Your event venue has everything; the perfect location, affluent amenities, off-site activities, and staff that consistently exceed the expectations of your guests. However, you struggle with keeping your venue rented. Not to worry, Destination Colorado has your back by curating fifteen ways to market your venue to increase your exposure, therefore, your bottom-line.
There are ways to market your event venue; then there ways to market it smarter. The first task that a successful business performs is doing some homework. This includes becoming crystal clear on what your venue offers and defining your target market/audience. For instance, Millennials require a different marketing strategy than a market, ages 35-65, making six-to-seven figures annually. That being said, look at your current customer base and focus your efforts on them. Things to consider may include demographics (age, gender, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, ethnic background) and personality/social characteristics (values, beliefs, interests, lifestyles, buying habits, etc.). With this information in hand, you can be more strategic with positioning your venue in front of your customers.
Positioning your meeting venue involves having a position statement that answers the who’s, what’s, why’s, and how’s of your business. Who is target your market? Who are your competitors? What are they buying from you? What makes your business different than your competitors? Summarizing the answers to these questions in 1-2 sentences will form your positioning statement of which you can use to create compelling marketing materials and social media content. Other considerations include defining a budget for your positioning strategy and communicating your strategy with your team. This will help ensure that all parties know their responsibilities as well as keep you on track for meeting your sales goals.
Understanding the needs of your clients is at the heart of growing your business. Think about the objectives of your client and offer value-added solutions and alternative activities beyond the walls of the event. When your clients feel they are heard and taken care of, your reviews will be more positive and this can lead to an increase in repetitive and new business.
Another way you can differentiate your business venue from your competitors is by doing some work behind the scenes. To accomplish this, we recommend optimizing your website and search engine optimization (SEO) data to harness the power of the online community to put your business at the top. Things to consider include offering more content on your websites such as blog posts, industry news, tips on local attractions, event design, meeting tips, and other types of insight that bring value to your clients. Making sure your website is mobile-friendly will also increase your ability to reach more customers. Adding code to your website that allows you to track your traffic will help you understand valuable information about your customers and optimizing your SEO with header tags, metadata, and keywords can provide a big return on local and national web searches.
Pictures speak more than words so don’t forget to acquire professional photos of your venue including different angles of your meeting facilities. If you want to go above-and-beyond the norm, show pictures of your venue with and without people; you don’t want your customers to think that no one has ever rented your space. Providing videos and a virtual tour of your venue will also help meeting planners that are unable to tour your facilities make a more confident decision about renting your space.
Whether you have an established website or you are just launching one, be sure to provide comprehensive information about your venue. Include information on your location, rates, meeting facilities, room capacity, conference services, catering options, travel information, accommodations, and activity options on your website.
Social Media is no longer a fad; it has become a very valuable and necessary marketing strategy to increase business. That being said, don’t underestimate your social media efforts. When developing a social media content schedule, chose platforms according to your audience that include Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. It is extremely important to stay active on these platforms and provide incentives for meeting planners to engage with you. If you are using Twitter, consider creating a hashtag that includes the name of your business. Another highly successful social media platform of which you can utilize for research about prospective clients, specialized groups, and Certified Meeting Planners (CMP’s) is LinkedIn. While social media advertising is a valuable marketing channel, don’t forget to utilize more traditional avenues to advertise your business as well.
Print Media can still be an effective way to reach your audience, especially when you include your online platforms on your printed pieces. Consider including your website, social media marketing channels, and incentives to engage with your audience. When it comes to online media, consider using Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to advertise your business. Targeting event planners, businesses, and individuals through these channels will help increase the interest in your venue which can strengthen your booking calendar.
Email Marketing is a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal when used appropriately. Consumers do not appreciate being overloaded with emails or reading confusing messaging. Gain more loyalty and readership by keeping a goal in mind with every marketing email you send. If you have to split up your goals in multiple emails-do it. Keep your messaging clear and include invitations, incentives, reminders, and testimonials to gain more rapport with your audience. Other considerations include creating mobile-friendly templates, personalizing your emails with the recipient’s name, and utilizing email automation tools to target your emails to the behavior or segment lists of your target audience.
Increase the credibility of your venue by presenting at regional and national conferences or trade shows. By increasing your face-to-face time, you can build a strong reputation within the industry and increase your market share. Other ideas that will help establish your venue’s brand include joining your local area tourist board, convention, or conference bureau, hosting local meetings through Meetup or Eventbrite, and getting listed in business directories like destinationcolorado.com and other local listings. Holding open days and venue showcases can help introduce your venue to your guests, media, and suppliers who can help increase your traffic. Also make sure to follow-up with all attendees by email to convert inquiries into sales.
Lastly, continue to build your venues brand loyalty by establishing a network of industry suppliers. You can do this by organizing events with local vendors like florists, audio-visual companies, and equipment companies to help drive referrals to your event spaces.
By following these marketing strategies, your venue will experience more exposure and set itself apart from your competition to help ensure your business is a coveted space to hold events for years to come.