29th to July 2nd, 2017. The Tour de France is an annual men’s multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours, it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days.
Rainer also served his stint at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi and prior to that he was the PR Manager of ESPRIT Arena in Düsseldorf. The ESPRIT Arena in Germany is now known as the Merkur-Spiel-Arena and is a multiuse football stadium.
Rainer shot off by talking about the company history of Venue Planner as he mentioned that the company was started in September 2017 – “My experience of working in the events industry led to me starting the company. While preparing for Grand Départ, and working in France, I discovered that it is nearly impossible to get all the different stakeholders, units of the city and, of course, the age-old licensees of Tour de France together.”
Rainer decided to go the digital way where one holds all the aces – “You work on one plan for three event tracks because many things are planned in an analogue way and we are trying to move from analogue to digital tour with all the advantages – for example, cost control, budget control, and one of the ‘claim’ of our company is to keep all people involved in the event and keep them in the same level of information at the same time.”
Pointing out the advantages of going digital, the head honcho said that one does not have 20 plans or 20 versions of plans going around and each and every change in the plan is “directly visible in the software”.
Basically, Venue Planner is just like the construction industry where the architect, the contractor and all the suppliers are working with the same documents for the events industry. As Rainer admits that is actually “quite funny”. He said that this was actually the BIM software of which he did not have “any idea when the company was started though many people mentioned the same to us when we tried to explain what our company was all about. Yes, it can be compared to the BIM model”.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.
The top executive informed that while approaching a city or an event organizer, the first thing that Venue Planner does is – plan the event, and to do so, “You need your personnel, your staff, your material and you do need a venue. And, probably, these are the three ingredients one needs to plan an event”. Venue Planner helps in uploading the event and the details of the venue which could be a stadium, arranging the personnel, the materials required for the event – it is all graphical representation of staff and material used. Even when it comes to placing the security personnel, it is done in a digital manner as Rainer says, “When we are invited, we look at the different stages of the event, and we have only one plan for the whole event in the digital format.” This actually means that Venue Planner brings together all decisive aspects of event planning in a single SaaS solution.
Venue Planner was recently patted on the back by the German Football Federation (DFB) for doing a yeoman task during the pandemic. Rainer puts in, “We did a perfect job for them and helped in restarting the Bundesliga by providing a visual that was a status of different phases, and different personnel, in three different zones. There are three zones, and within the three zones, in each phase of the event, only 100 people are allowed. So, you need to make sure that there are not more than 100 people within one zone. And, this we handled very smoothly with visuals all in the digital format.”
Rainer outlined that the biggest values of their services, their platform, was that it helps to save time and money – “Time is money. So, it saves costs. We help to plan from phase to phase in a more effective manner. Once access to a stadium is over, we can still see people loitering around. With our software, one can actually dedicate different areas and different tasks so that the planning is more effective on the operator’s side of a venue. It also helps in saving time when it comes to planning an event.”
Reminiscing the Tour de France event, he said during the Grand Départ, “The whole city of Düsseldorf was our venue and so many changes had to be effected, especially during the last three months before the start of Tour de France. If Venue Planner would have existed then, it would have made the whole planning process definitely a cakewalk and not as time-consuming as it turned out to be because you always tend to rearrange a little bit even at the last moment.”
He added, “We put up bike stands, big LED screens, and hundreds of toilets. But, there was always some changes, some rearrangements till the last minute, which made it a little messy. Had Venue Planner been there during Tour de France, things would have been more organized.”
The Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) of Venue Planner lies in the fact that one can visualize the different areas, the different levels of a venue, and that too digitally – this is the company’s biggest USP as Rainer stated, “You don’t waste much paper any more. During the good old times, while planning an event, there was this practice of putting up a checklist on the wall. That exercise can be done away with as Venue Planner takes care of all your plans and it is no longer a time-consuming affair. We also help raise the safety quotient of a venue.”
Talking about their business model, the CEO stated, “At the moment we are working with our partners to sell licences for a monthly fee. We are happy to talk with any client through our software. We are also well aware of the fact that not all venues need us. It all depends on the size of the venue.”
As a case-in-point, he stated that, “If it is a venue which stages only 17 football matches with the same phases and the same set of people, they might not need Venue Planner for now. But, if it comes to a multipurpose arena or a bigger arena with a lot of personnel, it is worthwhile to give us a call and we can show what Venue Planner can actually do.”
Wrapping up, Rainer said that if a venue decides that they want to go for Venue Planner, “We will be happy to help with the installation at the beginning – to place the venue on a map. If one wants to place one’s venue for the Tour de France or any other cycling event, one can place seven times the same stands in different places and we are happy to talk to everyone. And if someone is interested, we will show the Venue Planner – and give us three months, six months, five months or 24 months. Of course, right now we are only making a beginning…”
The company may be just three years old, but the greatest plus point of Venue Planner is that it takes every price change into account during the planning phase. This enables the customer to have a full overview of the costs of the event at all times. Even short-term changes can be implemented immediately thanks to the predefined costs of the various positions and recorded economically. The planner is spared a “costly surprise”.
Information on the planning status is immediately made available to all groups of people involved in the event. Thanks to the web-based software, all relevant information can be called up without delay. Event plans can be created up to 10 times faster.
Since Venue Planner brings together all decisive aspects of event planning and enjoys a universal software solution for intuitive, graphic and auditable security service planning, this is why the start-up boasts clienteles like Lufthansa Industry Solutions, StadionweltR and several other major brands.
At the click of a mouse, Venue Planner helps in streamlining and taking care of the ABC of an event and saves all the headaches associated with it.
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