Whether you operate a conference center or special event venue, marketing your venue should be a top priority. Effective marketing strategies are integral in attracting event planners and gaining renters on a regular basis. Unique Venues CEO Chuck Salem is sharing his top tips for marketing a venue, so you can increase its exposure, attract your target audience, and ultimately acquire more business. We hope you use these marketing ideas for event venues to your advantage.
Partner with Your Local Chamber of Commerce
When it comes to venue marketing, networking is key. To get your name out there partner with your local or regional Chamber of Commerce to host an after-hours party to show off your venue and network with local businesses. You can do the same by partnering with your local Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Additionally, when you have a public event, see if these organizations would be interested in promoting it. By promoting your event, they can satisfy their own goal of attracting people to the town to drive local business.
Host a Local Committee Meeting
Volunteer to host a local meeting for an event planning group or committee. For instance, offer to host the next Meeting Professionals International (MPI) local group or chapter meeting. This will get event planning professionals through your doors to see how awesome your venue is. Also consider any local, regional or national industry committees you can get involved with and position yourself as a valuable resource for planning large events.
Get listed on a Directory
Many event planners turn to online event venue directories, such as Unique Venues, to find the best venues to host their events. Venues listed on Unique Venues are marketed to a network of over 70,000 meeting and event planners, connecting you to thousands of planners who are interested in your event space. Along with increasing your visibility, Unique Venues provides marketing assistance to ensure your listing is garnering leads and maximizing its potential. In addition to directories, make your venue visible in top publications, including Unique Venues Magazine.
Build a Following
In this digital age, it's essential to market your venue online. Tap into social media to increase awareness of your venue and build a strong following. Create a profile for your venue on all the major social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Stay active on these platforms and provide incentives for meeting planners to follow and engage with you. Along with promoting your venue, share industry news and offer new insight that offers value to your audience.
Implement a robust Facebook ad campaign to target the type of event planners, businesses, and individual clientele that would be interested in your venue. For any events held at your venue, create a Twitter hashtag. Combine your venue name with the conference title in the hashtag, so your venue becomes part of the message.
Increase Your Credibility
Establish yourself as an industry thought leader. Positioning yourself as an industry leader builds credibility and interest in your company. Build a strong reputation within the industry by presenting at regional and national conferences. Your presentations should provide meeting planners with valuable insight that will help them improve their operations, as well as put you in front of them for conversation and contact, from which leads will result.
Establish a Network of Similar Venues
Build up a network of venues that are similar to yours but in different regions of the country (i.e. Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, East Coast, and West Coast). This network will allow you to refer planners to similar venues that are not in direct competition with you, after they have already held an event at your venue. So, if someone asks, "Do you know any similar venues that we can hold our next conference at in the Pacific Northwest?" you can refer them to your partner venue. The other venues will return the favor and help you drive sales.
With these tips, you can successfully market your venue, build a strong reputation, and garner more leads.