If you’re not promoting your venue online, you might as well be invisible to event planners.
When we held our EventCamp conference earlier this year, we invited a panel of event planners to share what they really want from a venue. One priority they highlighted was the need to access venue information online. Event planners are busy and their first stop for finding a venue is a search engine. 49% of planners use the Internet as the primary way of finding an event venue.
Having a website isn’t enough, however. So we’ve pulled together these 6 marketing tips to help your venue stand out to event planners online:
1. Be in the right places
It’s important for your venue to be present across the typical locations that event planners might be searching. You absolutely need a website, and a presence on these sites:
- Tripleseat’s Venue Finder directory
Tripleseat customers can list their venue on our searchable directory by filling out a form that includes details and a description. More than 2,500 venues have been listed and accessed by event planners on our directory.
- Social media accounts
Social media can function as a search engine. Anyone can type a business name or do a search for Italian restaurants and a city name to look for Facebook pages that would have more information about the venue. If you’re not on social media or you have profiles and want to be more present, focus on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is the most popular social network, and Instagram is a great place for you to tell a visual story of your venue and the events you host.
- Google My Business
This is a no-brainer. Google is the most popular search engine, and using their tools can help elevate you to the top of a search. Create a free Google listing for your business, and you’ll have an official presence and your business information will be easily found in a Google search and on Google maps.
2. Provide up-to-date information
We just talked about several different online places for you to promote your business. These are just three of many ways event planners find information. You probably prefer that they always go to your website, but they might check out your Facebook page first and go no further than that. You never know and can’t control what potential clients will use for research, so it’s important that your venue’s information is correct and current no matter where you can be found online. Your address, phone number, and email address should be listed, as well as your social media profiles, menu, amenities, and types of events that you host.
3. Don’t hide your contact information
This was one of the biggest pain points we heard during EventCamp. Event planners are juggling many projects at once, and do not have time to look around and find your venue’s event contact person, their phone number, and their email address. Fortunately, Tripleseat’s Venue Finder, all social media profiles, and Google My Business display information in a consistent way that’s easy to access. But make sure it’s prominent and present on your website. List it in multiple places, such as your contact page and event information page.
4. Use the right keywords
Think about what keywords event planners might use to locate a venue like yours and use them across your online presence and marketing, and be specific. Use your city, state, and neighborhood. Talk about the type of cuisine you offer, what kind of clients and events you typically work with, and what times of day you can support events. Include keywords that describe what type of venue you are (cocktail lounge, conference center, recreational, etc.). The more search engines identify your business as being associated with those keywords, the more likely your venue will come up in a search.
5. Be visual
Event planners want to see photos of your function rooms, of course. But they want to see beyond the empty rooms and visualize how their event would look in that space. Post photos on your website and social profiles of all of your spaces and their basic setups, and photos from your corporate events, cocktail parties, wedding receptions, and any other type that you’ve hosted. This will make it easy for event planners to picture their event taking place there.
6. Share event options
Planners don’t need firm numbers, but they would like an idea of what options they’ll have for planning an event and some idea of cost. The details can always be tweaked later, but showing event planners what to expect will help provide them with more information and could be the final piece that influences them to book with you instead of a competitor. Post the options on your website and link to them from your social media profiles.
Interested in more marketing tips?
Check out our other blog posts on how to use email, social media, and more to promote your restaurant or venue.