2 Simple Secrets to Booking Out Your Venue in the UK


By Minal Patel, Marketing by Minal

When it comes to generating bookings for your venue, you’ve tried it all, right? And you’re wondering if any of it was worth the effort. What if I told you that there are two tools that, used together, can get you the result you want?

Yes, I’m talking about social media and email marketing. Every business’s best friends. Both offer a relatively low-cost avenue to reach your target audience and lead to bookings.

It is tempting to get caught up in the latest trend, so tame that magpie in you by making sure the audience you want to reach will respond to that new trend you’re tempted to try.

Many venues thrive on local customers, so, whilst not a social network; you really need to add Google Business Profile into your mix.

As with any type of marketing, the proof of the pudding is in the planning! I will take you through several ways to use social media and email marketing to ensure your venue is buzzing with bookings.

1. Get to grips with social media

Love it or hate it, social media is great for generating awareness for all types of businesses. That includes yours. If you’re lucky enough to get lots of engagement on your posts, are you making the most of that? Are you leading people to a place where you capture their details to continue the conversation?

If you haven’t thought about that, now is the time to. No matter how much they deny it, social media platforms want users to spend as much time on their networks. What’s more, they own those users’ data. Yes, they are your followers, but you don’t own a scrap of their contact details.

Now, using social media and email marketing together is the smart move. So, before we get to how you can use email marketing, let’s talk about the type of content you can use on social media.

I’ll cover posts designed to get engagement – those all-important likes, comments, and shares – and things you can do to encourage your followers to hand over their email addresses.


These are the hot ticket now. Use of video in marketing has been growing and shows no signs of stopping. And you know what? You have plenty of content you can film around your venue. You’ll be amazed at all the things you’ll find.

And nowadays, video content does not have to be polished and shot by a pro. No! It can be created on a mobile phone, almost like a fly-on-the-wall documentary. In fact, on Instagram Reels and TikTok (in particular), informal videos perform really well. You can enhance your videos by using filters, stickers, and other effects.

Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Show people around your venue. Pick one aspect per video and tell viewers why it’s so great and what it will add to their event.
  • Spotlight your facilities. One thing that people always want to know about is parking. Show how people access your car park and tell them how many spaces you have.
  • Feature your team. Your clients will meet various team members during their events. Seeing them ahead of time will help familiarise them with who’s who.


Facebook and Instagram Stories are bite-sized pieces of content that disappear after 24 hours. You might be wondering what the point of that? Well, on both platforms, Stories appear at the top of people’s newsfeeds. It’s the first thing they see. And, at the time of writing, they are underused on Facebook, which means you have the opportunity to stand out!

Let’s look at some examples of what you could create:

  • Entice people with the types of food they might have. It’s a really great way to show off your popular dishes or even your seasonal menus. No one can resist photos or videos of food.
  • Have a cocktail mixologist on your team? Share photos and videos of them mixing cocktails. Feature your cocktail of the month.
  • Offer a piece of content or a special/discount in exchange for an email address. Instagram Stories have link stickers, which means you can link directly to a sign-up page.


These work brilliantly on social media. And they are a great way to capture email addresses. The prize has to be enticing enough for people to want to enter. And don’t forget to share your terms and conditions, which should include the value of the prize you’re giving away, the competition end date, and a few other details. If you have an in-house legal team, it’s a good idea to have them write these.

What could your prize be?

  • If you’re a wedding venue, you could offer one night’s accommodation for the bride and groom. It’s the perfect opportunity to show them how you can create a magical wedding for them.
  • Host parties for corporates? How about free drinks (up to a certain amount) for their party?
  • Offer private dining? Free dessert wine for all diners is a nice add-on (and means they’ll all order dessert!)

Social ads

Your bookings will likely come from within a certain radius of your venue. This is where Facebook ads come into their own. They are great because of their targeting parameters. You can choose all manner of things to target. But for you, age and location are probably the best. If you’re unsure how to set them up, work with an expert like my friend Katherine George and her team at Oh So Social Marketing.

What could your ads be about?

  • If you want bookings during a slower period, then an offer will go down well.
  • Looking to collect email addresses? Use a PDF that gives them some value in exchange for their email address.
  • Had a last-minute cancellation? Use an ad to fill it.

Google Business Profile

OK, not strictly social media. But did you know that nearly 60% of searches happen on mobile devices? For the food and beverage industry, it’s nearly 72%! People often search for “xx near me,” which means potential customers for you. Google is still the most popular search engine. So, you need to ensure your Google Business Profile is complete, including reviews.

But your Google Business Profile also allows you to post updates. That means you can reuse all the content I’ve talked about above. That’s more bang for your marketing buck!

2. Max out email marketing

It’s unlikely (but not unusual) that you’ll get bookings directly from social media. That’s why combining email marketing with social media is so powerful. Whilst social media gives you a platform to generate awareness for your business, email marketing helps you to build better relationships with your subscribers – on your terms.

When someone joins your email list, they are giving you permission to contact them. You own that piece of data. That means no fighting algorithms to get your content seen. Email marketing can give you better results. Emails get delivered over 90% of the time. Stack that up with organic social reach, which is 2% or lower.

The other thing with email marketing is the potential return on investment (ROI). According to the latest research from the Data and Marketing Association, you can expect a return of £35.41 for every £1 you spend on email marketing.

Let’s look at some ways you can use email marketing:

  • Remember that social media competition you set up? You’ll need to set up email automation to ensure all the entries are followed up. That means all entrants will get an email letting them know you got their entry. Setting up automation means you don’t have to worry about that email being sent.
  • All the enquiries you get will need an email follow-up (unless they left a phone number.) So be prepared for that by using another email automation. Perhaps offer a free consultation to help them understand how you can deliver the event they have in mind.
  • Don’t forget a regular newsletter that goes to previous customers, as well as prospects. Finding new customers is five times more expensive, so do your best to get repeat business. Newsletters help remind previous customers of you and your facilities.

Pro tips

When you have the basics set up, put these pro tips into action.

  • Don’t feel you always have to offer a discount to encourage bookings. Consider ways to encourage larger bookings, such as one free place for every 10 guests booked.
  • You should plan your email automation and activate them before you start your competition or download giveaways. One tool that will help you do it all is Constant Contact, a Tripleseat partner.
  • Constant Contact will also help you to send your regular emails. The reporting you get when you use it is key to your success.
  • Want a slightly more polished look for your videos and static images? Use Canva Pro to access all their helpful features and create assets that match your branding.


Digital marketing tools are powerful, no matter what size your business is. Combine social media and email marketing to help you find and convert customers. An integrated approach, with a touch of automation, will help streamline your prospects’ experience with your venue, which will only reinforce your brand and create loyalty.

About Minal Patel

Minal founded Marketing by Minal in 2016 to help time-strapped small business owners get to grips with marketing. She believes marketing is much like cooking. All you need is a recipe, a few basic ingredients, the right tools, and some practice, and you can learn to cook up your own marketing success. Using her 20+ years of marketing experience, she mentors all types of small business owners. Her tips are practical and actionable, giving business owners the tools and structure they need to find their inner marketer.