Top 4 questions to boost your venue’s event sales

We know that the meetings and events industry is competitive, and that every advantage counts. We also know that while every event sales team will have a slightly different process, some things are ALWAYS vital.

In a new series of monthly articles, Nicole Bates of Conversion Management will be sharing her wealth of event sales knowledge, accumulated over years spent transforming event businesses into event powerhouses. Today? The key questions to ask clients when you receive their event enquiry. 

We always hear versions of the same statistics: you have 30 seconds to make your first impression; you have 90 seconds to pitch your product before your audience disengages. In my opinion, no one really knows. Every person you engage with is operating at a different pace – more than likely, they're thinking about the conversation you're sharing, as well as countless other matters. What we do know in the meetings, events and hospitality industry, however, is that we need our venue to clearly stand out ahead of our competitors to ensure we win the business.

How do we do this? Asking the right questions of new clients can give your business the competitive advantage it might just need.

Referral Source: How did they find your venue?

Asking your client how they heard about your venue gives you accuracy and insight around where your marketing spend is working. If it’s a broad response such as 'on Google', ask for the key words they typed. If the client is vague or doesn’t have the exact wording then don't press the issue, but if you have one out of three give you the key words, it’s better than none.

Track this referral source information, whether it's Google, a directory, VenueNow or even a VenueNow landing page via a specific Google search. If you are using a CRM system for your event sales process, ensure you have an area to log this content and that you are able to report on it. If you use Excel, add in an additional field in your report and booking processes. And if you have a hard diary, think about changing to an excel spreadsheet, to better report and grow your business. In the meantime though, track the referral source in a way you are comfortable with.

Where are they coming from?

Asking for the client's address is sometimes an overlooked question. Knowing exactly where or the region your business is coming from gives you an insight to areas worth marketing to, network with, and your areas of growth – the areas you could be missing or unaware of.

It also gives you the opportunity to deliver or personalise your service. You may wish to deliver your quote in person or send a thank you card after the site inspection.

A corporate client understands address details are a requirement, but private clients may feel this is an unnecessary condition. Explain the purpose is for your tracking and why you need it, a very reasonable explanation as well, most CRM systems will not allow you to proceed through the booking without completing this task.

What is their event purpose?

Understanding your client's purpose or reason for holding the event gives you a clear indication of their expectations on their business. Understanding their return on investment of the event will assist you in developing a personalised quotation. For example, if the client has an ROI for their guests to purchase their product, you can suggest including their product in your menu choices or venue proximity. You know your venue's sight lines, so you can make the recommendation of where the perfect location for their product and branding, and alternative ideas of where the product can sit.

If your proposal evidentially shows the importance of the client's purpose, you have the advantage over venues that have not. You have listened to your client and have provided and appropriate option for them to pursue.

What about previous events?

Asking the question; "have you held this event before?" and further asking, "where have you held this event before?" narrows your understanding of the clients budget and expectation. If the client says they have previously held the event at a local hall, you have an understanding the may be budget-conscience. If this is the case, to further understand ask the client why they are considering your venue – perhaps the event has grown, and the budget has subsequently also grown. Conversely, if the event was previously held at a luxury venue or hotel, you have a clear understanding they have a reasonable price point and have high expectations.

There you have it – event sales tips, in the form of four key questions to ask every client to better your product and service offering to them.

If you do not have an enquiry sheet to complete when a client calls, promoting these and many other questions you need answered, email the team at Conversion Management, who will send one to you.

And if you'd like to chat to the VenueNow team about your listing's pricing data or content, email

Nicole Bates is Australia’s leading expert in sales and management for the meetings and events industry. Driven by a passion to build meeting and events businesses to be the best they can be, Nicole founded Conversion Management in 2016. Through Conversion, Nicole works with her clients to seize their potential, to convert prospects into clients, and to help venues and suppliers transform into profitable powerhouses.

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