3 Marketing Trends Event Venues Should Know About


We’re only 3 short months away from the new year, and we know that event venues are already thinking about budgets and strategy for 2018.

Is marketing an important part of your strategy? It should be. I recently attended the Agents of Change conference and HubSpot’s Inbound conference to find out what marketing tactics the experts recommend to drive more leads. When you’re thinking about next year, be aware of these top three marketing trends to get results in 2018

1. Using marketing to improve customer service

The Internet has made it much easier for customers to get in touch with businesses, and for businesses to respond. But it’s happening a lot less than you may think. Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, spoke at Agents of Change and said that 40% of customers who post a complaint about a business on social media expect a reply in one hour. However, one-third of customer complaints are never answered.

Addressing these complaints goes a long way in developing trust and loyalty for your business. “People with a problem you can fix are quite literally the best customers you could ever have,” Jay said.

An example of a restaurant venue that’s gone above and beyond to address customer service online is Tripleseat customer Le Pain Quotidien. They wanted to improve their customer service, so they decided to audit all of the ways that customers communicated with them, and asked – online and in-person – for more feedback. They tripled the complaints, but discovered a lot of little things that were bothering people that the Le Pain Quotidien staff wasn’t aware of. They fixed the problems and found that complaints decreased.

2. Creating content that drives leads

If you have text on your website, post photos or videos, write blog posts, or send emails, your venue is creating content. But are you wasting time on creating content that’s not bringing you new business?

WordStream founder Larry Kim, who spoke at Inbound, suggested that business evaluate their blogs, social media posts, emails, and other content, and find the top 10 pieces that are driving traffic and new business. These top pieces of content are known as “unicorns” because they’re so rare. For example, while reviewing his own content, Larry found that only 8 of his 300 blog posts were performing at a high level.

Once you’ve identified your top content pieces, create pieces that focus on the same topics and customer needs. Then share them through social media, your blog posts, and your email marketing, as well as directly to your target market through pay per click and social ads. This will cause a bias formation: people will see your content but may not take action right away. When they do need your business, they’ll remember you because of your content and reach out.

French restaurant Mistral has figured out what works for their audience on Facebook. Beautiful photographs of their food, customer reviews, and posts about their private events regularly get high customer engagement, comments, and word-of-mouth marketing.

3. Boosting business with live video

Facebook is pushing its live video feature, so now is the perfect time to jump in and participate. If your venue is using social media marketing, Facebook Live will get you noticed because it’s a preferred way for customers to get information from businesses. According to Livestream, 82% of people prefer live video from a brand than other types of social media posts.

Small business and Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith, who spoke at Inbound, recommends that before you start livestreaming, you should consider the following questions to help shape your strategy:

  • What is your call to action to drive business?
  • Who is your video for?
  • What is the main theme or topic of your videos?
  • How long should your videos be?
  • Where will you share your video?

Tripleseat customer Feinstein’s 54 Below has been effectively using live video to show off their venue and drive business. They host live music as well as public and private events, and regularly broadcast live on Facebook to tease their upcoming calendar and amenities.

You don’t have to wait

Since you’re working to fill your bookings for the remainder of 2017, give these tactics a try now. You’ll know what works, what doesn’t and what will be best to carry over for your 2018 marketing.

Need more marketing advice?

Check out more blog posts on social media, email, and website marketing that will help restaurants, hotels and unique venues boost their business.