March 29, 2024
By Devyn Rheuby

Successful marketing is the most fundamental element of venue profitability. Marketing is why corporate event planners consider hosting events at your venue and why they keep coming back. It’s the proven approach to business growth. 

Unfortunately, many event venues struggle to communicate their value to planners and fail to differentiate themselves from the competition, resulting in lost business and underutilized potential. It happens. Marketing is difficult, and the path to profitability is not always clear. 

In this guide, you will learn the fundamentals of how to market to corporate event planners. From crafting your marketing message and a desirable value proposition to meeting planners’ needs and maintaining business relationships, these tips will streamline your marketing strategies and bring business to your venue. 

What are corporate event planners? 

Corporate event planners are professionals hired to organize and execute company events. Some corporate event planners work as in-house coordinators for a single company, while others are independent contractors who manage events for multiple clients. With every event, corporate event planners are responsible for ensuring a high-quality attendee experience that meets a corporation’s objective and stays within the allocated budget. 

Identifying Event Planner Needs 

Comprehensive research is the first step in learning how to market to corporate event planners. Your research should go beyond surface-level preferences and focus on the core needs of an event planner based on the type of corporate events they specialize in. Beneficial data sources include: 

  • Public survey responses 
  • Feedback forms from past events 
  • Industry metric reports 

In-person research is also valuable. Engage with planners directly through interviews or attend event planner conferences to hear firsthand their priorities and pain points.  

The combination of data analysis and verbal experience showcases event industry trends and provides a clear picture of event planner needs. In turn, this information allows you to tailor your marketing strategy to best intrigue corporate event planners. 

Gain valuable insights on evolving planner expectations

A tailored approach for marketing to corporate event planners 

Now that you know the specific needs of a corporate event planner, it’s essential to meet those needs in your marketing strategy. 

How to craft your marketing message 

Your marketing message should be transparent:  

  • This is who we are. 
  • This is what our venue offers. 
  • This is how we can meet your needs. 
  • Here is how we have been successful in the past. 

Prioritize professional branding 

Consistent branding across all marketing channels establishes trust and recognition with corporate event planners. This means everything from your color palette, logo usage, and brand voice should be cohesive and represent the caliber and tone of the corporate events you wish to host. With professional branding, you reassure planners that your event venue blends well with their professionalism and attention to detail. 

Create a clear value proposition 

A recognizable brand is a key first step, but why should corporate event planners host events at your venue instead of a competitor’s?  

What sets your venue apart from every other big-name venue?  

To capture and hold a planner's attention, your venue must offer an irresistible value proposition that defines what makes your venue superior to others in the area. Spotlight your venue’s unique selling points (USPs) as clear value contributors. USPs might include: 

  • State-of-the-art facilities 
  • Unmatched service 
  • Convenient location 
  • Multiple event spaces on one lot 

Be transparent about these USPs in all marketing materials, illustrating how they benefit corporate event planners and address their specific needs. 

Offer customized solutions 

An undeniable value proposition is essential but not always sufficient in sealing the deal. Corporate event planners want to work with venues that can offer fully customizable experiences to fit their specific event.  

Capitalize on this opportunity to cater to individual planners and their unique event requirements by providing customizable layouts, flexible catering options, or specialized technology setups. Your readiness to understand and support their vision through implementation solidifies your value as both a service provider and a collaborative partner in their event’s success. 

Pro tip: Event diagramming software simplifies the process of customizing venue layouts. 

Include client testimonials 

Your venue’s offerings capture attention, and client testimonials provide the credibility to keep it. Building trust with corporate event planners is crucial, so don’t shy away from sharing success stories—especially given that 97 percent of B2B customers trust testimonials and referrals. These stories should include: 

  • Event goals and the challenges faced. 
  • The planner’s explanation of how your venue positively contributed to the event. 
  • Visual portfolios of effective customization requests. 
  • Don’t forget to include quotes from impressed attendees! 

Four effective digital marketing strategies 

With a firm grasp of what your venue offers, it’s time to develop and implement digital marketing strategies that effectively promote your venue.  

  1. Digital presence and SEO. Maintaining a user-friendly, search-engine-optimized website is your first step toward developing a digital presence that wows corporate event planners. Ensure your site clearly reflects your venue’s brand and offerings through an easy-to-navigate design. Take time to conduct comprehensive keyword research to find terms that corporate event planners frequently use in online searches, and naturally include those keywords in your website copy to reach corporate event planners organically. Your site should also load quickly and support mobile users to sustain engagement and increase bookings. 
  1. Engaging content marketing. Your content marketing strategy should position your venue as a leader in the event and hospitality industries, making you the go-to source for corporate event planners seeking answers, insights, ideas, and bookings. Examples of informative and entertaining content that fulfill planners’ needs include blog posts on event planning tips and trends, podcasts with highly-regarded event planners, 3D virtual tours of your venue, and infographics with suggestions for event activities. This content should be posted on your website and shared across other marketing channels to best establish brand awareness and credibility. 
  1. Social media marketing. 89 percent of event planners use social media to market their events. With such a significant portion of corporate event planners frequenting social platforms, using social media marketing for your venue is a massive opportunity to maximize reach and retention. Be sure to post regularly and foster consistent interactions with your audience to boost brand visibility and keep your venue fresh in planners’ memories. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are great platforms for displaying your venue, highlighting past events, and sharing client testimonials. 
  1. Email marketing. Email marketing is a reliable approach for reaching corporate event planners directly, and personalization options make this marketing strategy especially valuable for encouraging long-term partnerships. Personalization efforts should prioritize the individual planner’s interests and needs, including custom promotional offers, and reference any past interactions with your venue to set positive expectations for future communication. All planners included in your email marketing campaign should be provided with information about your venue’s USPs and upcoming events. This is also a great opportunity to share your venue’s website and social media profiles. 

Discover the ultimate guide to improve your venue's digital marketing strategy

How to foster long-term relationships with corporate event planners 

Digital marketing strategies open doors for new partnerships, but extending beyond the digital space is essential for effective relationship-building and maintenance. 

The importance of networking 

Networking events are plentiful in the event and hospitality industries, and in-person interactions are integral for meeting and connecting with corporate event planners, suppliers, and other industry professionals. In fact, 66 percent of event planners find new customers at networking conferences, and you want to take your in-person marketing efforts to the networking events corporate event planners frequent. Networking opportunities might include: 

  • Industry conferences 
  • Trade shows 
  • Local business mixers 
  • Vendor fairs 
  • Community events 

Volunteering for speaking engagements is another way to bring visibility to your venue while positioning yourself as a leader in the industry. 

Take the time to have face-to-face meetings with potential planners and collaborators you connect with; whether it’s a casual coffee or a more formal business lunch, building rapport in a non-office setting can influence more sincere and long-lasting business relationships. 

Pro tip: If you are unable to attend an in-person event, webinars are a valuable, almost in-person alternative. 

Form strategic partnerships 

Attending networking events increases your chances of developing strategic partnerships with local businesses and vendors. This allows you to cater to the wants and needs of individual corporate event planners with all-inclusive, customized packages and special offers—often at discounted prices. 

Is an event planner looking to book a highly sought-after caterer? Perfect; you have a partnership with them. 

Does an event planner require specialized equipment for a corporate seminar? You have connections with a technology company that provides exactly what they need. 

As a bonus, these collaborations not only expand your service offerings but introduce your venue to new potential clients through your partners’ networks—reciprocally, their services become known to your clientele. The goal is to maintain these dynamic business relationships, so it’s necessary that both parties benefit. 

Crafting client retention strategies 

Implement personalized follow-up and CRM 

Beyond the initial interaction, maintaining contact and tailoring communications to each planner’s specific needs and past experiences can significantly enhance client loyalty and satisfaction. Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track their preferences, past events, and feedback to generate customized follow-ups. These follow-ups should make each corporate event planner feel valued and like their needs are clearly understood. Ideas include: 

  • Personalized emails 
  • Tailored event suggestions 
  • Thoughtful check-ins 

CRM data can also help you identify trends and opportunities for improvement, ensuring your services continuously meet expectations. Consider scheduling post-event debriefing meetings or annual gatherings with planners and your strategic partners to show your commitment to the success of their businesses and solidify long-term relationships. 

Utilize feedback and improvement programs 

Implementing structured feedback and improvement programs can turn one-time clients into repeat partners. Encourage each corporate event planner to provide feedback after their events, using formal surveys and post-event meetings to gather valuable insights. Record and analyze this feedback using CRM tools to personalize future communications and pinpoint areas for improvement.  

The improvements should be transparent; this way, clients know your venue values their opinions deeply enough to directly influence your service offerings. Initiatives to consider include: 

  • Post-event feedback forms 
  • Client advisory panels 
  • Regular improvement updates 
  • Recognition programs for repeat clients 

By actively showing that you value and act upon planner feedback, you foster a culture of continuous improvement and client-centricity that drives brand loyalty and client retention. 

Create loyalty and incentive programs 

Developing comprehensive loyalty and incentive programs tailored specifically for your repeat corporate event planners is a productive way to reward continued patronage and loyalty. Structure these initiatives to provide tangible benefits for repeated engagements, such as rewards programs where points are accumulated with each event hosted and redeemable for a range of perks, such as: 

  • Venue upgrades 
  • Service discounts 
  • Exclusive access to new features. 

Review your CRM data to include rewards that cater specifically to the desires and feedback of your clients. For example, if a significant number of your clients value sustainability, consider offering incentives for choosing eco-friendly event options. Regularly communicate the benefits and updates of the loyalty program through personalized emails and check-ins, ensuring that each planner knows how they can benefit and is encouraged to continue their partnership with your venue. 

With the high-quality service, constant drive for improvement, and relationship-building perks your venue provides, corporate event planners will continue hosting events with you and suggest your venue to other planners, contributing to a cycle of ongoing business and referrals. 

Ready, set, market 

There you have it: how to market to corporate event planners. By appreciating their needs and tailoring your approach to meet them, you can significantly bolster your venue’s desirability and competitive edge. Take the initiative and start your marketing efforts today! 

For more marketing tips, check out these 24 AI marketing tools to elevate your business. 


Devyn Rheuby headshot

Devyn Rheuby

Dev is a San Francisco-based content marketer specializing in article and eBook writing for tech and B2B companies. When she’s not working, she tries new coffee shops, reads fiction and fantasy series, and plays The Sims 4.

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