You might be seeing increased competition from the new venue down the street. Or you have state of the art venue amenities and are wondering how to book more events business in the near future. Whatever the case may be for you and your venue, we have the low-down on how to market a venue. Here are our four lessons (and actions you can take) on brand awareness for venues.
1. Get social with your followers
Event venues have a huge advantage in social media content creation as they always have something new and different to promote and talk about. Use your current events, concerts, and shows to your advantage. Ensure an engaging social presence is a high-priority in your venue marketing efforts and create social assets that help you tell your story. Don’t skimp on high-resolution videos and pictures, but make sure a joint promotion plan is OK with your clients before you start rolling. Always ask about their sharing boundaries.
Start with some before event planning information and pictures to show how what your venue has to offer. Then get some “boots on the ground” and capture the event in real time. Use the organizer’s event hashtags and create engaging and compelling posts. Show your followers how amazing their event could be if they book your space.
2. Devise a digital advertising plan
In today’s digital world the use of PPC and display advertising can never be underestimated.
One of the first places planners turn to find a venue for their event is via the web. Make sure you know how to effectively target your audience in the digital realm. This could include but isn’t limited to search engines such as Google and Bing or social media outlets.
As a venue manager, you need to budget appropriately to compete with other venue spaces in your area. Knowing your target audience can help you zero in on unique keywords to optimize for that can help you stand out from the competition. For example, your city may be full of event venues. However, your venue is the only one with a rooftop. Use display ads to entice planners who are actively looking for venues with rooftop space. Run promotions and test different ways to encourage click-throughs. It could be photos of the space, sweeping video walkthroughs, or even the past clients who have hosted an event there. Start with a small budget, test what sticks, then repeat it.
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3. Network with the events community
Not everyone was born with the natural skill of networking. But don’t worry: it’s a skill that can be learned for both introverts and extroverts. For venue professionals, just know that it’s definitely part of the job description.
When you’re thinking of how to market a venue, think of networking as a means of generating word-of-mouth marketing. Show off the advantages of your venue that address a pain point that planners often experience to pique their interest. During a hectic event, it also helps to simply listen to the pain points planners to understand what they’re looking for in a venue then follow up if your venue can solve their issues.
Wonder where you can get networking? Planner-based associations such as the ILEA, PCMA, or MPI are great places to meet planners.
4. Go rogue with guerilla marketing
If your venue is already filled with customers (for example, if you’re a restaurant, brewery, or theater), you’re in a prime position to take advantage of guerilla marketing. In-person marketing can be extremely effective, and venues are the perfect place to implement these type of marketing plans. Guerilla marketing takes an innovative approach to marketing, executed in-person or digitally as an experience for the target buyer.
In venue spaces, there is a lot of non-client/ customer controlled spaces that are available to add a promotional touch. What if you posted up branding in areas such as bathrooms, lobbies, sidewalks, or foyers?
Wonder no more about how to market a venue: you now have the keys to jumpstart your efforts.
Brand awareness isn’t easy. What do you do to stay top of mind with planners? Give us a shout in the comments or let us know on LinkedIn.