What Event Planners are Looking for in Your Venue
Getting corporate event planners to notice your venue can mean a huge boost in revenue. No matter the size of your space, spreading the word about your venue should be one of your main business priorities.
Implementing marketing strategies that work can help you draw in small local businesses, but it can also attract corporate event planners who tend to have a much bigger budget and host events more regularly. Here are some tips for marketing your event venue so you can increase exposure, attract corporate event planners, and boost your business revenue.
1. Make a good first impression
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and whether that is digitally or physically, make sure you are presenting your venue in the best light. You should be easily searchable online, so make sure your website has the most up-to-date information.
If you include photos of your space online, they should be high resolution and show a variety of different event setups to appeal to all types of event planners’ needs. Also, if someone comes to your venue announced or unannounced, it should be ready for visitors. Even if the space isn’t used during the day, make sure staff drinks and miscellaneous items aren’t strewn about. Potential customers should be able to visualize their event taking place there.
PRO TIP: Professional photos with your venue staged for various types of events with actual people in it will help to show your venue’s flexibility and your creativity to corporate planners.
2. Communication is key
During past sessions of our panel discussion, “What Event Planners are Looking for in Your Venue,” at Tripleseat’s EventCamp, we asked corporate event planners what they found most frustrating when working with various venues. The number one response we got from them was the lag time or even the absence of a response when requesting information or submitting a lead. Even just taking a few days to return a call or email is simply bad business. Make sure to have a good system in place, like Tripleseat, to be able to respond quickly to leads, whether they come in from your website, the phone, a host stand, email marketing, or Facebook. A good system will capture leads and enable you to respond immediately to the inquiry. Corporate planners are typically reaching out to multiple venues at the same time so the quicker you respond, the more likely you are to get the business.
PRO TIP: If you succeed in getting the business, don’t forget to send a thank you note! It’s a simple but important touch that will go a long way in setting you apart from the competition and getting you repeat business.
3. Get creative and start networking
You want to make sure that people know about your venue. Whether you have been around for years or just opened, you want to ensure that new potential corporate planners are getting exposed to your space and keeping you top of mind. One way to reach members of the corporate community is to tap into their networking events and offer to host one free of charge. Often, they default to the same spaces over and over, so putting yourself in the mix might be a welcome change and get more new eyes on your venue. Another tactic is to host an event for the corporate planners in your neighborhood or immediate vicinity so that they are no longer curious about your space but feel like they should be supporting the neighborhood.
PRO TIP: Make sure to hook up with your city or area’s venue or restaurant networking group. This is a great way to start building up a referral network and they will send business your way!
4. Get listed!
Get listed on partner venue listing sites like Venues by Tripleseat. You’ll want to set aside some time to fill out your profile, making it accurate and robust with plenty of details so that consumers and corporate planners can learn as much about your venue and your private dining or event offerings. The advantage of a third party listing is that they are putting marketing dollars behind these sites with keywords and search terms so that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is working in your favor. This means you will appear in more organic traffic and ultimately have more ways to drive leads to your venue. It’s a no-brainer to take advantage of this offering by spending just a little time updating your listing.
Take action to attract new business
By following these four actionable steps, you are exposing your venue and event space to a whole new crowd of corporate planners while helping them expedite their search and book more business at your venue. In addition to these tips, you should also be fully set up on all social media platforms and have a lead form linked in several places and posts so that the corporate planner doesn’t even have to leave the social site to book with you. Stay active on these channels and make sure to engage with your followers. Your venue will be filled with new corporate business in no time with a boost in revenue.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Tripleseat’s Seated magazine, 2019 Spring/Summer issue.