Venue-Marketing-101-Social-Tables

Venue Marketing 101: How Improving Discoverability Generates More Event Leads

How much do you feel you still truly understand venue marketing in today’s ever-involving digital world of snaps, stories, fluctuating industry relationships and new commission structures?

Does putting hospitality first still matter, or now is it something else entirely?

Can you still actually influence your sales process the way you once did by simply being your awesome self?

The answer?

Sort of. But you need to do it with intent now more than ever.

Allow me to explain how increasing your venue’s discoverability actually generates more sales leads, and offer you a blueprint to make sure you’re doing it well, and with resolve.

To add a little something extra to your game plan this year, we tucked in 50+ solid venue marketing ideas (some in each of the categories below) you can start using immediately to rev up your discoverability.

Step 1: Understand your Venue Marketing Discoverability Influence

Venue Marketing Easy as PieTimes…they be a changin’.

Now, your ability to influence and reach others is largely determined by how well you can think about the connection between venue discoverability and the leads each piece of the pie helps produce.

And really, who doesn’t like thinking about pie? 🥧

Am I right?

The easiest way to think about this is through what I like to call …

The Venue Marketing Discoverability Influence Model

Venue-Marketing-Social Tables-Venue-Influence-Model-a

I prefer to think about this model in rings, or four (4) circles of influence.

It starts in the middle…the smallest area with the highest amount of influence.

Working our way from the center to the edge, we have:

  1. In-person influence
  2. Referral network
  3. Social channels
  4. Web and other public presence

Transversely, reach works the opposite direction and is the largest from the outside (web and public channels) and gets smaller and smaller as you move toward the middle.

Influence and reach are two important, yet different factors in the venue marketing discoverability model and we’ll talk about why both are so valuable.

Once you understand how these factors are built over time, you can focus on the venue marketing and event lead generation strategies within each category that produce the best sales outcomes today, this month, this quarter and this year.

Step 2: Evaluate your In-Person Influence Techniques

Venue-Marketing-Personal-InfluenceThere’s nothing more satisfying that cultivating wonderful relationships with trusted partners and friends over many years as a successful sales, catering or venue manager.

You take significant pride in you work and it shows. People come to rely on you and know they can count on you to get what they need to make their meeting, event or gala perfect every time.

And, they know they can trust you to give them the best offer you’re able to craft given their specific budget, logistics and space requirements.

These relationships are the bread and butter of your sales pipeline, and your success. They are built from the ground up and are the hallmark of hospitality.

While real-life personal connections may be the most influential way to turn existing relationships into repeat business, it’s the area with the least amount of reach so you must make each relationship really count. (After all, you’re bound by geography, access and time.)

Increase your in-person influence by squeezing the most out of every opportunity.

Here’s a list of ways to ramp up your venue marketing oomph in this first category:

1. Say Thanks. (And Mean It.)

Venue Marketing 101It’s one thing to go through the motions of thanking a client for their business; it’s quite another to be the type of person that remembers to reach out to them all year long to call back to your last time working together.

Never miss an opportunity to let someone know how much you mean to them by staying connected. Event and meeting planners do notice those venue partners that have a reason to pick up the phone and call for something other than a sale.

2. Always be Selling Supporting.

When you start to think of your clients as partners instead of revenue targets, you’ll move outside of a seller’s mindset into a supporter role.

This means constantly looking for ways to add value, share stories and really help solve problems.

Imagine you were helping your favorite friend solve a problem and you were going to be a hero once you did.

You know that warm feeling you’re getting? Think about it like that.

3. Always be Kind.

Some of the most influential people in the world capture the hearts and minds of many by simply remembering to be kind.

This comes quite naturally for some, and is a bit more work for others. The stresses of sales and revenue targets can sometimes get in the way of focusing on the humans you’re dealing with.

Remember, this is a tight-knit industry and your reputation often will precede you.

Are you crafting one you’d be proud of?

People change roles, so the person you’re working with today may be even more influential tomorrow, or may end up being your boss’ boss some day.

Make sure the image you’re projecting in people’s minds is one of a pleasant, joyful, reliable and kind person. (The kind they’d like to do business with.)

Drive direct group sales 
and foster planner loyalty.

4. Banish Business Card Boredom.

Consider adding one of any numerous #eventtech tools to your events and venue marketing plan to make the exchange of information easier. Consider an information-sharing app like Socio which allows guests attending events to easily “shake” hands and exchange details without needing to enter a single thing on their laptops.

Also, get rid of that stack of cards on your desk that’s sitting there not doing you any good and get those entered pronto. 📇

(We see you…you know who you are.)

5. Make your Signature Sizzle.

Don’t waste that valuable real estate in your signature block and miss a chance to tell a story and make finding information about you and your venue much easier. Consider adding a new link, call to action, helpful tool or venue space feature to your signature block every month.

Adding your venue’s social media icons and online booking link is also mighty handy, as well as perhaps a current photo of yourself for those that met you recently.

If you’re at a larger brand and have hundreds or thousands of signatures to manage, consider a signature marketing management tool like Sigstr which puts the power of signature marketing in the hands of your venue marketing masterminds.

6. Coffee or Tea? Drinks on Me.

Don’t miss a chance to have new friends over for coffee, tea, cocktails or lunch if your venue has a catering operation.

It’s an easy way to entice people to spend time with you, but for you to (more importantly) get to know them much better.

Having a nice bank of conversation starters handy is a smart move so you can make sure the time is enjoyable, lively and meaningful for you both. Think of the conversation like a tennis match – where you volley for the floor and split the time speaking evenly.

Ask your client contact if there’s someone they work with that they feel would enjoy joining you and invite a third person to be your guest and learn more about their business from two perspectives, thus doubling your networking potential.

7. Show and Tell Stories.

Think about the unique stories and history your venue has to offer clients and prospects and craft stories around those spaces.

It’s much easier to remember that a famous singer, celebrity or president once stayed in your historic venue than it is to remember the name of your ballroom.

Spend some time rehearsing your venue tour and important little details that will make the tour stand out in people’s minds, and leave a little space tucked in their memory for some time to come.

They can read the packet. What can you do to make the packet come alive? Do more of that.

8. Network like a Boss.

You’re missing huge opportunities if you’re always stuck in the office. Make sure you dedicate time in your schedule each week to do some serious networking.

One of the first things I noticed when I started my event tech business several years ago was the sharp uptick in job changes the events and hospitality industry has. (I clock it at nearly 20% per year.)

This means that 1 in 5 of all my industry colleagues does not end the year in the same place they started.

This is a lot of keep up with as a peer, but it’s also an enormous opportunity to meet an entire new batch of people at a new organization if your pal switches jobs.

9. Step Outside your Comfort Zone..and Industry.

Some networking is best done in an unfamiliar pond.

Pick a few relevant industries in your city and get to know some of players in their space. See if you can attend some networking or vendor functions. Consider attending or hosting a table at an awards gala.

Just plant some seeds in some new places this year to see if anything blossoms. It may surprise you to see what grows.

10. Liven it up on LinkedIn.

If you’re securing any corporate or meeting planner business, chances are you spend a significant amount of time doing some sleuthing on LinkedIn.

Consider joining some event industry LinkedIn groups and finding useful content to share on your own feed to your local audience. Think of each day as an opportunity to add value for others. Simply sharing stories more frequently may make clients and prospects keep you top of mind more often.

It’s also a great idea to make sure your LinkedIn profile accurately reflects your current role, what value you bring to the table and a professional photo that looks polished and current.

11. Have a Growth Goal.

Look at how many major clients or prospects you have today.

No matter whether it’s 10, 50, 100 or 5,000, you should have an idea about where you want that number to be at the end of the year and why. Who are you trying to get to know better? Which companies? Which planners? Jot down your plan to get there and meet those new folks.

Step 3: Grow your Referral Network

Your referral network is one of your best sales tools, because it’s both effective, and often like a free sales team out there spreading the good word on your behalf. 👍

And since referrals, through word-of-mouth marketing, are 2.5x more likely to produce results that other traditional advertising channels, it’s one of your most important opportunities for growth each year.

But how do you find and cultivate more referral sources, and how do you insert yourself into your community to elevate your profile in a meaningful way that is likely to produce new business?

When we think about referral discoverability, we want to focus on the types of referral practices that call back to our motto of “always be serving.”

If we think about our referral road map in this fashion, picking unique referral growth opportunities becomes a lot easier and more straightforward.

Here are numerous high-impact venue marketing referral ideas that can immediately increase your visibility and help new people learn about your honest approach to service where integrity reigns supreme and promises are kept.

12. Cherish more Charities.

Consider sponsoring a charity event, serving on a non-profit board or donating your venue space for a meaningful event in your community.

These are all excellent ways to connect you with dozens of new contacts in a short amount of time, and do something that makes everyone feel good at the end of the day.

Hosting the event also gives you a reason to drop a press release in the community, showcase the charity to your employees and other clients and spread the good word about their important work.

13. Vow to Volunteer.

Consider serving on a high-profile volunteer committee in your community, particularly if your city hosts major events and conventions.

Oftentimes the same people who volunteer for such activities have a passion for the event and hospitality industry and are well networked with the convention and visitors’ bureau too.

If major public sporting events or conventions aren’t your speed, consider other major charitable events or service day projects in your community. Your expertise should be welcomed and useful to the organizers, which makes it memorable.

14. Donate Meals to a Local Shelter.

One of my least favorite things to see in the event and hospitality industry is food waste, and it’s a shared concern worth addressing for many #eventprofs.

Thanks to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996, food donors and receiving agencies are now protected against liability so long as there was no gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Additionally, each state has passed their own Good Samaritan Laws that provide liability protection to good faith donors.

Setting up these relationships may take time and effort, and some work with the catering team, but the benefits are entirely worth it. If you’re unsure about tackling the process yourself, see if a food rescue program app is available in your area to make it easier.

15. Kiss ‘em. – Keep It Simple Silly.

Make it super simple for people to share your story, message and brand.

Creating batches of suggested sample text about the venue for your referrals with the right hyperlinks already included and information about your sales approach takes the work out of the equation for your best cheerleaders.

The same goes for sample social media posts and including links to review sites where you’re trying to get more exposure.

In short, what you’re trying to say is, “Please go here and help me do this one thing.”

16. Host an Industry Workshop.

Bring in an area educational guest speaker and invite clients and their network of friends and colleagues to attend for free with a promo code that you provide exclusively for them as another nod of thanks.

Additionally, also consider making public event tickets available for a fee, but the idea here is to remind people that you value them and their relationships, and you’re here to help them with their businesses. Having the paid ticket just reinforces that point.

Want to add even more value? Allow a select number of your best clients submit specific questions to the speaker in advance to make sure their most pressing questions are answered the day of the event. (And, this makes it more likely people will show too.)

17. Give a Gift.

Sweet!

Who doesn’t love the idea of a gift. Keep in mind, it’s your thoughtfulness that matters a whole lot more than the value of the item.

If you know about a few of their favorite things, make sure your gift means something special to them. Coffee? Sweets? Flowers? Free yoga class or in-office massage?

Almost anything works so long as it truly speaks to how much you value them.

* If anyone wants to send me cupcakes to thank me for this post, just drop me a line and I will send you my address post haste. 😊

18. Call Me Maybe.

Sometimes nothing matters as much as hearing your voice.

For your extra-special referrals, spend some time on the horn giving them a ring so they can hear just how happy their referral has made you.

It’s estimated that roughly 80% of your business will come from a mere 20% of your referrals, so these 20% should certainly get your white-glove treatment and the bulk of your attention.

We all know that taking just a little more time to tell someone “thank you” speaks volumes.

19. Practice Makes Perfect Process.

While getting your venue marketing discoverability and referral program established may seem difficult and time consuming, it need not be.

What you’ll want is to perfect a process, and then practice it regularly.

Consider creating a set number of follow-up items and tasks in your CRM for referrals and after each event to make sure you don’t forget an important step along the way.

To add a little more juice to your client’s event and your own discoverability, consider making your note of thanks to them public on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram (with links and photos if you have them) to recap the event, why it was an honor to serve them and how it was done flawlessly.

Remember, this post is mostly about them, and not about you. You’re helping to tell their story, and you’re simply part of the scene.

20. Get your Daily Dose.

It’s been suggested that a mere 15 minutes per day working on your referral network could lead to as many as 250 new referral relationships per year.

No matter if you achieve your goal through a daily practice, or batch your work into weekly chunks of time that work with your busy schedule, the idea here is to have your referral network discoverability endeavors be strategic and with a desired outcome so you can aim toward that goal with intent.

21. Make more Meaningful Connections.

It’s time to make each referral relationship matter more. In other words, it’s time to make them more meaningful.

In service to your referrals, consider asking them these three (3) important and thoughtful questions this year:

• What are you working on professionally I can help you achieve?
• What are you focusing on personally in case I have an idea?
• When you look back on the year, if you had one word to describe it, what do you hope it would be?

You’d be amazed at how these questions may open up the conversation to new, different and special opportunities to connect in a highly meaningful way for both of you.

Remember you have an entire box of crayons to work with and often we cut out an entire part of the color palette when we think of business contacts because we are not our whole, authentic selves.

This is one area where you can certainly color outside the lines for an approach that is entirely, and uniquely you.

22. Go Gaga for Google Alerts.

Set up Google alerts for all your important clients, as well as several keyword phrases that might be important to your community about new businesses opening or expanding, new conferences coming to town and new venues opening in your area.

Having an alert in place allows you to be one of the first people to congratulate members of your referral network on exciting new developments. You can also reach out to other local contacts about potential new pieces of business.

23. Reward the Repeats.

Make sure you continue to elevate your goodies to your repeat referral partners. We spoke previously about small gifts, and how 80% of your business is likely to come from a tiny (20%) sliver of your referral pool.

Make sure you carve out some time and attention to think about the rewards and incentives you might want to have in place for your more innovative, or steady referral partners.

You may want to offer special cash incentives as well if your budget and ethics programs allow for it.

24. Aim High for Big Boosts.

Try to start to cultivate relationships with some of the best peers in your industry, and with some of the most high-profile business owners in your area.

The larger your city, the more challenging this may be, but you can find an approach that’s right for you and moves you just a little outside your comfort zone to cozy up with some new people this year.

The company you keep can often be a reflection of your level of service, quality of work and personality, so be certain that your network is full of people with a great reputation.

25. Tackle an Trade Group Leadership Role.

There are quite a few industry-related trade organizations and associations and there may be several in your area.

Work on getting to know the committee requirements first, and then determine if you’re able to commit to a path of leadership over the next few board election cycles.

Having a leadership role in a local trade association allows your name, title and venue affiliation to be publicized in a number of places, thus increasing your discoverability more than you could on your own.

26. Mentor a Newbie.

Some of my most rewarding experiences come from my service to others in their learning and career journey. Navigating the event and hospitality industry and the world of business itself can be daunting and is full of unwritten rules you often discover on your own, sometimes through trial and error.

Wouldn’t it have been great to have someone tell you their best-kept secrets to success earlier in your career?

Make life just a little easier for someone else by taking them under your wing and setting them up for a path that’s slightly less bumpy than it needs to be.

Not only is mentorship personally rewarding, it often reduces turnover and makes the culture of any organization more cohesive and enjoyable.

27. Teach a Student the Ropes.

While mentorship can oftentimes be informal and not always done within your organization, adding hospitality students to your venue operation can dramatically change your capabilities to produce events, expand your business development research time and serve as a training ground for potential new hires.

Get to know the educational programs, deans and other influencers in your area so you can consider adding a formal event planning, catering or venue management internship program to your facility in the coming year if you don’t already have one.

Students who have positive experiences are likely to tell others and professors can also become great referral partners too.

28. Visit a College Campus.

Go back and speak to a class about your role and what skills are important for students entering the hospitality industry today.

Not only does this get your name and venue in front of an entire new batch of students, it elevates your profile with the university professors in your area as a reliable resource.

Step 4: Saturate your Social Channels

After you’ve mastered your in-person influence and your referral network is humming along and generating sales leads, it’s time to take another leap into the next circle and start to really focus on your social media channels and all the opportunities they present for your venue marketing discoverability and planning process.

Your social channels are one of the first opportunities to really grow your reach and influence with strangers who may not already be connected to you personally, or someone in your referral network.

There are dozens of individual social media marketing tactics you could experiment with testing for your event venue, and we’d need to talk all day to cover them, but with this list, you’ll at least be heading in the right direction no matter which channel you’re growing, or where you’re starting.

29. Stake your Claim.

The simplest thing any event venue could do immediately is make sure they’ve claimed all the appropriate usernames and social media handles for their venue on the most common social media channels.

Take time to fill out the text portions of each of these profiles fully, and create custom graphics that fit within the (very specific) profile photo areas, headers and any other branded content fields.

Even if you’re not using all the channels the same way, it will make finding your venue easier and help more people discover you wherever they may prefer to socialize.

30. Map It.

It is critically important to make sure your map point and pin on the largest search engines is accurate, current and reflects the actual public entrance location of your venue.

It’s also important to make sure that the directions being provided on the largest mapping programs takes guests the most logical way possible. (These issues can sometimes take weeks or months to correct, so it’s ideal to know about them as soon as possible.)

Similarly, it’s important to make sure the map, address and location information for your venue is entered correctly on all the social media channels that support it. Oftentimes social channels are linked between a variety of tools so this may mean that you’ll need to set up other sites that offer “check in” status, etc.

31. Standardize It.

Because you’ll be setting up similar information on so many social channels, it only makes sense to use the most consistent text possible.

Get in the habit of drafting standardized chunks of text (venue copy) to be used in a variety of places. Oftentimes you’ll be asked to provide both a brief (100 words) and a more lengthy description of your venue, team and facilities.

32. Pictures = 1000 Words.

They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but for a venue, I’d argue that an amazing shot could be worth millions in actual sales dollars.

Create an image library to incorporate into your social media strategy and add it to your bank of existing venue (text) copy. When photographers visit your venue and have mad skills, ask them if you’d be allowed to use any of their shots for promotional purposes with attribution.

Make this process easier by saving image files with the photographer’s name included, and also keep sample social media post copy handy.

33. Make Tagging Easy.

Make tagging your venue easier on all channels. Avoid extraneous characters like dashes or atypical spellings that will make it harder for people to predict your username on that channel, and make sure you take the time to go back in and request a custom URL if it’s available.

Take the Social Tables Twitter handle as an example. The closer the handle is to the way someone might actually type it on their phone or keyboard, the better.

Avoid the-venue-name-co and instead opt for something like @thevenuenameco. If the name is too frustrating to find people will skip that step.

34. Engage on Social.

Not only should you produce your own social content, you should also spend time engaging with others on social. Social engagement helps your own profiles perform better, tucks your branded profile images under the noses of several new people and gives some love back to those that care about the same topics you do.

Trying to decide how much time to spend on each channel? For a start, go where your customers are most frequently. Be seen on the channels your clients are actually using first, and don’t try to force them to come and find you somewhere else.

35. Share the Love.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the amount of time that social media might take, remember you don’t need to create all original posts.

It’s perfectly fine to mix up posts between your own work, vendors posting about events that occurred at your venue and other general interest stories your audience may enjoy.

It’s also nice to hand out a few accolades to partners who’ve been featured in the news, won awards or did some excellent work at partner location.

36. Get Good. Then Grow.

You don’t need to be an expert at every single channel out of the gate.

You’d be better off focusing your attention on one channel at a time, figuring out what works best for you there, and then moving on to the next one.

Start simple. Create a very basic plan for the year and for each month.

As you get a handle on major themes, you can then get more and more detailed per week, per day and finally per post and per channel. If you try to think about it from small to big, it gets very overwhelming very quickly.

37. Craft Channel Goals.

In order to be effective at your social media strategy and discoverability as a venue marketer, you really need to have an idea about what you’re hoping each channel will do for your venue.

In other words, you need social media channel goals.

We recently reviewed the nine (9) most important social media channels for event venues and ranked them in in our How to Market an Event Venue” downloadable eBook, and provided some sample goals for each channel.

Increasing your education about the most important channels for event venues should help you craft meaningful goals that can produce more immediate results.

38. Tackle Templates.

After you feel you have a strong idea about which social media channels warrant your time and attention, a handy tool to incorporate is social media templates. There are scads of templates available for everything from audits and plans, to posting to analytics.

It’s a great idea to just get a “lay of the land” first on the channel of choice, and then go digging from that point to see what else you might want to incorporate into your own venue marketing strategy.

39. Score a spot in a Social Media Circle.

Who says you have to grow alone?

In some ways, we’re all in the same boat and trying to increase our reach, influence and discoverability at the same time.

Consider approaching local or national vendors you work with regularly and asking them to join a social media pod or circle with you.

You can set the terms of the group, but the general philosophy is to help everyone perform better on social channels by simply making sure you share, comment and like each other’s content.

Make this process easier by setting up notifications for member posts so you’re sure you don’t miss anything from them and can immediately share it with your own comment or thumbs up, etc.

40. Whip up a Winner.

Consider running a contest on one or more of your social media channels to increase engagement, followers or drive new people to your website.

Social media contests can be as simple or as complex as you’d like and you can decide the length, prize value and promotional tactics that are right for your own venue marketing goals.

Just keep in mind that you’ll want to brush up on what words (free, like, win, contest, purchase, etc.) might be engagement limiting triggers for various channels when you run the contest, and that you don’t violate any sweepstakes laws in your area.

41. Venture into Video.

It’s estimated that video content is being produced and consumed faster today than ever before.

With more than 1B users on YouTube and more than 45% of Facebook and YouTube users watching more than one (1) hour of video per week, event venues would benefit from incorporating more video into their discoverability plans this year.

With the addition of Instagram stories, we can see that the integration between Facebook and Instagram will continue to become more refined, and likely more marketable (read: advertising dependent) for brands.

Befriend the videographers in your area and request access to real event footage if it is available. If you haven’t already, consider adding a YouTube channel (the second most frequented social media site in the world) to your venue marketing mix.

42. Advertise to Grow.

Don’t be afraid to test some paid advertising options, especially for your venue marketing discoverability goals.

Paid advertising, even in digital marketing, is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to introduce your venue to brand spankin’ new audiences.

The best way to test advertising is to start small and with a limited budget. This way you can test a variety of combinations of text, images, audiences and conversion goals to see what works.

With just a little dribble of money over a matter of days, you’ll have a better idea about what’s working and what’s not before you commit more serious dollars.

Just don’t make the mistake of testing too many variables at once with a variety of ads or you won’t be able to isolate which factors drove different outcomes.

43. Analyze and Adapt.

One of the hardest things to remember is to take a second, sit back and analyze your results.

We get a little caught up in just getting the social media content out on various channels, and forget we are allowed to adapt our approach to drive more venue growth.

Watch what happens on your social channels each week, and then look at the outcomes over a month. This should be enough data to start and see some trends on which channels are performing best for your venue, and at what times.

Focus on the channels that are producing, and review the channels that are not to determine whether or not a continued effort on the channel is warranted. It may be as simple as adapting your style or content on a specified channel to improve results.

44. Consider Outsourcing.

Now that we’re 44 items deep into our 52-part list, and you’ve already racked up hours of new venue discoverability ideas this year, you may be thinking that something’s gotta give and that managing the social media accounts seems like a good way to cut down the team’s load.

If you’re considering this approach, the next logical question you may ask yourself is how much should someone get paid to manage our venue’s social media?

The answer? It depends. 😳

The more work someone has to do in order to start, the more expensive it will be, and that can range from a few hundred bucks for something basic up to tens of thousands of dollars for the whole enchilada.

So keep your social media tools well organized and ready for a hand off so you can increase your likelihood of successful outsourcing pilot program and confirm whether or not it’s the right move for your venue now, or in the future.

Step 5: Wonder out to the Web

We’re finally wondering out into the wild, wild web and getting to the spot where reach grows exponentially, but influence takes a nose dive because it’s also the place billions of humans (about 4B to be exact) now spend their time when they want to search for new information.

So how can your event venue stand out in the crowd and be found? Or, at a minimum, how can you make sure you’re not lost in the shuffle?

As we round out our venue marketing discoverability idea list, we’re going to focus a handful of web-related and public items that are all but crucial to any event venue’s success.

This is a dense topic, so this is by no means a complete list, but it’s a great start to a successful web presence review.

45. Google Analytics.

What gets measured gets done.

One of the first things every event venue should have in place is accurate Google analytics tracking for their website with an official Google Anaytics account and tracking code.

This will help venue owners and venue marketers ensure that efforts invested in international, national, state and local activities can be considered equitably. The two important metrics for venues are likely referral source and medium. These help you see (at a glance) what’s driving interest your way.

Similar tracking capabilities are available from Bing, Facebook and Pinterest and are also worth incorporating into your website’s code.

46. Connect the Dots: Sales Leads + Social + Web.

While it would be ideal to have all of these tools come with their own magic genie to help you decipher the results, it doesn’t quite work that way.

While there are any number of third-party social media apps that might help you get a tweet out here, and a post there, connecting the dots between all these results and your own actual sales leads and revenue becomes trickier.

One way to increase a little clarity is to carefully track lead generation feedback on web forms and with in-person conversations.

The other way is through campaign tracking. This tool allows you to create a number of custom codes and referral sources for any page so you can see which performs best. This is a great way to learn more about both the people visiting your site who are completing a sales process, and also those who are not.

47. Single in on your SERPs.

One of the easiest things any venue owner or manager could do (even this afternoon) and have some luck increasing venue discoverability is taking a careful review of the first 10+ results of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for search terms you’d like to rank for.

Reviewing what’s already discoverable about your venue will help you identify any outdated information or holes, and it will also help you find some new opportunities. (Don’t forget to do the same with a quick image search as well.)

This is a useful practice at least once per quarter, or per year.

48. Dig into your Data.

Just as important as seeing what’s out in the great world wide web pointing back at your venue, is seeing what your venue is sharing with that digital world too.

Check your own website frequently for any missing or broken links, outdated photos or missing page information such as titles, subtitles, meta descriptions, alt text on images and similar bits and pieces that make it easier for web crawlers to accurately predict what your pages are about.

Also be certain you know the right keyword phrases that you’re working to incorporate on specific pages. If you see a page is no longer performing accurately in Google Analyics, try and determine why.

49. Understand the Nuance of Niche Directories.

Make sure you take every advantage of niche event venue directories.

Having complete and accurate information on a variety of venue search sites makes it easier for search engines to determine what your event venue’s website is about in your city and dramatically increases your venue discoverability with new event planners across the globe.

These sites also offer you a chance to increase your customer reviews and promote other special offers or amenities you may have.

It’s literally like opening the door to an entire new audience with very minimal work.

50. Make Virtual Visualization Easier.

As we expand to a more global marketplace, being able to provide a more accurate virtual experience to anyone, regardless of their location, becomes a more important venue discoverability factor.

If they can’t see it with their own eyes, we need to offer the next best option. Consider adding a lead capture tool to do just that.

Convert helps more event planners imagine your venue and their event more readily with a virtual walk-through tool.

51. Master your Market’s Available Tools.

We’ve focused a lot on big, global digital tools so far, but nothing beats pounding the pavement in your own backyard.

Make sure you’ve covered all your bases with your local Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and Tourism Board as a starting point.

Next, there may also be other business directories, books of lists, community calendars, media outlets and press contacts to update.

The key here is to try and make sure everyone you can reach in your city through these available tools knows who you are, what you do and what you offer in your event venue.

52. Mobile Matters. (As well as all these other data points).

It’s become increasingly important to make sure you have a web presence that is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate with minimal real estate.

While this aspect is certainly important, don’t overlook the importance of keeping these other data points handy for web visitors and event attendees too:

  • Phone Number. Publish a number that is able to receive both phone calls and texts.
  • Address. Make sure you address is easy to find on your website, all your social channels, all search engines, all venue directories and on all your staff signature blocks.
  • Public Email. Make sure you have a standard email you publicize so you do not miss a single lead.

Conclusion

Having a healthy mix of both influence and reach, is truly what increases your venue discoverability the fastest, and sets you up for the quickest venue marketing success.

Remember…

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”Earl Nightingale

These 50+ ideas are a great way to prime the pump for this year’s discoverability review, but you’re sure to have even more impressive outcomes after you begin your own journey and and discover exactly what works best for you, your team and your venue.

Here’s to you explorer!


Custom Graphics by Snappening // Icons from Gregor Cresnar for FlatIcon

Drive direct group sales 
and foster planner loyalty.

Crystal Grave

Crystal Grave is the founder of tech startup, Snappening — a search tool that curates event venues and professional event planners. She has 20+ years of marketing, sales, public relations, business development and hospitality experience. When she’s not scoping out new venues, she’s traveling across the United States, donating time to causes that are important to her or stopping to pet cats and dogs.