A guide for venues: turning your upcoming site inspection into a booking

Venuemob’s booking statistics state it clearly: 80% of event enquiries that end up in a site inspection then convert into a confirmed event booking. There’s nothing quite like seeing a venue in the flesh when it comes to building excitement. But – what if the customer is inspecting multiple venues? We share our top tips for conducting a champion site inspection. 

The customer has made an enquiry. You’ve been negotiating back and forth, ironing out all the little details. Then comes the all-important site visit. The moment where the customer steps into the space and thinks, “Is this going to work for my event?”

 It may be a small cocktail party for 40 of their nearest and dearest, or it might be for a conference of 500 professionals. In any instance, this is your chance to really sell your space, and convert that enquiry into a booking.

We’ve asked some of our top corporate clients what they look for during a site inspection. And by following their advice, you could turn that upcoming site inspection into an instant booking.

Put your best face forward

It’s customer service 101, but a friendly attitude makes a world of difference. When leading the client through the space, be friendly, informative and positive. Ensure you know the space back to front, so if the client asks any questions (and they will), you can answer them confidently.

 “A friendly nature of the person your dealing with, along with their knowledge of what they do, always makes a great first impression,” says one client. “A welcoming, warm greeting is always appreciated.”

The set up

Know your brief. It’s important to put the effort in and ensure that the space is tailored to the brief and the required seating arrangement, before the customer turns up. It’s a site inspection after all; there’s no point standing in the middle of a room and saying, “Well, we could do this or that.” You want the client to be able to really picture their event in that space.

There’s nothing worse than working into a venue which is set up with long banquet tables when you want to book a cocktail style event or are envisaging your wedding on round tables. The client struggles to engage emotionally and it sets the wrong expectation.

site inspection

Let the space speak for itself

To let your venue really shine and impress the client, you need to ensure it’s looking its best. In the middle of a remodel? Got some painters or plasterers coming in? Best to avoid scheduling a site visit on the same day. The client isn’t exactly going to be blown away by a room covered in plastic sheeting, dusty footprints and ladders.

“It’s very off-putting when you arrive and they are doing renovations,” says another Venuemob client. “Why are you inviting us to do a site inspection if the place looks like a bomb? Also, a lack of cleanliness, including bad smells, or dirty carpet are absolute deal-breakers.”

 Make sure your venue is clean, with thoughtful, beautiful finishes added.

The walk-through

To your right…you’ll see something relevant to you and your event. The customer doesn’t care about your new light fixtures, or the door knobs. Keep it concise: focus on details that matter to the customer’s event. Find out why they chose your venue to view over others. Identify unique selling points that are relevant pieces to the customer’s functions, such as multiple bars, or where an arrival table would be for conference registrations.

 Pointing out irrelevant things is guaranteed to disengage your client. You need to relate to the needs of the customer. For example: some clients want drinks on consumption, rather than a drinks package. So, are there enough bars for people to order drinks in a timely fashion? Time is precious, so hit your selling points nice and early.

 Food and beverage often forms a big part of the venue booking decision process. Have the kitchen provide a couple of small tidbits as an example of what will be on offer during the event.

 “Great food and service leaves a really positive lasting impression after the site visit is over,” says a Venuemob client.

Inspection incentives make a world of difference

 Adding a site inspection incentive is a great way to entice potential clients to your venue for a site visit. Plus. adding food and/or drinks as an inducement for coming to visit the venue is a wonderful representation of your hospitality. When site inspectors are treated to food and drinks, they get a taste of what their guests will experience on the day. Venues with these site inspection incentives have seen a significant increase in the number of requested site visit requests. You can add a site inspection incentive to your listing by emailing our team at: venues@venuenow.com.

Do you need to provide copies of any materials, such as floor plans?

Not necessarily. Paperwork goes straight in the bin. We live in a digital age. If the client hasn’t already got what they need, use it as an excuse to send an email to them post-site inspection and follow up. A floor plan may be the only useful piece as it would help them envisage their event.

 Our take-home tip for venues when conducting a site inspection?

 We’ll let our corporate clients take this one.

 “The venue has to have a great vibe, with great staff, and flexible pricing,” says one client.

 Having a venue that’s unique, and not a ‘cookie cutter’ copy goes a long way.  The staff must be approachable, and really knowledgeable – it’s super important to know your product. If I ask a direct question I really want a direct answer.”

Venuemob’s expert team of marketplace professionals, content producers and venue booking managers is always here to help venue partners! Check out our guide to building a function pack, improving your online presence and a case study on content for more useful tips.