First of all, I hope all of you are safe and sound during these crazy times 🙏🏼 If you didn't see my post a couple of weeks ago on Instagram and Facebook, I recently launched not only Event Consulting, Virtual Assisting for event professionals, as well as quick Virtual Consults to get a question or 2 answered, but I also launched Venue Consulting! With several years of experience in styled shoots, merchandising, product styling, business development, venue operations, marketing and more, it dawned on me, "Why don't I launch consulting just for venues!?" 1) I love helping small businesses, especially venues, and 2) I love being able to have them see their space in a new light whether they are getting ready to build or they're going through a rebrand. So with that, I wanted to get all you event venue readers started with these 3 Ways To Maximize Your Venue:
1) Make your space versatile.
A lot of venues make the mistake of creating and branding their space just as a wedding venue. Yes, weddings are a big money maker, but what are you doing during the week to bring in revenue? How about the off-peak season? You should be branding it where any event including productions such as fashion shows, music productions, art shows, etc. can be hosted in your space. Those events, for example, can be hosted all year round. This could be as easy as installing the right lighting in the rafters.
If you already have your space, it's not built in a versatile way and you can't add something like lighting, what can you do to at least create smaller spaces at an affordable price for those smaller events like showers, birthdays, dinner parties, etc.? Can you at least do something with your exterior to add a cute area? Event clients are just now realizing hosting an event at home is, 1) Not an experience, and 2) It's a pain to set up and clean-up, including prepping the home prior to (thinking about those grad parties and how parents spend money on landscaping, painting the house, etc.).
Are all your photos on your website and social media just wedding photos? Are you only listed on TheKnot.com? People want a visual, just like how sometimes you have the venue set up with guest tables so the tours can get a visual of what their event will look like in your space. Whenever we meet with venues and they realize that we can do more than just weddings like those productions we talked about, they always want to host an event with us OR they want to do a styled shoot so they have content.
If you do host an event or execute a styled shoot, make sure to create a content calendar and different galleries on your website. This will help with consistency, otherwise you may get overwhelmed now that you're marketing your space for a variety of event types. Remember, always make everything user-friendly, visually and verbally.
3) Create partnerships.
Every venue (for the most part) have a preferred vendors list, but are you maximizing those relationships to the fullest? Are you hosting preferred vendor parties where you actually get to know them and show your appreciation? Are you conducting styled shoots with them? Are you out there creating NEW relationships, including vendors that reach out TO YOU?
One thing I quickly mentioned above, are styled shoots. Creating content on a consistent basis is so important nowadays. When it comes to this, 1) Who are those vendors that have your current audience and look right now, and 2) Who are those vendors who have the look and audience of where you WANT TO BE in the future? I'll be honest and say that our market has changed to luxury so moving forward, that look and feel will be the only images and content you'll see on our pages. It does take time, so don't fret. You want to take the time to get it right, including writing out your yearly goals and figuring out who are those people you are currently reaching and where do you actually want to go. Once you find that, surround yourself with similar vendors.
There are so many other ways you can maximize your space including business development, digging deep into your branding including your look and feel of your website, even staffing! You can learn more about our services here. In the meantime, I really do hope this blog post helps you and at least gets you thinking about your new business plan.
Till next time,
Photo credits: Photographer- McKeehen Photography, Floral- our in-house florist Lara Cornell, Placemats+Candles+Glassware & Flatware- Revel & Flourish,
Venue & Catering- Food Building