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How One Farm Venue Thrives Through Multiple Busy Seasons

By Katy Mullet | 3 min read

 Seasonality across the events industry differs by the venue. Everything from your region to the types of events you host plays a factor. For many, the winter holidays are a big draw, but if you host a lot of weddings, your busy season could start in the spring and last throughout the fall. For Summerfield Farms, it feels like it’s always busy! Located in Summerfield, North Carolina, this farm venue has multiple barns, cottages, and cabins that are used for indoor and outdoor events. For any given event, they can accommodate from a few to thousands of guests.

We talked with Holly Stressman, the General Manager, about how she and her team thrive through the busy seasons. 

When’s your busy season?

HS: Our busy seasons correlate to the time of year. We are lucky here in North Carolina that we experience all four seasons. Our first busy peak lasts from April to June and winds down throughout the summer with vacations and school being out. Then we head into our second busy season from September to November as the weather cools. We slow down around Thanksgiving, then we begin celebrating the holidays with corporate events, social gatherings, and weddings. 

Wow, that’s a lot! Who’s managing all of these events on the property?

HS: We have an incredible events team that includes event coordinators, the farm manager, our sales team, and the operations team. It takes a village! Gather keeps us all organized and is great for guests to utilize.

What are the most common types of events that you host?

HS: We will host any type of special occasion our customers would like to celebrate, the majority being weddings. However, we have the flexibility to host events as small as a private meeting for two up to a concert or festival of 3,000+. We host corporate meetings, team building events, fundraisers, appreciation events, sponsorship dinners, birthday parties, reunions, celebrations of life; you name it!

So you have a team that deals with lots of event types and therefore lots of different kinds of guests. What’s your process for planning different types of events?

HS: Here at Summerfield Farms, regardless of the event, each client gets dedicated service and attention to ensure their event comes to life and is executed flawlessly. In Gather, we have booking templates for each event type that our team fills out as we meet with our clients. This template ensures we are capturing all of their details, rentals, layout specifications, and vision. Gather helps us stay organized and communicate each client’s event details to everyone from our coordinating team to our implementation team. 

What does your guest communication strategy look like? 

HS: Our guest communication is what sets us apart. We are very well connected to our clients and ensure high customer satisfaction. 

After we’ve gone through planning using the booking template, all of the details are in Gather’s guest portal. There are so many features that make it easy for the customer experience. In their guest portal, guests can see event details, and we provide links to helpful information, like their layout, rental guide, and other resources they may need.

With the ability to request deposits and final payments through the guest portal, it’s easier for guests and us. We were planning on pen and paper and then manually sending a contract that we asked guests to fill out and scan back to us. Now, the guest portal lets guests know how much they owe, how much they’ve paid, and keeps the updated contract available for both sides to see. 

How do you keep everyone on your team on the same page?

HS: Team communication in Gather is huge for us. We use tagging and add notes on events to track everything. Gather tracks communication with the guest so everyone can see when we need to send final payment reminders and such. The mobile app makes it easy to stay in touch on event days or while team members are out in the field.

What advice would you give to someone new to the events industry?

HS: Planning for success and an unforgettable experience for your client is always the goal. Ensure that you have the tools you need to gather your details and make sense of them so you and your team can flawlessly execute. Gather has been the answer our team needed to button up the details and ensure an unforgettable experience. 

Juggling it all

With a busy season that lasts for several months, you need to make sure your team is in the loop, and you have strong processes in place. Check out Gather – the leading event management platform – so you can handle the busy season without all the busywork. See it for yourself today.

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Katy Mullet
Content Marketing Manager

I'm the Content Marketing Manager here at Gather. Outside of writing and creating campaigns, I love to try new restaurants here in Atlanta or wherever I'm traveling.

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