At the end of this week, the Queen will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. This is an historic occasion, as Elizabeth II is the United Kingdom and Commonwealth’s longest-reigning monarch. If you’re wondering why that should concern you, you’ll be happy to know that to commemorate this unprecedented situation, we’re all getting an extra bank holiday! This means that we will all be basking in the glow of a four-day weekend at the end of this week. If that’s not enough to celebrate our Queen, then I don’t know what is.
The four-day bank holiday weekend means that things are going to be pretty hectic in terms of activities and entertainment. A four-day bank holiday weekend means that hospitality and leisure venues are going to be absolutely packed, with everybody wanting to take advantage of the extended weekend, and (fingers crossed!) some sunshine. If you’re starting to panic about your long weekend plans (or lack thereof), worry not. This is what we do best at Booked it – we’ve compiled a list of all our favourite activities and venues, to hopefully give you a few recommendations and inspiration for fun ways to fill up your calendar this bank holiday.
- Go bowling
Bowling is having something of a revival now, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s fun, everyone can get involved, and you can have plenty of refreshments whilst doing it! Plus, as bowling mostly happens inside, it’s the perfect activity if the weather isn’t ideal (i.e. rain). There are plenty of novelty bowling alleys, each with a different theme and vibe. Some tap into their retro routes with a 50s style diner and lanes, and others go for a more underground, disco décor. We have partnerships with many bowling alleys at Booked it – our friends over at Disco Bowl have created the perfect party atmosphere for the bank holiday weekend, whilst Riverside Bowl is the perfect venue for all your friends and family!
2. Get outside
As long as the skies are clear, everybody is going to want to be outside in the fresh air. Whether you’re heading to the park, to the coastline, or even just to your local beer garden, there’s so many possibilities if you just step outside your front door. If you fancy an ice cold drink in a beer garden, we recommend you book ahead. Unfortunately, everybody is going to have the same idea as you. On the plus side, our booking software is so easy to use that we’re sure you’ll find a table at any of the venues we work with!
3. Go clubbing
All you party people are probably just excited about the prospect of having two extra days to go out all night dancing (and two extra days to recover from all that dancing). Clubbing is a great way to have fun and support your local nightlife communities. We have our roots in the nightlife industry, and we still look after some of the country’s most well-loved venues. Take Infernos, for instance. The famous south London nightclub has seen a lot over the years, and it’s still going strong. Using our Licklist app, you can book tickets, buy drinks, and even collect points to earn rewards! Plus, our expert photographers are on hand to make sure you have a night you’ll never forget.
4. Activity centres
Why not do something different this bank holiday, and try not a new sport or activity? There are so many activities to choose from, and luckily you’ve got four days to pack as much in as possible. From swimming to rock climbing, soft play centres and laser tag, there’s something for everybody. If you’ve spent enough time inside over the last few years to last a lifetime, why not get outside instead? With outdoor swimming, karting, camping, and even axe throwing (which thanks to Box Park, is having its moment) there’s a million and one things to keep all the friends and family entertained.
There are so many events planned for the bank holiday and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee across the UK, so why not get involved? From the beginning of the festival season to street food festivals, to galas and horse racing, a four day weekend is the perfect opportunity to get out there and do something different. From the Chelmsford City Racecourse to the Victoria Warehouse, we have a vast variety of event spaces at Booked it for you to choose from.
Our venues are ready for anything the long weekend can throw at them… Have the best four-day bank holiday with Booked it!
Words by Rebecca Clayton
Tickets, bookings… you’d be forgiven for assuming that they are pretty much the same thing. We often use the two terms interchangeably and, after all, you have to book tickets to attend events, don’t you?!
Despite their perceived similarities, there are several key differences. The two systems may work in tandem, but they operate in vastly different ways, and offer distinct enhancements to your chosen business model. For some, a reliable booking system is all they need; for others, ticketing lies at the core of their profit-making; and finally, for those in between, a mix of ticketing and bookings is required for different aspects of their business. They are many disparate ways in which you can use both ticketing and booking to enhance your business. Let’s talk you through the how and why.
Customers will wait in anticipation for their favourite events to release tickets, hunched over their laptops to make sure they’re first in the digital queue. Tickets will usually go live at a specific time and there will be a finite amount of space at each event. As a result, they often need a different distribution model to ensure that events are promoted sufficiently and that they gain enough attention both from consumers and third-party companies. Selling tickets is often a more time-consuming task – it requires an extra level of promotional effort from everybody involved. At Booked it, we’re aware of this. That’s why our system comes with a catalogue of third-party companies, all available to you and your business, to ensure your event is reaching as many people as possible. With advanced statistics regarding the reach and audience of each company, it’s difficult to go wrong when you’re selling tickets through Booked it.
In contrast, bookings are often more readily available (although throughout the pandemic, it has often felt as though they are a scarce resource). Booking slots don’t have a specific release date and they don’t generate queues. However, whilst ticketing systems become crowded at specific times, booking systems are often regularly in high demand at a steadier rate. People use them more often and, as a result, they require constant care and monitoring to ensure they are constantly running smoothly. That’s why, at Booked it, we have multiple servers to guarantee the functioning of our system, and account managers are on hand 24/7 to provide a direct point of contact should problems occur.
2. Access management
We have established now that ticketing generates more intense periods of ticket purchasing; however, these brief spikes are often punctuated by gulfs in user activity. In the same way, event attendees often arrive in larger quantities within a short space in time, and therefore require more concentrated, immediate attention. At Booked it, we’re always one step ahead of the crowd – literally. Using our software, it’s easy to manage guests as they arrive in real-time. Scanning their tickets, directing them to their designated area, and bringing their details up in an instant if needs be – it’s never been easier. For large scale events, we can provide you venue with a range of hardware and devices from handheld scanners through to RFID wristbands. This will make it easier for teams of your staff to oversee a large quantity of guests simultaneously.
For bookings, a different approach is required. We’ve already said that bookings occur more often, and at a steadier rate. Whilst this may appear less demanding, bookings require constant vigilance to run smoothly. With bookings, customers are arriving at your venue all the time, each expecting to receive a certain level of customer service. This means your staff must be always attentive – before, during, and after each booking. You can make things easier for them by getting your software you do the heavy lifting. Our software comes with full web integration, easy enquiry management, and automated SMS and email messaging, so your focus on the customer never falters.
The last distinction between tickets and bookings lies in the features Booked it uses to enhance the user experience. For ticket buying, we have so many add-ons that supplement and strengthen our software. We can create individual referral links, provide waiting lists and resales, and offer full refund protection (if the customer pays an extra fee). That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as we also offer pre-registration to guarantee that customers will be first in the queue, security and fraud protection to ensure that your system in never compromised, and even the option to print tickets if customers feel more secure with their tickets in hard-copy form.
Our booking software has many tried-and-tested features that make your life easier every day. We’ve already mentioned the full web integration and automated messaging service, but did you know that it can also run birthday campaigns, direct marketing, and customer reports that will enable you to make informed choices about where you’re going right and where you’re going wrong? We tailor our approach to you – not the other way around.
Tickets and bookings are just what we do at Booked it. We understand the nuances involved with each process, and have tailored our software accordingly. Check out the key differences for yourself, here and here.
Words by Rebecca Clayton
Since Booked it began, amidst the chaos of the first nationwide lockdown in the spring of 2020, our influence has grown and our technology has adapted to help so many different businesses. What began simply as an offshoot of the successful Licklist app, intended to help those most in need of a technological overhaul, has now taken on a life of its own. We now have clients in every part of the country, and are even beginning to make waves in the US!
We’re immensely proud of Booked it; specifically, we’re chuffed with the way we’ve helped less tech-savvy businesses to compete in a market that is as competitive as it is convoluted. It’s no secret that the world has changed over the last two years. The pandemic has meant that most businesses have missed a lot of potential revenue. Social distancing guidelines and mask-wearing legislation has meant that we’ve all had to be a little more innovative in the way we encourage customers through the door. The governments’ recommendation that companies implement booking systems and ‘Track and trace’ apparatus has changed the way people think and interact with our sector.
Technology has definitely been our guiding light through all this, and we’ve been at the forefront of this push to reinforce businesses across the country with the software they need to adapt and thrive. Let us lead you through some of the key industries that have benefited from our teams’ innovation and wisdom. After all, your industry might crop up, and we’d love to show you how much we’re benefiting other businesses in your field.
Our relationship with the bowling industry in the UK is one of our most fruitful. There’s so much room for growth in this industry, and we’re excited to be at the vanguard of it. After experiencing something of a lull in the noughties, the bowling industry has only experienced exponential growth over the last few years. To tap into this market, we created a specialised booking system Lane Engine, which has been tailored to combat the challenges bowling alley owners face. We supply software for 25% of bowling alleys in the UK, making us the market leader.
2. Nightclubs and festivals
We couldn’t make this list without mentioning our long-standing connection to the nightlife industry. If there is one thing we are enthusiastic about at Booked it, it’s helping the industry to recover from the massive losses it has incurred since the start of the pandemic. Luckily, we’ve been pretty successful in this respect. Some of our most trusted clients fall into this category; we’ve helped the iconic south London club Infernos to transform their business model from its outdated ticketing system to the modern, app-savvy business model that you see today! The app we created for Infernos made it into the top one hundred on the Apple App Store in its first week on the Entertainment chart.
3. Soft play
We’ve done so much good within the soft play sector, and we want to sing it from the rooftops! We all remember the difficult position soft play centres were put in by the government after the first lockdown; ministers were unsure of the best time to reopen the centres, as they were worried about the spread of the virus amongst young children. Luckily, our software helped put both parents and business owner’s minds at ease, as people were now able to book for specific times, making it far easier to control numbers within a single venue at one time, as well as giving owners time to thoroughly disinfect surfaces that were likely to spread germs amongst the kids.
The hospitality industry was in drastic need of a technological overhaul in the wake of the pandemic. Hospitality was an industry that had barely caught up with the present in terms of the software it was using. Many smaller businesses had no idea how to navigate the unknown waters of mobile ordering apps, booking slots, and digital loyalty schemes. Often, they were using software that was either outdated or just simply not good enough. Luckily, the Booked it software has been massively helping in combating these issues. We offer business multiple servers, so that software remains dependable even at busier times, and our loyalty and app add-ons have proved massively successful.
Implementing Booked it software within your business has been proven to lead to a 19% increase in bookings and a 13% increase in spend per head. So, what are you waiting for? We’d love to be writing about your success story in our next blog.
Words by Rebecca Clayton
Here at Booked it, we are delighted to announce that we have joined The Association of Indoor Play and The Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association. We are proud to be taking our next steps as a member of these associations, in what we know will be a long and fruitful relationship.
The Association of Indoor Play
The Association of Indoor Play (AIP) is a non-profit organisation that takes pride in speaking on behalf of those within the indoor play industry. AIP was formed in the September of last year by a group of experienced indoor softplay providers all sharing the same goal – to envisage and implement a targeted vehicle to represent small operators in this specialised sector.
The main aims of the AIP are…
- To attest to the developmental benefits of indoor play venues on behalf of the public,
- To raise the standards of indoor play venues across the sector; and
- To encourage a community where operators can receive support and information.
The Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association
The Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association (TBPA) is a trade association that seeks to represent the interests of their members, whilst raising the profile of the sport across the UK. The TBPA was created in 1961 after the sport experienced something of a renaissance in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Since then, the organisation has only grown as the sport has become increasingly popular over the latter half of the twentieth century and into the new millennium.
TBPA has three main functions…
- To work closely with both local and national governmental organisations,
- To create a community in which members can access advice and information regarding laws and regulations surrounding the sport; and
- To maintain their high standards of business practice.
In our new partnership with both organisations, we hope to find new ways in which both industries can thrive.
Words by Rebecca Clayton
There is no longer any doubt that non-essential retail will open again next week. Whilst this is a relief, there is also a lot of added administrative strain on businesses hoping to maximise their sales, services, and customer satisfaction. With this in mind, it is imperative that your business put its best foot forward over the coming weeks. Here at Booked it, we have all the tools you need to make the most out of your time. Read on for our top five tips for reopening, safely and successfully.
- Mobile ordering app
Allowing your customers to order directly from their phone is a game-changer. Not only is it convenient and efficient, but it’s also an easy way to minimise contact between staff and customers, thereby keeping within government social distancing regulations. It is great for tech-savvy consumers, and it’s great for you too – using our technology, you will be able to manage orders all on one easily-accessible dashboard in real-time, integrate sophisticated and insightful CRM and marketing campaigns tailored to your customers, and enhance your customers’ experience by customizing the app with your own unique design and branding.
2. Online booking system
We offer the complete solution to manage all your bookings and reservations. With our app, you will be able to oversee bookings, manage capacity, and check guests in upon arrival. After your customers’ visit, our system enables you to generate automated emails and messages to encourage feedback and reviews. Furthermore, Booked it is an official reserve with Google partner, enabling your customers to buy tickets directly from your Google listing – this completely bypasses the chance of customers’ falling through that gap between seeing your listing and booking their next visit!
3. Ticket sales
When it comes to ticket sales, we have everything your business needs, all in one place. You can manage your entire event directly from our dashboard and Booked it manager app (for iOS and Android). Not only can you use the app to scan and approve attendees, get vital statistics in real-time, and integrate your event onto your customers’ social media platforms, but the interface is also easy on the eye. The ability to plan events thoroughly, to be able to engage with each guest, and understand what they are looking for on a night out, is going to take on an extra significance in the coming months.
Talking of things that have taken on an added significance of late, the cleanliness of your business should be at the forefront of your priorities. We know that you have always valued a clean, organised business space for both your staff and your customers, but we should all be chipping in and doing a little bit extra at the moment. Let technology take away some of that stress; by integrating Booked it and Licklist into your business, you can minimise contact between your staff and your customers, whilst also maintaining the same customer-centred business model that is so important. Organising your space to allow a safe and easy transition of customers and queues is also instrumental in ensuring the smooth reopening of your business. Increasing the availability of anti-viral cleansers, hand sanitisers, and protective screens, is also a must.
Last but most certainly not least, our clients love Booked it because it allows them to nurture loyalty amongst their customer base, thereby increasing their profits. The value of loyalty cannot be stated highly enough, especially in these challenging times. By allowing customers to collect point, connect their bank card with their app, and to personalise their experience on the app, you can increase their spend per head, increase dwell time, and keep them coming back for more. It has been shown in surveys and polls that consumers want to spend now more than ever, so be sure to take advantage of the increased demand for your services over the summer months.
So, there you have it – everything your business needs to succeed, in one simple checklist. Please visit our Solutions page to find out more about how we can help you, and our Pricing details to begin your journey with Booked it today.
Words by Rebecca Clayton