With the growing value of face-to-face business events — they generated $1.03 trillion of direct spending in 2017, according to the Events Industry Council — venues and venues can no longer rely on nice food and clean rooms to attract large groups and conventions. It’s now necessary for them to set themselves apart from the competition and offer unique venue experiences.
“At the end of the day, large groups can go to a lot of different venues for their meetings,” says Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. “But the business will go to the ones that provide something different and can deliver an experience that fulfills their wish list and then some. Give them an experience they will remember.”
According to a new report by Venue News Now (HNN) and Cvent titled “Meetings Mean Business,” attracting group business requires not only creating special experiences, but also properly and effectively communicating those offerings to customers and prospects. Venues can book more events by showing how they meet the needs of today’s planners and attendees.
SMART WAYS TO OFFER UNIQUE VENUE EXPERIENCES:
Highlight what makes you stand out
First and foremost, venues must identify their unique amenities and services. Then, they should make sure they're effectively promoting those offerings across all channels, from digital marketing to onsite visits and print brochures.
“Your photography and other materials should show any unusual features that your property and your meeting space, in particular, have to offer to groups,” says Lori Kiel, chief revenue and marketing officer for The Kessler Collection.
Focus on experiences, which have become a key factor for both planners and attendees. Examples that can help entice groups include:
Innovative food and beverage options, such as custom themed cocktails and cooking schools.
Advanced meeting room technology and digital connectivity.
Great offsite partnerships, which can assist planners, particularly if they're organizing events from afar.
In-house conference services, including audiovisual providers and destination management companies, which can often save planners money when they’re onsite.
USE UNIQUE VENUE EXPERIENCES TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Combine online and offline marketing channels
To fully capitalize on the lucrative meetings business, venues and destinations also should make sure their marketing materials appeal to the group segment — not just leisure travelers. That starts on the digital channels where planners are doing their initial research, so search engine optimization, internet ads and videos, reviews, and online sourcing platforms are vital.
Even though digital channels are often the best way to attract planners, closing the deal may still rely on offline methods such as phone calls, familiarization trips, and incentives. “You have to be cutting-edge digitally, and old-school when it comes to customer service and personal attention,” Spyridon says. “Combining the two in new and creative ways is where we are headed.”
START PRIORITIZING UNIQUE VENUE EXPERIENCES!
As always, don’t forget the insurance. We don’t want your client’s event to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. To simplify the process, we encourage you to become a venue partner. That way your client’s certificates of insurance are always exactly as you require.
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Article Source: cvent.com