As a venue manager, you need a rock-solid event marketing plan to attract more clients and grow your business. Without this, people won’t know about your venue or why they should run events there in the first place.
As always, it pays to map out your event marketing ideas. Taking the time to be strategic and create the right plan will help your marketing efforts have a more significant impact. We’ve created this guide to outline the steps you should take when devising your plan of action.
What is an Event Marketing Plan?
An event marketing plan is a strategy you create to build a strong brand and attract your target customers to your venue. An essential part of consistently running great events in your venue space is making it visible and appealing to the right audience.
A successful marketing strategy can cover a wide range of tactics to achieve this. It’s important to map these out intentionally so that promoting your brand and marketing your event venue becomes a much more efficient process.
How to Write a Winning Event Marketing Plan for Your Venue
1. Pinpoint Your Niche
The first step for an event venue manager involves defining your niche. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to narrow down your target market and refine your event marketing strategies (restaurant venues: get tips on this in our restaurant marketing strategies guide). In turn, you can target your audience with the right content and promotional messages.
So, start by establishing what niche your event falls under or what type of events you’d like to focus on. Maybe you want to be a wedding venue, a private dining venue, a go-to venue for corporate functions, or a live music space.
Whatever the case, each niche will involve targeting very different event planners and clients. Narrowing down your niche will help you join the right online communities and reach the right prospects.
When you do this, ensure you understand that niche's pain points and interests, and prepare your event venue to match this. Your venue has to offer the right solution for your niche, which is what you should highlight in your marketing efforts. This is your value proposition.
Of course, you also need to be aware of the market you’re working in and pay attention to any potential competitors. This will help you determine what elements your event marketing strategy might be missing or what opportunities exist to add to your strategy.
2. Jot Down Goals for Your Events
You need to have goals for your events if you’re going to market them effectively. Without these, you won’t be able to measure the impact of your event marketing strategies or understand whether your marketing is actually helping to grow your business.
Try to set goals that are as clear, concise, and actionable as possible. Don’t leave these goals too broad, as you may not be able to accurately measure them.
Some great examples of event marketing goals can be your number of event bookings per year, filling a number of seats, or optimal event attendance. You can also have broader goals, like “improve brand awareness,” but this needs to be attached to clear KPIs.
KPIs are what you use to measure your goals and understand their success. So if your goal is to improve brand awareness, some relevant KPIs can be increasing your social following or growing your email list to a certain figure.
Establishing goals at the start gives a clear direction for your event marketing. Instead of randomly promoting your venue, each type of promotion you run will have a clear purpose. This helps you achieve a greater impact.
3. Figure Out the Best Marketing Channels
There are loads of marketing channels available in our increasingly digital world. Before you start promoting your venue, you must have the proper channels at your disposal.
Don’t focus on too many promotional channels, as each will require time and effort. Instead, narrow down the ones that can potentially have the greatest impact on your brand. Choose these based on your target audience and marketing goals.
At a minimum, an event venue should have a great website (with an excellent event page) and a solid social media presence. As a local business, you should also focus on getting listings in local directories. A Google Business Profile (previously Google my Business) is a great place to start. Besides that, look around to see other directory options within your surrounding community and niche.
Choosing social media networks can be tricky as many different options are available. Typically, an event venue will have a Facebook page (optimized with links to your website, your location, and reviews) and an Instagram account (perfect for sharing images and videos of your venue).
You can explore other social media platforms, like TikTok, YouTube, or Pinterest. Just make sure that you have a clear strategy for how you will reach your target audience on each platform.
Remember that you’ll send traffic from these marketing channels to your event website or landing page. So it’s critical that your site displays enough vital information and is optimized for conversions. Including a helpful and informative blog is also a great way to attract more interested website visitors through SEO.
4. Devise an Email Marketing Campaign
Email is one of the best marketing channels for any kind of business. It’s reliable, consistent, and offers a great ROI. In fact, you can expect an impressive return of $36 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
When implementing email marketing, the first step is to build a mailing list. Do this by capturing leads through an email signup form on your website or blog. You can also capture emails through an event registration page.
Try to offer value to anyone who signs up for your email marketing - such as an exclusive discount or event planning tips. This can help you attract prospects, who you can nurture through strategic email sequences.
There are various email campaigns you can utilize once someone signs up for your mailing list. You can start by sending an automated drip campaign to help them understand your venue and develop some trust.
Of course, you should also send a regular newsletter with updates, news, and information about your venue. This is also a great place to share any helpful content your target audience might find interesting.
Sending direct mail to prospects is an excellent way to target them directly with important information on your venue.
5. Consider Marketing and Promotional Content to Share
The next step in your event marketing plan is considering your promotional material. This needs to align with the channels you’re using and the goals you want to achieve with your marketing strategy. Luckily, you have loads of different options available for promotional content in the event industry.
First, there’s your website. Ensure it’s updated with plenty of high-quality images and videos of your venue. Try to include testimonials and pictures of past events to help build trust.
You can apply these same elements to your social media channels. Attracting event planners or potential attendees is all about ensuring your venue looks amazing during event promotion. Having high-quality images from previous events will make a good impression.
User-generated content is also powerful on social media. This is where you get other people posting about your venue or brand, which can help you increase trust and boost engagement.
Similarly, don’t overlook the power of influencer marketing when you create your promotional event content. A well-planned influencer event program can significantly impact your event marketing strategy.
Another idea that gets traction is to run a giveaway or contest to help generate some buzz around your venue. Otherwise, there’s the option of running a paid promotion to help increase your reach and target the right audience.
Add the content plan to your marketing calendar and schedule it to be published appropriately for your event marketing timeline.
6. Line up Your Event Tech
A considerable portion of your venue and event’s success comes down to the tools you use to market and manage everything. The right software will help you stay more organized, improve communications with prospects and clients, and make you a stronger event marketer and manager.
On the marketing front, letting potential clients know what event tech you use to simplify event management can work in your favor. They will appreciate the fact that this can greatly streamline the processes of planning, organizing, and executing the event. As a result, you’ll be in better stead to land more clients.
Naturally, we recommend Perfect Venue for this purpose. The platform offers document templates, including proposals and BEOs, email templates, a central dashboard, integrated communications, and more to streamline operations. Using a solution like this doesn’t only make your life as a venue manager easier, but it enhances your clients’ experiences as well.
Besides this, you need additional marketing tools to match your strategies - like a great website builder, email marketing software, scheduling tools for social media posts, and event planning tools.
Keep Monitoring Evaluation Metrics as You Go
Let’s go back to your initial event marketing goals. The final step in marketing your event venue is reviewing your evaluation metrics in line with your goals.
How successful are your marketing efforts? What changes do you need to make? What worked and what didn’t work?
These are all critical questions you can answer by reviewing your analytics. Doing this is vital for continually optimizing your campaigns and doing better for future events.
When writing your event marketing strategy, be intentional. Consider your niche, jot down your goals, find the best marketing channels, and imagine engaging content. Finally, use your event tech to reach your audience more efficiently and measure your efforts by monitoring KPIs.
Follow these steps, and you’ll have a successful event marketing plan. You’ll be able to attract the right clients, develop your brand, and ensure each upcoming event is organized more efficiently. Ultimately, this will boost the success of your event venue and help you grow your business far more effectively.
We’d love to show you around Perfect Venue’s event management software. We guarantee it will help supercharge your events and land more clients. Schedule a demo with our team today, or try the software for free to see if it fits your business.