If you’re in the hospitality field, standing by and waiting for business to walk through your door is no longer an option. Customers expect to be chased after and value their own time and attention more than they ever have before. As you ramp up your marketing tactics and try to find one that sticks, your competitors are likely doing the same. So how can you pack a punch and attract new customers when it’s hard to be seen?
One of the biggest ways to reel in new prospects is by holding memorable events. People are inspired by positive experiences and use them as a driving factor for word-of-mouth to their inner circles . They’ll post about it on social media, check in to where they are, show off to their friends and create their own stories from the moments they’re experiencing. Having YOUR business amongst all this is crucial, and events are one of the best ways to do that in the modern era.
So how can you get started with planning the ultimate occasion?
Pinpoint your target customer
If you can’t 100% acknowledge or define who your target audience is, then you’re going to struggle to host an event that relates to them. Some internal research can help you develop personas and profiles so that you can make an informed decision on what kind of event you should host.
Best of all, your installed POS system will show you key insights into what products and services from your offering are selling the most – use this data alongside the information you’ve collected from your loyalty program – to really understand your customers. This will give you the perfect foundation to start brainstorming ideas.
The time for hosting events comes and goes; people are busy at certain points in the year with other obligations, so time your day/night strategically. Remember that weather also plays a big role – no one wants to head out on an outdoor evening when it’s freezing and leaving them feeling less than inspired.
Use new menus
Launching a new menu or something fresh to your venue? Use it as an excuse to hold a special evening or brunch that’s specifically aimed at promoting this. Invite VIP members to taste test what’s ‘up and coming’ in your venue or create a program where they can give you feedback. Use your services as a way to inspire your event ideas – after all, the aim is to influence your audience into giving time and money to your offering.
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Everyone likes a good cause. Include your favourite charities and host events that both give back to them and gives your audience a feel-good reason to attend. If you’re not sure what kind of charity suits best, do a survey or poll with your VIPs to understand where their values sit.
Use key dates to your advantage
A great example of this is Valentine’s Day, which is bound to be one of those boldly marked dates in the calendar. Use this to your advantage and create marketing that targets those looking for a place to spread love. You’re likely to get customers you never have before, so make them feel at home.
Show off special moments
If you’ve had something unique happen at your venue, flaunt it. Maybe a celebrity walked through the door and you managed to snap a pic with them – show off who’s making an appearance at your restaurant. Remember that y our customers want to go with those that ‘matter’ to them go. Use this to your advantage.
The good, old deal of the day
Everyone likes a daily offer. Whether it’s a daily discounted menu or a bonus of some sort, creating an event out of it for those visiting your venue gives them a reason to go through with it. It might also be the cherry on top for those that are thinking about heading out but haven’t finalised their plans.