Do you feel like you have lots of enquiries and showrounds taking place but not much going on in terms of actual deposits being taken?

Here are five ways in which improving your showround strategy will have people booking the venue before they have even stepped through the door.
If you haven’t yet identified your ideal client you won’t be attracting enough of the right kind of enquiries to convert into bookings. You need to niche everything you put out in terms of marketing to this ideal client. By niching your product you will be able to ensure that every enquiry you have coming your way is already in love with your venue.
To determine who your ideal client is, consider the following points:
  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Education
  • The social media sites they engage with
  • Their interests (TV, film, books, blogs, restaurants, magazines)
  • Their thoughts about the wedding industry
  • Their pain points specifically relating to their wedding venue
There are many more points you can consider – I actually have a workbook available to purchase here to help you identify who they are.
When you have identified this person, you will be able to tailor every piece of marketing content that is put out for the venue to that ideal client. Use the language that they use and only share images of weddings that they would be attracted to.
This isn’t about turning away business, but when you have niched and are targeting these clients, you will see a change in the type of enquiries that you are getting and in time these will be the only type of clients that you bring into the venue for a showround. Because they are your ideal client, they will already be more engaged with the venue than the client who has clicked “yes” to receive a brochure from every venue in the area.
When identifying your ideal client, you will think about the social media platforms that they engage with most. For aspirational, high spend clients, the typical sites that they will engage with will be Instagram and Pinterest. For clients that are budget conscious they will be more involved with Facebook.
Tailor your social media output to one or two of these sites. It is far better to master one or two than have a so-so presence over all sites available.
It takes at least 21 touch points across all platforms that your ideal clients engage with for them to be ready to make a purchase with you. Examples of touchpoints are:
  • Social media posts
  • Social media live content
  • Magazine adverts
  • TV adverts
  • Banner adverts
  • Blog posts
  • Wedding venue directories
The more present you are across all touchpoints, the more opportunities potential clients have to engage with you. Think of your social media outputs as being mini shop fronts for clients to browse.
By planning ahead and putting in place your social media strategy, you will be able to save time each week. How? Automation! Take a calendar and plan what to post each day. Automation tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Planoly are free (up to a certain point), and you can be safe in the knowledge that your social media platforms are doing the work for you as you are busy sell sell selling!
Think about your ideal client. What do they value? When surveyed, over 60% of couples place more importance on value than the final figure on the invoice. I will give you an example of two venues. Which would you choose?
Venue A.
Included in the package:
  • Exclusive hire from 12pm on the day of the wedding until 10am the next morning
  • 21 bedrooms and breakfast for the morning after the wedding
  • Bridal lodge to stay the night before and get ready on the morning of the wedding
  • Welcome or reception drink
  • Four canapes per person
  • Three course menu (choice available if required)
  • Coffee and petit fours
  • Half a bottle of wine per person served as required
  • Toast drink
  • DJ for evening entertainment
  • Evening light bites
  • Licence until 1am
  • Ten candelabra centrepieces to be dressed by florist if required
  • Long and low top table arrangement
  • Chair sashes if required
Total price: £17,500
Venue B
Included in the package:
  • Exclusive hire from 12pm on the day of the wedding until 10am the next morning
  • Bridal suite for the night of the wedding
  • Dressing room for bride or groom to get ready on the morning of the wedding
  • Welcome or reception drink
  • Three canapes per person
  • Three course menu (choice available as an upgrade if required)
  • Coffee and mints
  • Half a bottle of wine per person served as required
  • Toast drink
  • Evening snack
  • Licence until 12am
Total price: £16,500
The difference between these venues in terms of pricing is minimal – less than 10% of the total minimum venue spend. But the perceived value of venue A over venue B would mean that the couple would find the additional £1,500 to make sure that they had all of the extras included. If what you are offering as a venue is a basic package, is there a way of making it a completely outstanding luxury offering, and therefore not having a reason for clients to go elsewhere?
You can’t expect clients to fall at your feet, you need to work for the money! Being proactive doesn’t mean leaping on anyone you have seen that has gotten engaged.
Being proactive means that when you do get a new lead, you are in touch with them from the moment that they get in touch, telling them how much you want to meet them and show of your venue.
Being proactive means following up that showround with pictures of how their wedding would look, checking in to make sure they have no questions, keeping them engaged by showing off couples who have booked their wedding with you.
Anything you can do to nurture their behaviour to make sure that when the time comes you are the only venue that they will want to book.
Don’t take for granted that when they enquire with you they know anything about you – you have to put the work in to proactively make them your biggest fan.
So many venues that I have worked with don’t shout about their successes! Be proud of your achievements or of what is going on at the venue.
New bedroom? Get on Instagram or Facebook for a tour.
New package? How about a live stream of a member of staff going through how it works.
You and your team are your venue and people buy from people, not bricks and mortar. Chat to your team about being comfortable on camera – an Instagram story is 15 seconds long and lasts for 24 hours so there really is no excuse for not being present!
You need to tell your client base how brilliant you are – if you don’t, who else will do it for you?

I hope you have found this interesting! Please leave a comment if you want more tips, or if you would like to find out how we could work together drop me an email: hello@zoedew.com.