Selling events right now may not be as easy as it normally should be because of decreased budgets and limiting restrictions, but that does not mean it is impossible. There are many things that your restaurant, hotel, or unique venue can be doing right now to increase marketing efforts for events, particularly on social media.
So, when it comes to creating photo and video content to drive more event business, what are some tactics that you can try? Take a look at the list below to see what ideas tend to work and if they can be incorporated into your own marketing plans.
1. Food-focused content
Many venues are currently split between trying to promote very regulated and restricted on-site events following the guidelines relevant to their state or else promoting off-site catering. Regardless of the location of the event, the client will always be booking some assortment of food and drink items that your venue can provide. This means that focusing on food content for your social media posts could be beneficial. Post a photograph of a catered display all set up how it would look in someone’s home or the delicious spread laid out on your tables. Share the details behind how the food is made and what makes it a unique dining experience at your venue. There are countless ways to describe and show just how memorable your menu is to a potential event client.
2. Trendy offerings
What can you offer at an on-site event or a catered experience that other venues may not have? Once you identify that special feature, then be sure to include it in your marketing efforts! Maybe you have a special queso fountain that a group could bring into their own home along with trays of taco ingredients and a margarita machine. These could be the elements to someone’s dream birthday celebration and once this individual sees that your restaurant can bring this to life, your restaurant will be sure to get the inquiry. But, clients will not be able to discover what unique experience you offer if it is not broadcasted on social media. Try a video to show a flourishing queso fountain and up-close photos of the drinks that can be created with the margarita machine. If you have a unique offering, then post about it!
3. Safety protocols
Restaurants and venues have been taking extra measures to promote safety protocols on their website, email marketing, and social media posts in order to make clients feel confident in their ability to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Create an infographic (with a tool like Canva) that shares what guests will see during an event with your venue, and provide bullets or images of the signage, hand washing, mask-wearing, and proper distancing enforced throughout the restaurant. If potential clients are on the fence about hosting an on-site event, be the reason that they feel safe to book with you once again when allowed. Even if groups are not ready to book in person yet, it is still important to show how your venue is taking extra precautions with food prep, delivery, and other elements of the catering process.
4. Throwback event photos
It is going to take some time for the world to fully get back to normal, but everyone likes to reminisce on times when things were, in fact, normal. Do this by posting throwback event photos on your social media accounts. You can post these anytime, but a lot of people on social media like to share these blasts from the past on Thursdays with the hashtag #TBT (Throwback Thursday). Show your customers how much you miss seeing their smiling faces during a successful evening and creating memorable event experiences for them. This is another way to demonstrate what you are capable of by showing in the photos and not directly selling in the form of a pitch. It also shows how much you care for the clients that choose to host their special moments at your venue, which is something that could be really important to a potential new client who stumbles across the social media posts you make. Show your genuine appreciation for your customers and outside vendors by sharing photos of what events with your venue normally look like.
Looking ahead to fall events
The official start of fall is one week away, and many restaurants and venues are looking for ways to accommodate in-house dining and events when the weather gets chilly. Check out this blog post to learn about how venues can transition from warm to cooler weather events.