A Guide for Venues: Creating the Perfect Function Pack

Building a function package PDF from scratch can be a time-consuming task. Especially if you're not entirely what a 'function package PDF' should entail in the first place. To save you time and a little bit of energy, the VenueNow team has pooled its industry knowledge together to provide you with the most useful tips to getting those enquiries flowing.

You have the most beautiful imagery showcasing your venue, the best layout, the most convincing copy. Your listing is looking amazing.

“Yep, I could definitely see my event in this space,” the customer thinks.

Then they see a function PDF and think, “Excellent! I’ll be able to roughly work out how expensive my event is going to be.” Double tap, open.

And what they’re greeted by is a ‘97 Word doc, with dot points, borders, and WordArt worthy of a primary school project. The customer’s face falls, and quickly hits X on the tab.

It may sound cliched, but a decent looking function PDF can be the difference between a customer making an enquiry and thinking, “Yeah, pass”.

The function pack gives a great indication on the quality of the venue, and a perfectly presented function pack will give a client confidence when putting the venue forward. - Lauren Carlyle, Corporate Business Development Manager

A function PDF is  a document that contains a venue's package information and pricing for anything from drinks packages, to sit down dinners, canapés and delegate packages for meetings and conferences. It's a broad-reaching term that can extend to fact sheets and floorplans. A good looking document, full of this kind of useful information will work wonders for your enquiries. 

Customers want information. Venues want customers. Customers want to be able to make an informed decision, and the bigger the event, the more information they want.

The trick is to make the PDF informative and attractive enough that the customer scrolls all the way to the bottom. Their time is precious, so by getting them to the bottom of that document, you know they’re starting to seriously consider your venue.

We at VenueNow know that building a function PDF from scratch can be quite a time-consuming and momentous task. So, to save you time and a little bit of energy, we’ve pooled our industry knowledge together to provide you with the most useful tips to getting those enquiries flowing.

From the events and bookings teamMichael. Speaking with customers and clients daily, Michael has his finger on the pulse of what the customer wants. 

From corporate business development, Lauren. Big clients mean big events and big budgets. Lauren knows what the corporate event managers look for and want.

Representing venues, are Grace and Sagie. This dynamic duo talk to venues all the time, and have the inside line on what makes a venue stand out from the crowd. 

Finally last, but certainly not least, is Reb from the content team. She know what to write, and what's needed to best represent your venue in the digital sphere.

Where to Start

A function pack should be full of information that flows naturally and logically. You want the customer to have an idea of how their event is going to look by the time they’ve scrolled to the bottom. 

Sagie: The logical order of pack should be: venue space description, food, drinks. Too many venues have drinks package first, then spaces, then food, then some more drinks, then some more spaces. You don’t want it to look disjointed.

First: What's Important?

The trick is to be concise. Make it attractive and informative, without waffling or adding superfluous words.

Sagie: Spaces in the pack should always show capacities in different setups. For example: banquet 50, cocktails 100. Vague terms like ‘capacity: 30-500’ is way too broad. 

Grace: There is such a thing as "too much information". Think about what some of the FAQs are that you encounter and include those, but don't flood the client with everything and your life story. 

Lauren:  From a corporate perspective, it’s important to include floor plans and what AV equipment is included by the venue so the customer is aware what they need to purchase or supply themselves.

What About Pricing?

At the end of the day, customers, whether they’re planning a 30th birthday or a conference for 300, have a budget in mind and need to stick to it. As a venue, you’re not doing yourself any favours by leaving out pricing.

Michael: Displaying all the necessary pricing, package duration, and inclusions is valuable because the function pack gives customers information that is relevant to their needs.

‘Where’s the pricing?’ is the number one question that we get from customers.

It is important to present the information in a way that is as simple as possible because people are either time poor or unfamiliar with booking events. The way that customers look at it; this is an information pack, not just a function pack.

Lauren: Corporate event planners have strict budgets and limited time. Ensure your function pack has clear pricing, including any additional, or 'hidden' costs, because that's what event planners will be looking for.

Design: It's Important

Unfortunately, the old adage ‘you don’t judge a book by its cover’ doesn’t hold up when it comes to function packs. Customers start judging as soon as that document has loaded. Create a document that looks attractive, but also professional. Basically, don’t bite off more than you can chew. If your design skills are limited, but you can’t afford a designer, choose a consistent, simple style and stick with it. Consistency is key. 

Reb: If you’re unsure about whether it’s good enough, picture yourself receiving the function package. Would you purchase it? After all, this is your brand you’re representing! 

I wouldn’t recommend using Canva to design an entire document, but it’s great for putting together assets and pieces of design. Canva snaps images and text into place in documents, aligning all pieces of content together. It makes you look like a better designer than you are.

Remember: Check Your Spelling

It sounds so basic, but spelling, tone and grammar are vital elements of creating a professional-looking document. They’re also the three elements that go overlooked the most. Make sure you know how to spell what you’re selling. Know your blinis from your bellinis. It might not look like much of a difference, but one is a thin pancake, the other, a cocktail. 

Lauren: A venue needs to make sure there aren't any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in the presentation of the function pack. You want it to look as professional as possible.

Reb: Make sure you spell things properly, especially the items of your own menu. For those who can’t afford a proper designer or copywriter, there are a few free programs available. Grammarly is a free plugin for your browser, useful in the instances where there’s a text field for you to fill in but no spellcheck in sight. 

And take it from F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

Photography

Our eyes naturally gravitate towards images, so it’s important to make sure the images you include are striking, a good representation and lastly, high resolution. No-one wants to look at a blurry pixelated image of a darkly lit room. That’s an assault on the senses. 

Reb: Less is more. No unnecessary icons, pixelated images or an unnecessary number of images. I repeat: only high resolution images. 

Lauren: When attracting big corporate clients, it’s important to include lots of beautiful images of the venue in all its glory. You need the client to imagine them holding their event there. 

Grace: Natural light is a huge game changer. There are too many spaces where the curtains are drawn to accentuate the AV capabilities. A projector and screen is easily replicable - whereas a warm, inviting room is hard to find.

What Sets You Apart?

In line with the theme of ‘keep it concise’, there’s no need to write an essay about the six meeting rooms, or the food and drinks available. A garden salad is just a garden salad. 

Reb: I’d prompt venues to think about what sets their venue apart. Every venue ‘tailors packages to customers’ specific needs’. Think about what menu items, points of difference, sweet-ass decor is going to set them apart. By that same token, be succinct.

Grace:  When looking at food and beverage offerings - this is an emotional buy. Everyone can do arancini balls and sliders. If you want your food to be the deciding factor, you're going to need to evoke the feelings that come with slamming a slider at 10.30pm when you're five drinks in and having the time of your life. Do this through imagery.

Give your function pack a tone that the client can relate to. This isn't a dining menu where guests are seated and already have a glass of wine in hand. They can walk away from your menu anytime unless you can create that insatiable sense of desire for your delectable morsels.

So whether you’re aiming to nab conferences, corporate functions, birthday parties, weddings or even gala dinners, it’s important to have an informative and beautiful looking function PDF to get those customers to click ‘enquire’.

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