After more than a year of pandemic restrictions, hospitality venues are reopening and increasing their capacities for in-person events. We’re about six months away from the holiday season, the busiest time of the year for private dining and events, and your venue may need help bringing in consistent business until then.
Below, we want to focus on filling your sales bucket when the well seems a little dry.
1. Follow up on cold leads
First, keep track of all inquiries. This can be a tedious process with paper and pen, but if you’re using a private event software like Tripleseat, you can archive all leads automatically, as long as they’re in the system. When business is slow, go through leads that didn’t end up booking, and reach out to them to see if they have any events coming up that need a space. They may not be looking to book a company-wide blowout, but they may have an off-campus team meeting that would be fitting for private dining in one of your smaller spaces. You can also look into leads who hosted an annually occurring event in your space and reach out a few months before the date they picked the last time around.
2. Run a special
If a certain season seems to be slower than others, consider running a private dining special with a lower room fee or discount code. Alternatively, you can offer a comped amenity (like an onsite bartender or free valet parking) if the client meets a certain food and beverage minimum or guest count. When you decide what the details of your special are, don’t keep quiet! Post it on all of your social media channels and send an email newsletter to clients who have booked events with you in the past. Get the word out and space will fill.
3. Have a seasonal focus all year long
There’s a reason to celebrate every month of the year. Find that reason (or make one up! Spring Equinox soiree, anyone?) and promote it. The obvious examples are graduations and weddings, but your calendar should also include large conferences, festivals, and any other seasonal tourist attractions in your town. Connect with local universities, businesses, and your Chamber of Commerce to find organizations in search of event spaces. It is also worth experimenting with seasonal menu changes, and leveraging an outdoor or rooftop space if one is available.
4. Install a lead form on your homepage for inquiries
Allowing potential private dining customers to instantly inquire on your website with the Tripleseat lead form or TripleseatDirect 24/7 ensures you have correct contact information, and Tripleseat will automatically create a lead in your account. This eliminates a lot of the typical back-and-forth communication between potential bookers and your events team. The inquiry includes important event details such as desired date, time, and guest count. When the conversation begins within our event management software, the entire line of communication will be tracked and accessible to you and your team.
5. Do some “warm calling”
We get it, cold calling makes us all sweat. But the fact is, sometimes you have to go after business instead of waiting for it to come to you. With a little research and a friendly tone, you can warm up those calls and drum up solid business during slower months. Luckily, Gather’s time-saving features free up a lot of the time normally spent on admin work, leaving more time for proactive selling. Almost all companies host events at some point throughout the year, so you can save them time by reaching out first.
6. Build strategic partnerships
It’s beneficial to your business to intentionally partner with other non-competing businesses in your field, such as vendors commonly used during events. Knowing other professionals that complement the services your business offers positions you as an expert on the subject as well as allows you to offer thoughtful customer service. Also, your partners can share your specials and other marketing content with their social channels. This is advantageous for both your online marketing campaigns and positive word of mouth.
Tripleseat makes booking and event management easy
Tripleseat has all the features you need to generate event inquiries, manage your events, communicate with customers, and report on it all. Interested in giving it a shot at your venue? Schedule a free demo online.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Gather blog and written by Caroline Cox.