As a new, or even existing venue, having a strong online presence is more than just a good idea. Venues that don’t have a decent online presence are discounting a huge opportunity to market and spread awareness of their venue. It’s important to have a solid social media presence, and to make the most of subscription-free third party services such as Venuemob.
Learn how to improve your venue’s online presence, create awareness, and get more bookings!
Humans are visual beings. When selling your space to event planners, the first thing they look for are the pictures. Having high-quality, beautiful imagery on your page is a crucial part of a strong online presence. Attractive imagery attracts enquiries. It’s as simple as that.
Think a couple of snaps on your mobile with a filter applied will suffice? Think again. You may get away with that for mobile browsing, with the resolution being smaller on a phone screen. But event planners typically prefer using a computer. So that picture of your function room with the Mayfair filter applied now looks stretched and grainy. Pass.
You want high-quality, HD, slightly adjusted photographs of your space, interiors and exteriors. Focus on the space, and varying set-ups (cocktail-style, banquet etc). Unless you’re renowned for your menu or cuisine, keep the food and drink pictures to a minimum. If the selling point of your venue is the unique space and ambiance, no-one is going to be swayed by photos of your mini quiche platter.
Opt for a professional photographer if you have the money to invest – and that’s how you should think of it, as an investment in your business. You can use the images on your Venuemob listing, on Facebook, Instagram, function PDFs.
If you’re on a slightly tighter budget, you could use an affordable agency such as Snappr to source your photographer. Or, even go online and search for a student photographer with a nice looking portfolio.
For those on a budget that’s tighter than two coats of paint, enlist the help of a very good friend with a DSLR camera to take some photos for you.
The cover image, or banner, is at the top of your Venuemob listing, and Facebook page. So, make sure you have a couple of wide shots. If you try to use a regular 600×400 pixel image in the banner, it’s going to stretch and look ugly – not a great first impression.
Add at least four regular-sized, ideally landscape, images of each space to your venue listing and social channels. Show the versatility of your space: different setups, lighting options and how it looks mid-event.
Consumers want to make informed choices. Displaying useful information is another critical element of a strong online presence.
At the top of the list is up-to-date function PDFs, detailing the package options available to customers for drinks, food, even AV. Ensure the PDF includes pricing. Customers have a budget in mind, and they want to know approximately how much it’s going to cost. Having up-to-date PDFs with pricing also limits the amount of unqualified leads you receive.
Second on the list is FAQs. These can be included in your PDF, and also separately added to your Venuemob listing. Don’t allow underage guests? Is there a security fee for events with over 50 guests? Can the host decorate the space? Adding FAQs allows the customer to make an informed choice, leading to a qualified enquiry.
Lastly, if it’s useful, add it! Floorplans are particularly handy for those planning to bring in their own furniture, entertainment or bar. It’s also a must for those planning a corporate event. Whatever you decide to add, make sure it’s useful to the customer, and up-to-date.
Whether deciding which gym to join, or what fridge to buy, consumers make a beeline for customer reviews.
Having positive customer reviews on your site goes a long way to improve your online presence. By featuring these positive reviews, customers are more likely to place trust in a venue to host their special event.
You can generate organic responses via social media, or, for newly-established businesses, send out a customer feedback survey to recent customers. Collate the positive reviews to be published.
For the negative reviews – take stock of what they’re telling you. You can soon work out those trying to give you constructive criticism, and those with an axe to grind. For example, “It took a really long time to order a drink at the bar, up to 20 minutes,” is fair. Perhaps you need to look at rostering on more bar staff for functions. But, “Finding parking was a nightmare! Had to park 10 minutes away,” isn’t really your fault, especially if you’re reasonably near public transport.
Having beautiful imagery on your listing is vital. But to form a more complete picture of your venue, add a small description detailing who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart from the rest.
It needn’t be an essay. A couple of paragraphs will do just fine. There’s no need to get bogged down in details such as your seated capacity or opening hours. All of this information is already available on your listing. Just keep it short and sharp, and persuasive. After all, this is your last chance to direct the customer to enquire with your venue, and get a booking.
Customers may find your venue online, but only if you’re scaling search results, reaching the top of their Facebook feed and trending on Pinterest. By investing a little thought and time into your online presence, you can help to strengthen your position in the marketplace, create awareness, and win more bookings.