You’re looking for a new venue management platform. As an event professional, you know that streamlining and automating your workflow through a CRM is one of the best ways to save time while still being able to deliver the personal, white-glove experience your clients deserve. Perfect Venue and Planning Pod have come up as two potential options geared towards the events industry but it’s difficult to compare software when it’s not always apples-to-apples. How do you know which ones pass the “smell test”?
On top of reading articles like this one, we always recommend setting up a free trial of a platform so you can thoroughly assess the tools and if they meet your needs. Due diligence takes time but don’t you worry, friend — we are here to help! We wrote this article to streamline this process for you, in classic Planning Pod-fashion.
The fact is, the software you choose defines the success of your business and finding an all-in-one solution without balancing multiple apps can make all of the difference. We understand that it’s absolutely crucial to select the right software and we talk about this daily with hundreds of event pros. One of our most frequent questions is what sets us apart from competitors, including Perfect Venue.
Planning Pod & Perfect Venue are both cloud-based platforms that offer free trials and annual/monthly options but serve very different needs. To help you get started, here is a quick overview of both platforms, their demographic, and their pricing.
We have done our best to provide an objective summary comparison of their software and ours. We are not affiliated with Perfect Venue and the information presented in this article was gathered from prospects who have tried Perfect Venue, information the company provided through their website, and public applications like Youtube.
Are you an event planner looking for a platform? Click here to check out our comparison on event management software.
Planning Pod is the ideal solution for any event pro who is dealing with a high-volume of events or wants to take their client’s white-glove experience to the next level. Since 2013, our platform has been designed based on the insight of event professionals. On top of being fully web-based, our venue management and event planning platforms are compatible with both Apple & Android devices.
Our packages are tailored to serve every event space – from banquet halls and restaurants to cruise ships and museums. As of 2023, our servers host over 40,000 users daily.
What our venue management tools can do for you:
- Streamlined project planning from weddings to internal staff meetings
- Automatic passing of credit card fees to clients and seamless payment processing
- Custom workflows do the heavy-lifting, leaving your competitors in the dust
- Easy-to-use Portal for your clients keeps your information secure while saving your team even more time
Planning Pod’s venue management software starts at $149/month (yearly subscription). On top of receiving all 20+ of our tools, this includes:
- Complimentary training for current and future employees
- Unlimited users – including your team, vendors, contractors, and clients
- A lifelong partnership for your business
Our packages are based on the number of events you are working on at any given time. If you have a smaller event load, you will need a package with a smaller event capacity and vice versa. We built it this way to give you the most value without having to pay extra for individual tools. If you need a larger event capacity, you can upgrade anytime while keeping all of the tools you love.
During your free trial, we don’t gatekeep – as soon as you activate, you can use the entire platform immediately. While in your trial, you receive full access to our Help Center and Support team to get real answers anytime.
Planning Pod is the ultimate platform built on the real insight and experiences of event professionals. We know that having an all-in-one solution is a must have for venues and you are the expert when it comes to your own needs. This is why we take real feedback from people that apply our platform to their business and use it to improve the entire user experience at no additional cost.
We provide free customized onboarding for your existing & new employees. While you are initially exploring Planning Pod, we ask about your current workflow, pain points, and business needs. Post-subscription, our team evaluates this information to develop a recommended workflow and onboarding built especially for you. This includes live implementation and training sessions to ensure your account is up & running as soon as possible. When a new employee joins your team (months or years down the line) they will receive the same customized training free of charge.
Get the latest innovation at no extra cost. Our venue management platform is equipped with a robust toolset brimming with the latest functionalities. Since we take user feedback to heart, we release several updates each year. With these updates come on-demand resources and support from our team to ensure you are getting the most value out of the platform (for free).
Your subscription comes with all the tools you need to manage your leads without letting any slip through the cracks. Some features include:
- Unlimited Embeddable Calendars & Lead Capture Forms with Custom Designs
- RSVP and Ticketed Attendee Management
- A personalized Sales Pipeline that provides a 360 view on your leads at a glance
- Detailed reports give you full insight on your Won/Lost bookings
Our user-friendly centralized mailbox makes it smoother than ever to manage your client communications in one place. Your entire team can send and receive messages from their existing email addresses and add attachments seamlessly. Tired of managing your threads in folders? Planning Pod will automatically sort and filter your communications, so you don’t have to.
On top of day-to-day communication, you can brand and customize the design of your outgoing notifications. While you can connect an unlimited number of email addresses, you can also track the delivery status of sent emails when you send them from our servers in real-time.
Worrying about your emails landing in your client’s spam is a thing of the past — our team will guide you through our best practice recommendations so your emails funnel into their inbox every time.
We make it easier than ever to create scalable processes for your team members using dynamic templates. Your account comes with some pre-built (so you don’t have to start from scratch) and you can create as many as you need at no additional cost:
- Automated Payment Reminder Schedules are the solution if you want your clients to receive reminders at specific dates/times or pay in installments. With a connected payment processor, you can add a Pay Now button so your clients can make ACH and online payments seamlessly. Your clients can also save their credit card information for easy access later on.
- Legal and Invoice templates allow you to wrap your terms of agreement and itemized receipts into one doc. Easily generate an invoice from your signed documents to give your clients a transparent view of all of the event details and services you’re providing.
- Task Management templates automate your To-Do lists and make your team more efficient than ever before. You can assign multiple contacts to a single task, send automated reminders, and stay on top of outstanding tasks by checking them via your Home Dashboard.
- Data Placeholders in your templates take the manual work out of client interactions, automatically pulling custom information from your events and covering all of your bases. Have multiple signers on your proposals/contracts? No worries, you can collect their details and use our placeholders to get it right every time.
- Emails, Questionnaires, Floorplan layouts, Timelines, and so much more.
- We have built-in integrations with The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Quickbooks Online to make funneling leads and balancing your books easy as pie. After creating your Planning Pod account, you can set up all 3 in a few short clicks.
- Use Zapier to connect with hundreds of platforms like MailChimp, Google Calendar, Xero and more to create even more seamless automations.
Planning Pod offers full transparency in every facet of your business without sifting through stacks of paperwork. We offer Financial, Food & Beverage, Booking, Activity, and Account reports that allow you to maintain a 360 view of your business at all times. You can even filter based on data points such as timeframe, item status, tags, and more so you aren’t overwhelmed with unnecessary information. We’ve also added the ability to Batch Print BEOs from our Reports tool so your team can prepare for upcoming events with ease. Since all of our reports download in a .csv format, you can open them anywhere regardless of if you use Microsoft, Google, or a separate app.
A Partnership for Life
When you start with Planning Pod, you get more than just a CRM — we are your lifelong partners in business. Our 100% human team will help you meet and exceed your goals, whether you are just starting out or a seasoned veteran. Unlike other platforms, we understand that your team’s needs are too important to deal with a robot and our response time for customer support is miles ahead of the industry.
We care about your experience and your feedback. If there is an opportunity to improve a tool and make it even more valuable for your business, we want to hear about it! To make it even better, we notify you when we release your requested functionality. Some recent features we’ve added solely based on customer feedback:
- Ability to add an email CC to Payment Notifications, 2023
- Automatic linking of email threads to Leads and Events, 2023
- Notifications when clients make Menu Selections, Seating Changes, and more in the Client Portal, 2023
- Customizable Food & Beverage Package Display, 2023
Our next big launch, fully-customizable Reports and Automations, is also being actively developed based on customer feedback. Stay tuned for more details!
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Perfect Venue has been a popular option for event centers and hospitality groups since launching in 2017. While they do not focus solely on venues, their tool offerings do include some business management tools. Their system appears to be designed for integration with other platforms, rather than being all-in-one.
Perfect Venue’s Basic package starts at $59/month and their pricing structure is similar to a cable company. Their tools are sold in bundles and the amount you pay depends on the tools you need. Tools like Task Management, Embeddable Forms, and ACH processing are only available in the Premium package, which starts at $189/month. Unless you pay for the highest subscription, you receive 30% or 60% of the tools. They have a 30-day money back guarantee and all packages include onboarding.
Unless you pay for the highest subscription, you get half of the system (at most). This is a different pricing structure to what we’ve seen with other competitors, whose pricing is typically based on event capacity (like Planning Pod) or the number of users on the account.
Perfect Venue has a number of business and sales tools for leads management, contracts, quotes, credit card processing, and reporting. (Please note: Stripe is their only payment processor.) While Perfect Venue is not compatible with Zapier, they do have direct integrations with WeddingPro, Tock, & OpenTable available for all packages. Unless you pay for a separate platform like HubSpot, you would not be able to integrate with other systems.
While they do not have a client portal, they give clients the ability to sign agreements and pay balances online via links sent through email. Like Planning Pod, they also have a list of Data “Personalizers”, used to automatically pull specific information from events into documents or email messages. They boast that their “modern email system” guarantees emails land in client inboxes but we haven’t found evidence supporting this.
From an aesthetic standpoint, there is very little wiggle room. You can’t customize your interface colors but you can select the colors on your calendar associated with each of your spaces. However, if you do want to display your brand colors and they don’t line up with the 9 standard colors included in your account, you will need exact hex codes to pull them in.
Like Planning Pod, Perfect Venue has the ability to create email and policy templates for your business. With that said, they are missing critical time-saving and business management templates for things like tasks, itineraries, and checklists. If you use different legal terms for different events, you will need to purchase their Premium package to use more than one at a time.
Their Data “Personalizers” function similarly to ours in the way they pull custom information into designated areas on your templates. The options are limited, so you will likely be making manual adjustments to most of your emails and legal documents.
Something else to note is that they provide seven Communication templates upon account creation, compared to Planning Pod’s baker’s dozen. These starting templates are not very detailed, except for the one announcing that you switched to their platform.
If you’re interested in checking out a broader comparison between competitors, check out our Best Venue Management Software of 2022.
Like Planning Pod, Perfect Venue is designed to hold all of your communications in one place. However, you are only permitted one email connection unless you are in the Premium package.
Perfect Venue gives you the ability to set up automated reminders like Planning Pod as well, but they are based on timeframe exclusively. If you set a reminder about something that is already complete, even if it is complete in their system, the reminder will still be sent out. This may not be important for things like signing a document, but the quickest way to damage your reputation with a client is sending them a “Payment Due” notice when they’ve already paid.
Perfect Venue allows you to generate multiple reports based on leads, finances, and contacts. They are available to export and view in account, though they do not allow you to customize them in any fashion besides narrowing down by date — the exception being able to search for a contact in their contact and account data reports.
The Bottom Line – Perfect Venue vs Planning Pod
We hope this article has given you a head start with choosing the best web-based platform for your needs. Before diving into more in-depth analysis, we recommend sitting down and making a list of your business’ needs and goals. This is an excellent way to keep your key objectives in mind while comparing and contrasting both platforms.
Next, we highly recommend signing up for a free trial with these platforms so you can evaluate the full scope of the experience for you and clients alike.
There is no such thing as too much research! Throughout this process, we recommend continuing to check out all of your options by reading articles like this one from multiple different sources.
If you run a venue or event-based business, start saving time and money with Planning Pod TODAY for as low as $149/month.
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