Listen, it’s no secret that the private events business is still recovering due to restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. I’m not trying to sugarcoat it or make it seem like it’s business as usual, because it’s not. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that all is lost. There are still prospects who want to book events and creative ways to capture them. Let’s take a look at a few of those event types that can help you increase your bookings through the end of 2020, and beyond.

Holiday events

I know what you’re thinking — I have lost my mind. Holiday events? In 2020? Yes, holiday events in 2020. They’re still going to happen. Maybe not in the large numbers or formats we are all used to, but they will happen, and you need to ensure that your business is top of mind. 

I believe this year’s focus will be on the search for the perfect caterer, rather than the perfect venue. Even if your business has never offered catering services in the past, does not mean that you can’t start now. Pivoting your holiday marketing agenda to promote your new catering services is the perfect way to increase your bookings.

Work with your chefs to create affordable, creative holiday catering menus that will appeal to corporate groups as well as families, and other social categories. The company that books their holiday party with you every year may not be hosting a large scale event outside their work. It’s more likely that they’re probably planning a smaller gathering in the comfort of their office building, and they’ll need food. Use Tripleseat’s CRM capabilities to reach out to these past clients and offer them a special discount on your new catering menus. Create a catering-specific lead form in Tripleseat and embed it on your website, in marketing emails, and of course on your social platforms. Make sure that anyone and everyone knows that your business is the place to go for holiday catering.

Hybrid events

Hybrid events are not a new concept, but their recent surge in popularity is due to event and travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic. For those that are unfamiliar with the term, a hybrid event is one that has an in-person aspect in addition to a virtual one. For example, if you’re in a state that only allows gatherings of 50 people or less, then you might run a global conference with only 50 local attendees gathered in person, while the rest join in from their computers. A smaller example would be a wedding where 20 people are invited to attend the event live, while 80 are invited to join in virtually from their homes.

The logistics around offering and hosting hybrid events can seem daunting, but jumping on the bandwagon can be an effective way to drum up bookings. What you’ll need first and foremost is a reliable and intuitive virtual event platform. There are a ton on the market right now so it’s important that you do your due diligence to find the one that works best for your venue.

Another unique consideration of hybrid events is finding creative ways to engage the virtual audience. Using social media, a virtual emcee, or facilitating networking opportunities are easy and inexpensive ways to do this. Let your customers know that you have the ability to not only host their hybrid event but can assist them with executing it as well.

Virtual events

From catering to hybrid, and finally on to fully virtual. Events during the pandemic have taken on many forms, but the safest are those that are completely virtual. This is a chance to really dive deep into your creative being.

Is your venue known for their amazing wine selection? Host wine and food pairing events where guests can pick up kits that include all of the ingredients they need to create an amazing dinner, along with the wine to pair with it. Your chef can host a private Zoom meeting with a virtual audience and do a step-by-step tutorial on how to cook the dish and talk about why the wine pairs so well with it. These events can be a group of people who don’t know each other joining in from their respective homes or a group of family and friends in one house all cooking together. If your venue is more into live music, work with local musicians to host virtual concerts and offer discounts to attendees on takeout dinners. The possibilities with virtual events are limitless. Think about what your venue does best and create a virtual event to highlight it.

These are just a few of the alternative ideas you can capitalize on to bring in bookings, and revenue through the end of 2020. The industry is adapting to our new normal which means your business needs to pivot a bit as well. I do see a future where events are the way we remember them, but for now, adjusting your plan to fit the needs and wants of COVID-era customers is your best bet to continued success through the end of this year and into the future.

Use Tripleseat to manage leads and organize your future events

Whether you decide to focus on one or all three of these types of events, Tripleseat can help manage every detail. Not yet a Tripleseat customer? Schedule a demo at a time and date that works for you to learn more about how Tripleseat can help you build and streamline your events and private dining business.

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