The best venue marketing plans create a clear way of utilising the ever-expanding marketing and communication channels available to promote your venue’s message. Strategies and plans need to be able to encompass both your venues key calendar dates while also being flexible enough to leverage the moment.
The starting point for your plans should begin with determining your event calendar. Create a spreadsheet of the year and plot where each of your events are within the calendar, then you can begin on building the messages you aim to send out regarding the event(s).
Ultimately your events venue marketing plan should be two fold. 1) a short to medium term strategy to promote the event at the heart of your marketing campaign and 2) a medium to long term strategy to build your venue and it’s reputation.
Remember, when developing your venue marketing plan, although your plan will need to align with your overall marketing objectives you will need to define what your individual objectives are for your venue marketing plan and the events there within.
Top Tip: When designing your events calendar use different colours for the differ types of event you are hosting; i.e. blue for weddings, green for conferences and seminars etc. This will enable you to see a quick view of any seasonal trends. This will allow you to tailor a larger campaign around that industry and plan early for the “season”.
Create marketing briefs for each event. A marketing brief with a list of bullet points of the key messages you aim to communicate and how these messages support the overall ambition and reputation of your venue.
If within your events calendar you find sections of the year devoted around one particular industry check with the editors of their industry publications regarding any opportunities available for articles that would highlight the venue along with it’s popularity and suitable for use as, for example, a conference or exhibition space. Typically a minimum of three months is required to get an editorial piece included within a publication.
Ensure your campaigns are creative and engaging. Look to give the recipient useful knowledge about the industry (and how your venue relates) and gain a reputation as a thought-leader within this industry. The growth and current emphasis being given to content marketing shows the demand and opportunity for content is there. This is achievable through delivering detailed information in the form of; blogs, newsletters and other publications that do not face the restrictions more traditional and immediate call-to-action formats have. Content marketing allows for more stronger and longer lasting relationships and reputations to be built with current and potential clients.
While taking the lead with marketing your venue, you, your sponsors, exhibitors and suppliers all share a common goal in ensuring the venue is as successful as possible. Motivate these stakeholders to participate in the promotion of your events and your venue. This can be through the use of social media with retweets and sharing your venues social media message, or through more thorough strategies involving their databases and publications or a moral formal partnership in having them run special competitions and giveaways through your venue.
Award ceremonies are great ways to improve your reputation, receive free industry publicity, and improve moral within your team. Remember to focus your time and energy on award applications that you feel would give your venue the greatest exposure towards a specific market.
When an event is drawing near, or with events that have short lead-times it is important to develop exciting and engaging campaigns that will have the largest strategic reach to potential attendees in a timely manner while also raising excitement for those already attending. This can be through social media campaign with hashtag mobility to push registration, or well-positioned fliers and posters as part of proximity marketing strategy.
As all marketers know, post-event feedback and interaction is pivotal to developing a positive relationship with your audience. Open communication and trust allows attendees to provide more detailed feedback, be it positive or negative, and allows for your venue to see your strengths and opportunities for development from a guests point of view. Encouraging attendees to leave their contact details at an event will allow you to capture their feedback more effectively and allow you to being building new relationships with potential new clients.