Bank Holidays, King’s Coronation, Father’s Day, major sporting events… these key events give us a huge opportunity to drive additional customers into our venues. A recent conversation with Ed Christmas from strategic sales and marketing experts ‘Bums on Seats’, highlighted that many hospitality and foodservice businesses are missing out on sales because they’re not jumping on the opportunities that these ‘key events’ offer.
Ed shared some valuable advice on how to get the most out of key dates and use them as a ‘reason to visit’ to drive footfall and sales and ultimately get those bums on seats!
- Create a yearly Sales Plan calendar including all key calendar events/holidays etc. Then go back through these to ensure you focus on the events that match and suit your customer profile and demographic.
- Focus your time on the biggest opportunity. For example; if your customer profile is majority under 25 there is no point in chasing “Mother’s Day” bookings. Don’t try to make your customer profile fit the event, the event has to fit your customers wants & needs!
- Look at your key calendar dates in 2022 to drive decisions for sales techniques for 2023! Last year’s data can help guide everything from your offering (e.g. do you need to cater for groups?), resource and marketing strategy (e.g. lead times indicate 4 weeks beforehand, people will book) and whether to contact previous enquiries to get them booked in this year (e.g. the enquiries rejected last year).
- Don’t forget key calendar events in YOUR locality. Look outside to what is going on in your local area, what is going to drive extra footfall and how can you capitalise on that extra footfall? Your key events calendar could include events such as; conferences, exhibitions, shows & lifestyle events (such as marathons, dry & vegan January) etc. Contact organisers for marketing swaps, become the official after party spot or simply plan out your paid advertising to capture those traveling in & out of the area.
- Utilise third party content. If your venue is listed on a third-party platform, make sure you are well versed in when their marketing campaigns are planned for around key dates. This will give you (usually complimentary or at a very small fee) additional exposure to any activity you have planned to their database of customers.
- Utilise alternative revenue streams. Key dates are not just great for filling your venue, they’re also opportunities to sell gift cards and experiences! Consider getting set up on a platform like Toggle – and creating some on-brand experiences as well as gift cards and market this alongside your in-venue campaign.