As a wedding venue owner, you’re under a lot of pressure to get everything just right for a couple’s big day. Managing the guest list, décor, meals seating and event flow for the day is challenging, even for a large venue. After all, the logistics for a wedding can keep changing up to the last minute, with hundreds of guests to coordinate at each wedding. Moreover, you need to organize all of this seamlessly so that things go off without a hitch. It’s for this very reason that Emmet Hannan, GLOW Events General Manager, set off to look for a software tool to manage the events at his three venues in Kent, UK.
During Emmet’s search for an effective software solution, he realized that all the options on the market only addressed part of his business needs. It occurred to him that his nephew, a skilled software engineer, could help. One year later his nephew, Mark Lynch, had teamed up with Richard Lynch to develop an event management software that specializes in weddings. They named it “Sonas,” which means happiness and good fortune in Irish.
What specific problems does Sonas help with?
When asked what problems they were looking to solve at GLOW Events, Head of Marketing Emma Clark explains, “Across our three wedding venues in Kent, we’re coordinating several hundred weddings on any given day, with several venue teams and departments working together to deliver a perfect experience for our clients. Sonas allows us to manage this more effectively, across the entire customer journey.”
The team at GLOW Events was in search for a solution that could be used by all the teams involved in planning a wedding – including the couple themselves. Emma says that with Sonas, they’ve found a solution that helps these teams collaborate to ensure every aspect of the wedding is agreed, documented and delivered.
The challenge of coordinating weddings in 2022
Planning and delivering the perfect wedding is even more challenging in 2022, since most wedding venues are dealing with a backlog of weddings that have been postponed since the onset of COVID-19. In fact, the UK Weddings Taskforce estimates that over 1 million people have been waiting to get married since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. If each wedding has an average of 100 guests, there will be 50 million people attending weddings in the UK this year.
The UK wedding industry sees 280,000 couples getting married each year. The 500,000 weddings that experts are predicting for 2022 is almost double the normal number of weddings. With an estimated projection of £28 billion in revenue over the next 18 months to 2 years, this is good news for an industry that almost ground to a halt during the last two years of lockdowns.
However, while the wedding industry is set to experience a bumper year, the pressure to deliver one flawless wedding after another is higher than ever before. Wedding venues are getting so booked up that many couples are now opting to get married on a weekday rather than on the weekend as usual. As these venues get booked up, they’re looking for tools to help them continue delivering unforgettable weddings while serving all the couples in the pipeline.
“It is a bumper season for weddings, and that includes enquiries,” says Emma. “Thankfully, Sonas allows us to provide an exceptional customer experience for our couples from enquiry to the event date.” As a result, even as the volume of clients at GLOW Events has multiplied, they can still continue delivering quality customer experiences.
Why Sonas is a great solution for wedding venues dealing with a COVID backlog
Currently there is a wide selection of generic events management software on the market as well as many wedding planning tools/apps for couples and wedding planners. However, these alternatives do not focus specifically on the unique needs of wedding venues, and none of them were designed in collaboration with wedding venue owners. Sonas is an all-in-one software for wedding event management.
The team behind Sonas knows that planning weddings is complex to begin with. Venues are currently dealing with more than double the number of engaged couples, and most of these couples are planning a grand wedding to make up for the long wait.
The average venue owners are committed to hosting memorable weddings, and they want to be able to transition seamlessly from one wedding to the next. Mark Lynch and his team built Sonas to tackle theses everyday challenges that venue owners encounter while hosting weddings and coordinating all the logistics. Sonas helps the different departments involved to plan and coordinate everything down to the tiniest detail.
Even under normal circumstances, the wedding planning process can be quite intimidating without efficient wedding management software. In the current situation, this kind of event management software has become indispensable. The software is intended for wedding venues that wish to streamline their event management from the initial inquiry to the client invoice. Sonas eliminates the need for a plethora of marketing, admin, and accounting software. Instead, it offers a combination of all these software on one comprehensive CRM platform.
How Glow Events use Sonas
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it forced many event venues to close down temporarily. As governments started easing lockdowns, the backlog of couples waiting to get married underscored the need for a solution like Sonas. Many of these couples had to postpone their weddings several times. Every time a new wave of COVID-19 hit and the government imposed new regulations, their plans to tie the knot were up in the air again.
“The pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of our wedding venues and the postponement of hundreds of weddings,” Emma explains. “Sonas was key in helping us navigate this time by helping us to keep track of our constantly changing diary.”
Since the number of couples waiting to get married in 2022 has multiplied, there’s an even greater need to be able to turn a couple’s wedding into a magical experience under strict time, financial and spatial constraints. Sonas was already a useful CRM platform before the pandemic. As couples emerge from lockdowns and flood event venues to get married, it’s an essential tool for a venue that wants to pull off one flawless wedding after another.
“Our team’s mission is to create memories that make people glow,” Emma states. “Every wedding we hold across our three wedding venues in Kent is a huge milestone in our couple’s lives, and the lives of their families and friends too. We’re motivated to provide the best experience possible. For us, a couple’s experience with our business begins from the moment they inquire right up to the day of the wedding. There’s nothing more rewarding than delivering a perfect wedding for a couple you’ve been working with for months, or sometimes years, in advance and seeing that ‘just married’ glow.”
Thanks to Sonas, the team at GLOW Events can deliver on their mission and send couples off knowing that they turned yet another dream wedding into a reality. As soon as a couple commits to a venue, GLOW Events invites them onboard the Sonas platform so that they can start collaborating with the GLOW Events team immediately. Using this software to iron out the wedding planning process, GLOW Events can maintain their reputation for making every wedding perfect – even as they work through their backlog of clients.
Are you interested in using Sonas for your wedding venue? The good news is that if you’ve been using a different platform, the team at Sonas can help you transfer all your data so that nothing falls through the cracks. The even better news is that you can try the software out for free before you commit to using it.