As of today, 39 states have allowed restaurants to reopen for limited capacity dine-in service or have plans to do so in the coming days. And their customers are still going to have birthdays, celebrations, and weddings throughout the rest of the year, so they will be venue shopping.
But no matter what reopening stage your venue may be in, clients might not feel safe doing in-person site visits or meetings. Your venue needs to make sure they can connect with these customers virtually and give them all the information they need before they make a booking decision.
Here are a few tips on how your venue can connect with clients and prospects when you can’t meet in person.
Update your sales and marketing content
All of the content you use in marketing and the sales process needs to be up to date with any new offerings or post-coronavirus changes, including:
- Occupancy limits and dates for increased occupancy for your area, if possible
- Safety protocols
- Food and beverage changes or limitations — for example, some venues are pausing buffet service in order to allow guests to maintain social distancing
- Special packages tailored to post-pandemic limitations, such as microparties or elopements
- Floor plan options for smaller events — we recommend our partners AllSeated and socialtables to create floor plans
- Changes to contracts, cancellation policies, and pricing
In addition to the event details, you need to make sure your venue has a good digital first impression. Professional photos or video showing off your space with and without guests, a virtual tour of your venue, customer testimonials (video, text, or images with a testimonial quote), and easy-to-consume event packages in a PDF format will go a long way to help sway potential clients.
Prepare your Tripleseat account
Once everything is updated, upload your newest information to your Tripleseat account so you can easily share it with clients and prospects via three key Tripleseat features:
The first is Tripleseat’s document templates for banquet event orders, contracts, proposals, and much more. Modify existing documents or easily create new ones for any post-coronavirus event management.
Next is Tripleseat’s email templates. You can change existing templates or write new templates that have your up-to-date event information. In just a few clicks, you can build email templates, email signatures, and custom subject lines that pull in event details and documents.
The third feature is the guest portal, a personalized and branded web page for each customer that all of their event’s pertinent information including documents, discussions, and payments. Everything is accessible in real-time, online 24/7.
Promote early and often
When your content is ready, make it accessible to clients and prospects digitally so they have everything they need without leaving their home.
Add it to your website’s event page and make a note about it on the homepage of your website, with popups, and on your blog to tell people you are now booking for the rest of 2020. Share this information with your customers and prospects via your other digital marketing channels, including email and social media.
You don’t have to be open to start promoting events at your venue. If you have anything new to share, just want to reach out to customers to say hello, or want to post a nostalgic photo of past events, do it! The businesses that reach out now, get the word out, and grab attention will be the businesses that are top of mind later.
Get listed in an event venue directory
Creating or updating your profile on an event venue directory will be well worth the time. As more restaurants start to reopen, clients will be turning to these directories to help quickly and easily narrow down their search for the perfect venue from their laptop instead of visiting locations in person.
The Tripleseat Booking Network — which includes VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp — is used by tens of thousands of venues to promote their space. You should have a robust profile with as many high-resolution photos, details about your venue features, and current package options as possible in order to get found and get matched by the right customers. These guides from VENUES by Tripleseat and EventUp will help you optimize your listings.
Get the latest information on reopening
Tripleseat has been creating new content and resources for event professionals as they work to drive business during and after the pandemic. Find the latest content on Tripleseat’s blog; Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast; social media; Facebook group; and Zoom Social Hour roundtables.