Many engaged couples came into 2022 eagerly planning for their long-awaited weddings. Some of these weddings have been postponed for up to 2 years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, according to recent reports, over 320,000 weddings have been postponed since 2020. As couples come out of this two-year waiting period with plans to finally tie the knot, wedding venues are dealing with mounting pressure from the growing wedding backlog. With that, wedding venues deal with nearly impossible-to-handle pressure from the growing wedding backlog.
Every year, the wedding industry reports a total of 280,000 weddings. Out of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to 265,000 wedding cancellations in the last two years. In addition to couples who postponed their weddings, wedding venues have to accommodate the 280,000 newly engaged couples in 2022. As these venues look for technological solutions to help them through what is bound to be their busiest year ever, many venue owners are turning to Sonas – a powerful CRM platform for wedding venues. Sonas software is designed to deliver wedding-specific event management services while helping venues satisfy the unique needs of each couple seamlessly.
Why wedding venues need a CRM platform more than ever
According to Sonas co-founder Mark Lynch, more than 800,000 postponed weddings were recorded by June last year. Many of these couples now want to end what had begun to feel like an indefinite wait to get married. Wedding venues are determined to keep on offering these couples an unforgettable experience for their big day. However, many have found themselves struggling to keep up with the growing backlog.
Sonas wasn’t originally built to help wedding venues to keep up with the backlog caused by COVID-19. The team behind this software designed it to meet unique venue needs during the wedding planning process. Nevertheless, the pandemic has highlighted some of the problems that Sonas was built to solve. This includes how to consistently turn a couple’s wedding into a magical experience under strict time, financial and spatial constraints.
Many wedding venues across Ireland and the UK are already turning to Sonas, ensuring that their weddings run smoothly. While there are many event management apps and tools on the market, Sonas focuses on needs that are specific to venue owners. Since the team behind Sonas collaborated with wedding venue owners to develop the software, this tool uniquely and effectively addresses the daily challenges faced by venues. With inbuilt features for marketing, accounting, and supplier & customer management, Sonas helps handle the logistics of wedding planning with ease.
As skilled software engineers, co-founders Mark and Richard Lynch have developed Sonas into one of the most comprehensive wedding management tools on the market. Additionally, the team at Sonas is committed to helping venues shift from other software to Sonas for a seamless transition.
As wedding venues battle the wedding backlog caused by the corona pandemic, they’ll need more support than ever before. Those that are switching to software solutions like Sonas are finding it much easier to streamline their services.
“Sonas helps us to coordinate a huge volume of weddings annually,” says GLOW Events Head of Marketing Emma Clark. “It enables information about a couple’s wedding to be accessible across teams, which is invaluable in ensuring a perfect day. For example, the wedding coordinators need to ensure the necessary prep is completed in the months before the big day, and the venue set-up team on the day needs to be able to deliver the couple’s exact requirements.”
Why Sonas works
At the moment, there is a wide selection of generic event management software and a long list of productivity apps/tools which can be repurposed for couples and wedding planners. However, these alternatives do not focus specifically on the unique needs of the wedding venues, and none of them was 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. Moreover, venues are now dealing with more than double the number of engaged couples, and most of these couples are planning large weddings to make up for the long wait.
Even under normal circumstances, the wedding planning process can be quite intimidating without efficient wedding software. In the current situation, some kind of CRM app is indispensable. The solution Sonas provides eliminates the need for a plethora of marketing, admin, and accounting apps. Instead, it offers a combination of all these in one comprehensive CRM platform. It is intended for wedding venues that wish to streamline their event management from the initial enquiry to the client invoice.
How Sonas was born
In 2014, GLOW Events General Manager Emmet Hannan was looking for software to help him run his events. Everything he got was either poorly designed or only covered part of his business needs. Then, during a family dinner, he was advised to reach out to his nephew Mark, a skilled software developer, for help.
One year later, Mark had developed an event management app that specializes in weddings. It was named “Sonas,” which means happiness and good fortune in Irish.
Since then, Mark and Richard, his co-founder, developed the system into a complete wedding management solution on the market. The software packs incredible features, providing bespoke services for event venues. It is a comprehensive event management system for modern wedding venues, streamlining event management from beginning to end.
What Sonas can help with
The following is a comprehensive list of all the incredible things Sonas can do:
The software allows venues to send marketing emails to develop a client base. You can also export a Mailchimp compatible list of clients if you prefer.
You can easily track the progress of your leads through the sales journey from the initial enquiry to the confirmed event.
Enquiry and booking data. In Sonas you can quickly create business trend surveys and use feedback tools. You can gather feedback on your recent events by running surveys through Sonas.
Online booking form
This allows you to integrate an enquiry form onto your website and receive each new lead directly into the Sonas inbox.
Online viewing and booking
You can define your staff availability, allowing customers to book available viewing sessions on your website.
This allows you to create invoices directly from Sonas and email them to your clients in a single click.
Create payment plan templates for your venues, and the software will automatically calculate the deposit and installments for each event.
The customizable templates allow you to send detailed invoices with a complete breakdown of charges.
Supplier management and third-party bookings
Through the Sonas portal, you can manage services and external suppliers from the comfort of your home.
You can store all supplier paperwork through the shared Sonas portal.
Make life easier for your clients with a comprehensive portal of their own. This allows them to collaborate with your team to plan their big day.
Guest, table, and seating management
Coordinate the wedding guest list, table plans, and seating arrangements with your clients.
Event timeline management
Make arrangements for the event timeline at each wedding. This ensures that nothing is forgotten.
Upload the floor plan of your venues and pre-plan the room layout and desired furniture for every event.
Complete catering solution
The software comes with features for bespoke menus.
The software allows you to manage new leads as they arrive at the personalized Sonas inbox of your venue.
Send out the terms and conditions of your venues electronically. This saves venues time, paper, and hassle.
The software provides a comprehensive, integrated email management system for every venue.
Sonas has its own integrated calendar, which auto-diarises all planned meetings and events at your venue.
Xero & Stripe
Sonas features direct integrations with Stripe card payments and Xero accounting software.
All data is encrypted by SSL TLS 1.3. It’s also encrypted at rest—both between clients and the application server and between the application server and the database.
All data is backed up regularly, within a few hours of any changes being made.
TFA – two-factor authentication
You’ll be notified through email by default when you log in from a different location. Additionally, you can increase security by clicking a verification link before logging in from the new location.
Efficiently designed templates to help your clients with standardised invoicing, auto-emails, and reminders.
Limitless users and events
Sonas is a comprehensive system that can support unlimited users and events. This is unlike other software with similar services.
Custom user roles
Add your staff members with different user access level based on their roles and responsibilities.
The customer support team guides you through the initial setup process until you go live with your event planning. Account managers are always accessible whenever you need them.
Sonas doesn’t require a minimum term contract for customers. You can cancel at any time.
Sonas is a secured cloud-based system with great flexibility. This allows staff to work from a computer, tablets, or smartphones.
In addition to these features, the team at Sonas offers outstanding customer support. As Emma Clark puts it, “the team at Sonas is incredibly responsive to our needs. They really listen to our requirements, and work with us collaboratively to launch new features.”
Streamline your wedding planning today
The wedding industry is busier than ever, and wedding venues need to adapt to keep up with this unprecedented demand for event planning services. Sonas aims to make everything much easier. With just a few simple clicks, wedding venues can manage their events, giving couples the most memorable and stress-free day. At the same time, it will make team communications, accountancy and third-party agreements far easier to manage.