For those working in venues, catering and events businesses, October though December can get a little crazy. Long days, longs nights and crazy hours are all part of the fun that is the event season. Don’t let sales and marketing be an afterthought with these quick tips – 11 ways to smash your annual venue sales budget this event season.
1. Plan ahead
If you haven’t had a team meeting to discuss who’s doing what during the event season – now is the time. If the expectation is that your sales and marketing team will need to become more operational during your busy time, make sure there are plans in place to schedule and or automate your marketing over the festive season to ensure your annual venue sales budget isn't (temporarily) neglected.
2. Resource adequately
It is vital that you allow your sales and marketing team to continue to focus on their key strengths during the festive season. This ensures that your business will continue to thrive for the final six months of the year. If it is ‘all hands on deck’ for your venue over Christmas, look at outsourcing essential sales and marketing tasks over this time.
3. Stay focused
Block out time for monthly sales and marketing meetings – the same as you would during the other months of the year. Allocating uninterrupted time to review your annual sales budget and enquiry line will prevent you from arriving into the new year and realising you’re behind.
4. Meet and greet
Share some Christmas joy by personally welcoming your clients to their Christmas event. Meet and greets don’t have to take long – just showing your face, and wishing your client all the best for their event and Christmas will be a well-received personal touch that will help strengthen your relationship.
5. Share the love
Show your loyal clients your appreciation this Christmas by sending cards and/or small gifts. Create a top clients (as well as lapsed clients and new prospects) list in early November so that you are well prepared with thoughtful gifts and personalised cards. Dropping gifts off in person presents a great opportunity to touch base with your top clients. This grateful gesture will also carry over into the start of next year. Allocate some time to entertain your top clients and event partners. It’s important to book your restaurant or event space early to ensure you secure your preferred venue.
6. Keep selling
This one is a no-brainer! Call people back promptly. Respond to enquiries as efficiently as you would during the dead of winter and keep your eye on your sales follow ups. There’s nothing better than going on your end of year break knowing you have a solid foundation of bookings for the coming months.
7. Capture the moment
With so many amazing events happening, now is the time to stock up on images and video. Many corporate event planners will hire professionals to capture their end of year events. Don’t forget to ask for a copy of these images, as well as details of who to credit and/or tag. Now is the time to gather exciting content for future marketing.
8. Offer a deal
Do you have empty spaces to fill for the fast approaching event season? Think about creating an all-inclusive package that will grab attention. Offer a discount for particularly quiet days, eg Mondays and Tuesdays via VenueNow to reach a larger audience.
9. Get social
Share the excitement of event season with live video on Facebook and Instagram. Create a themed hashtag for the season. Amazing set ups and behind the scenes action from your kitchens, deliveries, and bump ins are all perfect opportunities to show your followers what you do best.
10. Update your listings
Your VenueNow listings should be updated regularly with new content. Attractive content is the number one way to grab a customer’s attention. After all — we shop with our eyes. If you are having trouble filling some key dates, get in touch with the friendly team at VenueNow to see what else you can do to get your listings creating awareness and driving leads.
Network with your industry colleagues, event partners and clients. This can be at an industry party, awards night or one of the many event parties that are held in December.
Don’t put off planning until mid-January – there are so many easy ways to improve your annual venue sales budget this events season.
This was a guest post by Lauren Lacava.
As the Director of Black & White Marketing, Lauren has 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and management at some of Melbourne’s most successful catering and event organisations.
As the founder of Black & White Marketing, Lauren’s appetite for the industry is fuelled by creative energy and focused determination. She brings her educated palate to all her clients at Black & White Marketing to savour one passionate vision - helping hospitality and events businesses become bigger and better.
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