Corporate event planners can be extremely selective when searching for the right venue for their events.
They’re increasingly interested in hosting their events at unique locations, with the best acoustics, excellent accessibility, and unlimited parking among other amenities.
For many venue owners and managers, it can be a constant struggle to reach the standard where most event planners would even consider renting their locations.
Assuming that you’ve met most of the requirements and feel that your venue is ready for the big events, the next challenge is to get the venue in front of corporate event planners.
With increasing competition in the hospitality industry, this can be a challenge. Here are three tactics that can make the job easier, and generate more bookings for your venue.
Get listed in directories frequented by corporate event planners
Corporate event planners routinely check national and local directories to find the best venues for their events. Directories allow them to find, compare and contact multiple venues without having to perform multiple searches and visiting a variety of websites.
If you’ve not done so, you should definitely list your venue on as many directories as possible. For most retreat center owners, however, budgetary constraints can force them to choose to be listed on only a select few. When choosing directories to be listed on, consider the following:
How visible is the directory in search engine results?
In a recent research study by Forrester, 71 percent of consumers polled said they begin their journeys by using a search engine to discover new products and services (initiation), and 74 percent said they use search engines for consideration and purchasing.
Is the directory site mobile-friendly?
A recent study by Hitwise found that mobile search now accounts for approximately 58 percent of the overall search query volume in the U.S. If the directory site isn’t mobile friendly, it won’t rank high in Google’s mobile results, and could, therefore, cost you over half of your potential audience.
Tip: Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test site to see whether or not a directory site will rank high in mobile search results.
What other marketing services do you receive when you list your venue?
While search engine visibility is definitely important, it’s by no means the only way to connect with prospects. Before submitting your venue to an online directory, be sure to visit their benefits page to see what other marketing activities are offered.
Some directories offer multiple packages that include such things as email marketing, social media marketing and content marketing, guest blogging opportunities and special promotions that have the potential to drive significant amounts of traffic and increase brand awareness for your retreat center.
Tip: Visit our Member’s Benefits page and see what’s included in our 3 membership packages – all for just pennies a day.
Promote your corporate event facilities through the local Chamber of Commerce
Networking is one of the best ways to find clients in this industry. If you can make some strong connections in your local area, you’ll never run out of leads. Your local Chamber of Commerce, in particular, is a business partner you can always count on.
Chambers typically have events lined up throughout the year and prefer to use local venues. You can partner with them and have them host some of their events at your venue. Don’t stop there though. Go ahead and contact other convention bureaus in your area to see if they’d be open to co-hosting an event at your venue.
Tip: Click here to find a Chamber of Commerce in your area.
Build a strong online community to connect with corporate event planners
In the hospitality industry, as in most others, the brands that win are usually those that have a strong online presence, particularly on social media.
You need as many people as possible following you on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. You should share useful updates for your venue on Facebook, post compelling videos on YouTube, have a special #hashtag for your Twitter campaigns, and post high-quality photos of the venue on Instagram. Doing these things can help attract the attention of corporate event planners who are actively searching for facilities like yours!
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Are there other effective ways to market your retreat center that you’d like to share with our readers? Please post a comment below.