A flawless event booking experience will surely win over more clients and generate greater sales for your event venue. But, to provide a streamlined customer journey, you need the right software and processes in place.
Your goal should be to get clients to discover your venue and complete event bookings without any friction along the way. The way to achieve this is to carefully consider your booking system and understand what steps, information, and guidance your potential customers need during the reservation process.
To get you started, this guide covers the most important tips and tactics needed to create a winning event booking experience for your venue.
How to Provide an Easy Event Bookings Experience For Your Venue
Streamlining the processes behind taking event bookings has two significant advantages. It also starts with your event management software.
The first advantage is it makes your life as an event venue manager easier. When bookings come in through your software, information is organized, and you can distribute tasks to the right team members at the right moments.
The other major advantage is it helps you generate more bookings. Customers can reserve event dates without worrying about venue double bookings, make bookings themselves, and trust you with their information.
Let’s look at these points in more detail and discover the elements to bring together to provide an easy event booking experience.
Have a Great Website
Your website is your most important online asset. It's the point where you drive all of your traffic from your marketing efforts. It’s also the place where you provide information on your venue, educate clients, and accept bookings.
So to maximize bookings, you must ensure your website is secure, trustworthy, and optimized for conversions.
Let’s break down these three elements:
If you accept payments and event bookings through your website, use a secure and trusted online event booking software and payment processing tool. Make the booking process transparent, and include all necessary online security features to help clients feel confident and safe as they proceed on your website.
Incorporate plenty of elements into your website to build trust, such as positive reviews, customer testimonials, videos of past events, awards, and more. Clients want to see that your venue has offered other people positive experiences before they make a booking.
As a result, including forms of social proof and trust badges across your site (particularly on your booking pages) is important. This can improve event bookings and online registrations.
When visitors land on your website, your goal is to make them take action. This would be to book an event, which is a conversion.
You can optimize for conversions by:
- including clear, compelling booking CTAs across your website
- displaying the value of your venue by showing what’s included
- offering special deals or promotions
- highlighting benefits of booking your venue (such as your refund policy)
- adding trust signals (mentioned above)
- including any additional information prospects will want to know before making a booking
Use Efficient Booking Software
Your event management software usually provides a booking engine that allows you to take event bookings. Using the right software plays an essential role in how you shape the customer journey.
With your software, you should be able to accept bookings for your event space directly on your website without sending clients to an external site. This streamlines their journey.
Your booking solution should provide an effortless experience for clients, giving them access to all the information they need to make a quick venue booking. This process should avoid unnecessary steps which add friction to the customer journey.
Of course, using the right event booking software isn’t only for the client's experience. It also makes life easier for the event manager and organizer. For example, if you use event management software like Perfect Venue, you can access a wide range of tools and functions to enhance the booking experience and support the entire event lifecycle.
Bookings are made easy with streamlined client correspondence, digital proposals, online payments, and more. Then, after the reservations have been made, you can easily assign tasks to yourself or team members for pending and confirmed events.
In general, the software gives you access to a wide range of event planning tools to improve the event management process, as well as make online bookings a lot easier for everyone involved.
Create Eye-Catching and Simple Documents
A crucial part of your event booking experience involves the different documents you use for planning purposes, such as event proposals and BEOs. Making these documents stand out is vital for improving the booking experience you offer.
You need to ensure these documents provide all the necessary details customers want to know when booking your venue. This is why you must customize each document to match each person's specific needs and requests. The documents should also be easy to read and understand so that the potential customer can understand what the proposed event will look like.
The best way to create these documents is to use an event management platform with templates. Some event management solutions can also automatically update the documents you work on based on the information it holds. This makes it easier to create beautifully branded documents in a fraction of the time it would take to do it manually.
Ensure Secure Payment Processing
Any online event booking system needs to offer secure payment processing. This is essential for increasing online bookings and providing a positive customer experience when collecting payments.
Only use software that provides a secure payment gateway. This needs to display any relevant security badges and systems. If you use a payment provider for any invoices you send out to vendors, it's also crucial that payment processing is secure.
Without this, potential clients will be skeptical about making any bookings. This will slow down your booking process, cause areas of friction, and possibly result in lost sales.
Provide Centralized Communications
Strong event management involves excellent communication with your clients. You need to ensure you can respond to queries efficiently and offer the right information at the right time. Doing so will help you streamline the event booking experience, as customers will be able to see that your venue is easy to communicate with. This can be a major trust driver during the venue selection process.
The best way to centralize communications is through your dashboard on your event management software. For example, as a Perfect Venue client, one of your event software integrations is with your email provider, so you can manage all email communications directly from the platform.
There is also a library of email templates available. You can automatically fill in the event information and send automated emails much faster. With a solution like this, you can automate a lot of your communications.
This saves time while ensuring the right people get sent the right messages at the right time.
Having all your client and event information available in one central place will also make it much easier to stay on top of individual requests and communications. This is because you can easily access relevant information and pick up and respond to inquiries with the bigger picture in mind.
Set Up Automated Reminders
When it comes to providing a better experience around event bookings, using event automation is one of the best things you can do. Automating processes saves time while ensuring you always get the task done right. Setting up automated reminders is a great way to do this.
Use your event management software to send out automated event reminders to clients. You might want to remind them their event date is coming up or provide a nudge about making their next payment installment. This ensures everyone is always kept up to date with no extra effort required on your part.
You can also use your online event booking software to automate various steps in the buying journey and help you understand your leads and clients. For example, Perfect Venue can create automatic statuses in the system for new leads, proposals sent, and confirmed events. Automating these takes tasks off your plate as you know exactly what interaction should take place next.
In doing so, you save time while staying more organized. The more steps and tasks you can automate in the event booking process, the better.
We’ve already touched on the subject of building trust during the event booking process. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize reviews.
If you’ve ever wanted to book a service or buy a product online, one of the first things you might do is scroll to the review section to see what other customers say. This is because you want to understand your peers’ experiences before making a purchase decision. It’s the same for anyone looking to book your venue.
By displaying reviews throughout the booking journey, you provide more reasons for new clients to understand what you do and trust your business. If someone can see that other people have had a positive experience with your venue, there’s a better chance they will use it for their next event.
Try to incorporate reviews across the entire customer journey. Add reviews to your website, share positive reviews on social media, send out customer testimonials in your email communications, and add reviews to your booking and event pages. The more aware clients are about other customers’ successes, the more likely they will choose your venue.
To do this, you’ll need to have some kind of event feedback collection system in place. This could be through an online review platform or by simply contacting clients after their events and asking for feedback.
Create a Blog With Tips for Clients
Event venues shouldn't underestimate the power of a good blog. Your blog can do two things:
- Help improve your online visibility (SEO) and drive more traffic to your website
- Warm up leads with useful, relevant content
If you want to improve your event booking process, creating a blog with your target audience in mind is a good idea. This could be for event planners, people hosting private dinner parties, wedding planners, or more.
When you create a blog, ensure your content offers value to your prospective audience. Provide tips on how they can run a better event with your venue or offer inspiration to get them excited for the event. This will help them see more value in your event venue, and it will help to build trust.
By publishing a lot of relevant, helpful blog content, you can also use this content to attract new leads and improve the visibility of your event space. This is a great way to start the customer journey, which can help you make more event bookings.
Having blog content that matches the different stages of the customer journey is also important, as you can share relevant content throughout the booking process.
Quick Tips to Get More Bookings For Your Venue
We’ve covered some of the main strategies you can follow to enhance your event booking experience. Here are some additional quick tips to get more eyes on your venue:
Be Visible On Venue Directories
One of the best ways to get your venue noticed and increase bookings is to list your venue on as many local directories as possible.
Search for venue directories in your area, and set up a listing for your event space on these platforms. Of course, you should also have listings on all major online directories - like Google Business Profiles or TripAdvisor.
Focusing on specific directories that best match your venue or industry is also good idea. For example, wedding venues can reach out to directories that list wedding vendors, while eatertainment venues might join directories that list family-friendly things to do in the area.
Partner With Event Planners
One of the best ways to generate more bookings for your venue is to build strong relationships with local event planners. Reach out to as many relevant planners as you can find. Offer tours of your event space, and send all the details about your venue and what you offer. Providing virtual video tours is a great strategy, as this can help you get more event planners interested in your venue without having to host in-person tours first.
Providing special offers or discounts to event planners could also be a good idea. This could help you generate more recurring events from the planner. If you run multiple venues, having good relationships with event planners is essential, as they can offer different venue options of yours based on the client’s needs.
Focus on Marketing
To increase event bookings, you need to focus on marketing your venue. Without this, nobody will know about your event space in the first place.
Try to create a solid online presence through channels like social media, email marketing, and content marketing. You could also use your event space for marketing activities - such as promoting private events in your restaurant.
The more successful your marketing efforts are, the more interested leads you can attract to your venue. Check out our guide to writing an event venue marketing plan to help focus your approach.
Make Pricing Transparent
A good strategy for generating more online bookings is to make your venue pricing transparent. Showing how your venue is priced will help to develop trust with potential clients, as they will know exactly what you offer.
If you don't have a clear pricing strategy in place, clients might not be sure about what booking your venue would look like or whether they would be able to fit it into their event budget. This could result in lost bookings.
The steps and tactics above are some of the best ways for event venues to improve their booking experience and generate more revenue. It’s all about understanding the customer journey and ensuring the experience you provide through the booking process is positive.
You will find that using great event venue management software sets you up for success. Perfect Venue offers a comprehensive event management platform that event managers and hospitality groups can use to provide the best event experience possible.
Start a free trial to see how Perfect Venue can enhance your event management and booking process.