How to Increase Venue Sales and Bookings: 4 Top Tips
Learning how to effectively increase venue sales and bookings is vital for any event organizer.
Organizing a venue and hosting an event consumes a lot of time, energy and demands hard work.
Simply managing the event, on the day itself, does not guarantee an increase in venue sales or bookings.
A thorough venue marketing strategy plan has to be constructed and implemented that works for the venue and accommodates the needs of a certain event.
The traditional outlook – create a venue and the audience will come – does not work in the day and age of modern venue marketing.
Instead, a proper marketing plan decides the sales and number of bookings ranging from an event space or nightclub to even a wedding venue.
The secret to increasing venue sales lies in learning the necessary skills to implement a comprehensive plan and constantly evolving your strategy in terms of technical marketing techniques, including digital and traditional marketing mediums.
This guide will take you through the significant steps and the top tips to increase venue sales and increase bookings for your event space.
How to increase venue sales and bookings: 4 top tips
1. Form an effective marketing plan for your venue
The first step to learning how to increase venue sales and bookings and implement any marketing strategy is building a marketing plan.
The plan acts as a basic skeleton for your business, highlighting specific features and critical points that should be central to your overall advertising and marketing approach.
The plan should not be rigid and unchangeable, but rather it should be flexible enough to allow future edits and accommodate the potential growth your venue holds.
The major sections to focus on when developing your marketing plan are:
– Who is your audience?
– What are your goals and objectives?
– How visible is your venue?
– What marketing platforms and mediums are suited for you?
– What is your marketing budget?
– Is your plan working?
1. Who are you selling to?
Even before starting a business, the first thing to know is who exactly are your buyers?
No matter how big or small, a marketing plan or a business cannot function well without understanding its target audience.
In other words, you should know who your product (in this case your venue) is going to appeal to.
Who is going to be interested in your company/venue?
What are the age group, gender, likes, dislikes, interests of your primary target audience?
Is there something that your audience shares in common that may be related to your business?
To figure out what group forms the majority of your audience, think about the kinds of events you host or will be hosting.
Then, try to question what type of events bring the most profits and sales, what attracts the people’s attention the most, etc.
This can help narrow down your target group into smaller sub-categories.
Once you have collected all the data, you can easily discover the people attending your events, buying the most tickets or bookings, learn what content appeals to your target demographic the most, and create a persona for your customers.
Some aspects to consider while building your ideal customer profile are age, income, location (of the venue, and where are your customers coming from), potential interests, occupation, wants and needs, and their expectations from their ideal venue.
2. What does your venue hope to achieve – what are your goals and objectives?
While structuring your marketing plan, you need to have a clear vision of where you want to go with your venue and business, some of the goals you want to achieve, and your key objectives to accomplish by implementing this strategy.
In this case, goals refer to the checklist you want to complete with your marketing efforts.
Obviously, if you are reading this guide, you want to know how to increase venue sales and increase bookings.
Other goals can be having a full house every night we host a big event or having three big bookings a month to drive sales.
Initially, you should probably keep your goals limited to a few, maybe one or three.
These targets should be realistic for your business and should account for where you stand currently in the market and the available resources within your reach.
Objectives differ slightly from goals.
Objectives are more specific and clearly highlight what you need to do to reach your goals eventually.
This could include getting 5,000 more followers on your social media accounts.
Mapping out your goals and objectives puts an abstract plan into action.
You will know what to do and which steps to take next with a proper figure in mind, a medium to work on, and an end target.
This is where your venue marketing strategy plan starts taking shape.
3. How visible is your venue?
Any marketing strategy hinges on its visibility.
Suppose people can easily find your ads or social media page or wherever you may be interacting with your audience.
In that case, you are likely to get more venue sales and bookings than your competitor.
An audit of your current marketing activities will let you know how discoverable your venue is present.
This means determining the effectiveness, success, and marketing costs of the marketing initiatives you have in place.
Knowing how well your current initiatives are doing lets you plan.
This will also give you an idea of the platforms and mediums you can develop on and where you interact with your audience the most.
Remember, it won’t matter how well you execute your actual operations or how smooth an event goes unless people know about it and you get good sales.
4. What marketing platforms and mediums are suited for you?
In the last step, you completed a marketing audit which gave you an idea of your current audience interaction and the visibility of your business.
Next, you have to decide the marketing platform that works best for you and create strategies and initiatives that are aligned to that as well as complementary to each other.
Say you have an established website. It is regularly updated and appears on the top of Google searches and local directories.
It, in general, is well received on the internet and by your target audience. So, if you want to increase venue sales, maybe think of expanding and investing in online marketing.
Consider adding blogs, informational posts, articles about your events, add photos and videos, or even a vlog to pique the interest of more people.
Dive into social media. Create an Instagram page linking it to your website, which complements your existing site to drive traffic, sales, and bookings.
5. Budgeting and Analysis
Budgeting is an essential component of an effective marketing plan.
You need to know how much money you can invest, how much you are investing currently, where that investment is going, how it is being used, and can there be a more successful alternative?
In addition, you have to constantly check reports and growth, making sure each penny has an impact in terms of revenue.
You need to monitor and analyze your marketing plan and all the aspects involved regularly.
It is important for you to understand how effective and well-received your current plan is.
For example, has there been an increase in venue sales and bookings, or do you need to tweak your strategy?
Marketing is a continuous and evolving process for any company to grow. Therefore, it requires constant attention and development to be effective.
2. Sales and price
From the price of each event ticket to discounts, pricing strategies and discounts play a vital role in the venue sales, bookings, and overall revenue.
The sales and price aspect affects an individual event, the profit you make and your brand image, visibility of your business, how consumers and your target audience perceive your business, and ultimately how successful you may be in the long run.
Here are a few pricings and sales tips to consider for an increase in venue sales and bookings.
1. Get the price right
The first thing to do is set a realistic price for your event tickets.
This is the fundamental action to build upon and probably the most effective way to boost sales. Setting the price bar too high means nobody is coming.
On the other hand, setting the price bar too low means losing profits and not covering operational costs.
The simplest pricing method to decide a fair event ticket cost involves figuring out the breakeven point.
When you aren’t losing any money and are only earning expected profits rather than gaining a sustainable income is described as the breakeven point.
To put it simply, it is the minimum cost you need to cover to keep your business running or the minimum ticket price = total event costs ➗ expected number of attendees.
Now, you know the minimum amount you need to make. However, the actual ticket price will be the breakeven point plus whatever amount of profit per ticket you want to earn.
This needs to be decided by several factors like your competitive position.
Are there similar events in the area? How much more expensive or cheaper are your tickets than other related businesses? What is your standing in the current market? How well is your brand received?
2. Try tiered pricing
The breakeven pricing method determines the standard price for your event tickets. This is the most basic approach to pricing and results in uniform sales if done right.
Tiered pricing offers a range of different ticket prices with a few perks, based on what people are willing to pay.
Take VIP tickets as an example.
They could be the most expensive ones giving you the most profits.
The VIP tickets will permit special treatment like skipping the queue or a free while, with the most basic pricing, the standard ticket will allot no additional perks.
The pricing and perks could vary depending on an event, season, etc. The key is to be creative and identify relevant bonuses for relevant events and audiences.
Tiered pricing benefits you and the customers as well. You will be getting the maximum number of people.
This means an increase in venue sales by ensuring that most people can afford to come to your event while earning extra revenue from guests willing to pay more.
3. Smart discounts
Who doesn’t love discounts?
Discounts are the best way to reward action and give people the gentle nudge they need to buy your venue tickets.
A great way to do this is by offering a percentage off the ticket price for every three extra friends a guest brings or through referrals.
So while you will be giving a discount to one customer, you will be gaining new ones simultaneously, leading to an increase in sales. Another example is by allowing discounts for a specific community or forum that would be particularly interested in your event.
3. Invest in digital marketing
Digital marketing is the new big way to make your brand known and visible, connect with your audience, and boost sales. Several elements come under the umbrella of digital marketing:
– Building your website
– Linking- backlinking, crosslinking, etc
– Directories, reviews, forums, community sites, etc
– Search engine optimization (SEO)
– Online advertising
– Email marketing
Having your own well-designed and established website that is maintained and constantly updated to match the theme of your venue business is the first steppingstone in the ocean of digital marketing.
Adding various elements like blogs, videos, photos, and links along with integrating SEO tactics to increase your SERP ranking and overall visibility is what digital marketing is all about.
You want your site and business to be active on all related forums, communities, reputed review pages, and directories.
Your business will be the first people spot when they search for an event venue-related keyword. Social media marketing in itself is so massive that it forms a genre of its own.
Maintaining business pages on all the big social media platforms where your target audience may discover you are important.
Interacting with your audience, sending them highlights, posting about events and artists, and adding advertisement and sponsorship to the mix is a sure way to boost sales and bookings.
4. Traditional marketing
While digital marketing does its job, let’s not forget the effectiveness of traditional marketing as well.
A complementary and comprehensive marketing strategy will always include some aspects of traditional marketing.
Not only is it effective, but it sometimes can bring in the extra customers you need to see a considerable increase in sales and booking margins.
The first aspect is polishing your business. This means showing off your skilled staff, serving good food and drinks with a big smile, offering the best customer service, taking in feedback, and working on good advice.
Other effective strategies could be interacting with the local target audience like visiting a college campus or putting up attractive flyers or billboards in the downtown area.
Handing out pretty business cards, participating in radio shows, airing ads, relevant and networking within the industry to get the best gigs will also come under traditional marketing.