Ian Robinson / Monday, May 08, 2017 / Categories: Opinion, Solutions, Event Management Tips to Sell More Banquet Event Orders Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely already know that people find out about your business online, largely via google search or social media. In fact, 71.67% of buyers start their purchasing journey with a google search (The State of Demand Generation 2013, Pardot). Given the important impact the online world has on the buying journey, it’s integral that you maximize your digital marketing impact to sell more banquet event orders. That’s the problem though, most organizations fail to truly leverage their event space and market appropriately. Most websites promote how great the product is (i.e. the event space) in an egotistical manner. You’ve likely seen them, generic pictures of plated food, boasting how great the renovated space is, and information about the various packages. While this information is important, it’s generic and doesn’t tell the buyer enough about the experience they can expect. It reminds me of a great keynote speech by David Meerman Scott (which you can actually view here: https://vimeo.com/channels/76141/6955359). David says marketers talk about their nameless, faceless prospects rather than truly understanding their buyers. He mentions that all hotel websites are built around selling the product egotistically – comfortable pillows, good food and location in the city. David proposes that hotel websites should create information for each individual type of buyer instead. The example he uses is marketing to the corporate travel manager who is concerned with great pricing more so than fluffy pillows. So instead of talking about the pillows, food and location in a one-size fits all approach, the website should create content for each type of potential buyer instead. If we were to apply David’s suggested approach to an event space, you would create content for different types of buyers, such as: couples looking to get married, business managers looking to host an event, large family reunions, etc. The act of creating content for different types of buyers is known as developing buyer personas, and there is plenty of information about this online. So, how do you put this marketing strategy in place for your banquet space? Here are some great ideas to promote the space: 1. Photo Galleries – For the meeting planner you might include how the event space looks when you arrange the room in different directions – like the stage at one end instead of the other. For the couple looking to get married, you might include galleries of other couples weddings at your venue, not just one photo but a set of photos of their wedding – this will provide future couples with inspiration for their wedding and associate that inspiration with your space. A great example of this can be found at the Art Gallery of Ontario, each photo takes you to an inspiring gallery of the event. 2. Social Media – Taking the photo galleries even further, you could post about events as they happen (or after) on social media. Chances are the customer will repost the content if you tag them which gets even more eyes on your event space. In fact, one of the latest event trends is to create a hashtag for the event, this makes it extremely easy for your marketing team to locate and share images of your space. 3. Blog – In the video, David suggests a blog post about great local wedding bands – something that would interest the couple looking to get married. Other relevant topics might be great local DJ’s, some unique prix-fix menu ideas, or the best local hotels (if your organization doesn’t have its own lodgings). The key when writing blogs is to not talk about how great you are - this is egotistical, people will see this as advertising and immediately ignore the content. When marketing in this manner, you need to focus not on what your product is or does, but what you want your buyers to think your product is or does. David says there are four ways to earn attention: (1) you can buy it with paid advertising, (2) beg for it (i.e. please write about us!) , (3) bug for it with sales people cold calling, or (4) earn it by creating fantastic and relevant content. The approach suggested above falls under the “earn attention” umbrella, and is by far the most cost-effective and efficient option – and few businesses can leverage the experience on offer moreso than banquet event spaces can. The customer is already creating the content for you with photographers and videographers which they’ve hired – and they generally want the world to know about their great event. So, if you want to sell more banquet event orders try the approach suggested by David. Should My Club Have A Public-Facing “Meet The Team” Page? Leveraging Facebook’s Recommendation Tool in the Hospitality Industry Print 2414 Please login or register to post comments.