How to Book More Weddings at Your Venue
Whether it’s a stunning outdoor location or a flexible indoor facility, wedding venues are as diverse as they come. And with more options for couples to choose from, competition can be tight. For venue managers, this means creating a marketing strategy that’s informed by research, guided by consumer behavior, and up-to-date with industry trends.
Here we share key ideas and strategies designed to book more weddings at your venue.
Do your research
If you want to increase bookings in your venue, it’s critical to know more about your consumer’s preferences. Are you mostly attracting millennials? Compared to other nearby venues, are you priced competitively? Statistics show that aside from price, photos and reviews of wedding vendors – including venues – are important to a couple’s decision-making process. Have you set up a system to monitor online mentions about your venue or brand?
Developing a strategy that is responsive to industry trends cannot be overlooked. For venue managers and marketers, it’s also time to learn more about how couples journey from engagement to wedding day, and make sure clear, insight-based marketing actions are in place to take advantage of all opportunities.
Organize a venue ‘open house’
Although social media has bridged important gaps between consumers and brands, nothing beats face-to-face activities. Open houses benefit venue managers who can meet with a wide pool of prospective clients in a one-day affair. It also allows couples to see the venue in-person, without the aid of filters and captions. As they say, to see is to believe. Plus, there’s a greater chance these couples will bring their family and friends along, dramatically increasing exposure and possible referrals.
Be sure to set-up the venue in the best possible light. Consider it a date, where couples put their best foot forward. And since interest in your venue will be highest during the open house, make it possible for couples to make bookings by enticing them with early bird rates and discounts.
Honor wedding traditions
Weddings are social events that incorporate both new and time-honored traditions. Research shows over fifty-percent of couples incorporate wedding themes in their decor, while over three-fourths have an open bar. Religious and cultural customs are also integrated into the ceremony, while modern additions to the reception include interactive food stations, signature cocktails, and photo booth stations.
Venues need to be flexible enough to accommodate these customizations. Whether it’s live band entertainment or romantic wedding decor, a traditional ceremony or a minimalist affair, spaces need to be adaptable as couples emphasize personalization and guest experience.
(Image credits listed below)
Build valuable partnerships with other wedding vendors
Before choosing a venue, most future brides lookup dresses, wedding planners, florists, and photographers. Partner with these vendors. Ask local businesses if they’re open to cross-promoting your services. This may include having flyers or promotional materials for your venue displayed at a jewelry store, flower shop, or photographer’s studio. Since most couples have no experience planning a wedding, refer to the services of other vendors. You’ll be surprised how these referrals can be immediately reciprocated.
Work with the competition. Build valuable connections with businesses that offer the same service as yours. When a potential lead finds your competition booked, your venue will be the one they recommend. For different businesses, consider offering special discounted packages to clients when they book your products and services together. This way, your advertising costs are split among your partner businesses and you can work efficiently with the vendors you’re familiar with.
Invest in your online presence and social media platforms
Couples are now spending more time online to plan their wedding. This calls for a dynamic digital marketing plan that goes beyond simple social media engagement. Invest in a dynamic SEO and content development strategy that improves your venue’s online visibility and rankings in search engine results pages. Consider tapping the power of Google Ads and online business listings.
For wedding venues, a content-rich and visually-appealing website is essential. Websites, together with referrals, are important touchpoints where potential clients learn more about your services. Don’t forget to make it mobile-friendly too.
Complement your web presence with a social media strategy. Curate an Instagram feed or Facebook business page with high-quality photos of weddings in your venue. Tag content with top-ranking hashtags; or, consider making your own to allow couples to easily track content related to your venue.
Use venue management software for planning
Great reviews and a strong portfolio can naturally increase interest and bookings at your venue. Deliver efficient service by using a venue management software that helps your team and partner vendors collaborate on timelines, billings, and communications. Today’s event planning programs also venue managers and wedding planners to create detailed digital floorplans for their clients. This gives couples a better perspective of how their wedding will look.
More advanced software render 3D visualization of wedding venues and allow couples to walk through the space using virtual reality technology. This means clients can see in full-view, and close to reality, every detail of their big day – from furniture choices, seating, tablescape, and decor. As a result, couples can collaborate more meaningfully with venue managers and other wedding vendors. This makes for improved client experience and satisfaction.
Photographer: A. Williams Photography @a_williamsphotography
Planner: Becky’s Brides @beckysbrides
Venue: Rockhurst Farm @rockhurst_farm_weddings
Floral: Kathy Miller Flowers @kathymillerflowers
Menus: Empress Stationary @empressstationery