With lockdowns and self-isolation affecting the majority of the world, virtual venue marketing like virtual tours is taking precidence. We need to look for cost-efficient and impactful ways to stay digitally visible, relevant and intriguing to our buyers.
But why is virtual venue marketing so important at a time like this? Event planners aren’t just cancelling; they’re postponing and many are evidently optimistic about Q4 and the beginning of 2021.
Understand your planners
Event planners, like most people, are in lockdown. They are baking banana bread, trying yoga for the first time and working from home while their children and pets stumble in on Zoom calls.
They are also sourcing venues for Q4 and ahead.
While planners may not be as busy as usual, remember that once life goes back to normal, its likely their workloads will return to normal too.
In the 2019 Planner Sourcing Report, we found that 11% of respondents manage 11 or more events per year, 37% manage 50 or more and 16% manage 100 or more.
Selling your venue virtually has never been so important to continue winning business for later in the year, even if your doors are closed. Here are a few ways in which you can sell your venue space virtually.
1. Images of your venue
First impressions count – even when it comes to virtual venue marketing. Since planners won’t be able to visit your venue in person, it’s time to refresh your imagery.
Make sure you’re presenting your spaces in the most appealing way possible, whether that’s on your website, social media or the Cvent Supplier Network.
A quarter of all UK planners (25%) submit an RFP based on a venue’s available photography.
Show your planners not just what you can offer, but what experiences guests can gain from the event.
Planners expect professional quality images of different layout examples to inspire and generate interest.
In the 2019 Planner Sourcing Report, 48% of planners said the most important thing before they send an RFP is floorplans.
If a planner can’t visit your venue, how do you show them your meeting space effectively? Floorplans are an effective way to delight your buyers.
Not only does this increase collaboration, it will also help you provide a better service and improve the likelihood that a planner will use you again for another event.
Event diagramming software can help you showcase your space easily to planners, while giving them the ability to customise and visualise the space as they would have it set up.
Watergate Hotel, for example, pre-sold 95% of their meeting space for 2016 3 months prior to opening its doors and generated $117 million worth of business with the help of event diagramming.
Not only can diagramming help your teams communicate better with the client and become more operationally efficient but it can also help you sell your spaces.
4. Virtual tours and videos
Virtual reality has the ability to transform customer experiences. Venues such as Courtauld Gallery and London's National Gallery are already seeing great success with virtual tours.
In March, Courtauld saw a 723% increase in visitors compared to the week previous, an "unprecidented figure". London's National Gallery similarly saw a 1000% increase year-over-year.
5. Virtual site visits
Another great way to give planners a taste of your venue space is with 3D diagramming. Not only does this help planners out while they work from home, but will be a great feature to provide them once life returns to normality.
More and more venues are looking to present their offerings virtually. While these examples may be for public enjoyment, it’s equally as effective for virtual selling.
Allow planners to explore your venues as they would in person and they will thank you for making their lives a little easier.
6. Search engine optimisation (SEO) marketing
A huge factor when it comes to how successful you are at selling your venue digitally, is whether your buyers can find you. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a crucial and often neglected part of digital marketing.
Organic search is a competitive space. Your position in Google search listings is determined by many factors; a key one being how good your competitors are at SEO.
Here are the main things you need to focus on when it comes to SEO:
- Other factors include which keywords you include in your copy and meta tags
- Meta tags and their quality (title, content type, description, viewport)
- Page structuring (H1, H2 tags)
- Updating copy constantly
- Reducing page-load times
If you work on all of these elements, your ranking on Google will increase and you'll increase website visits. Remember, SEO isn't a quick win. It can take months to build traffic, but its entirely worth it.
7. Make smart virtual venue marketing decisions with data
One of the best ways to keep track of your digital performance is with data and intelligence. This will help you understand MICE demand and your performance next to your competitors’.
Staying up-to-date with your performance will help you understand your digital performance so that you can optimise your digital offering.
Start increasing MICE business with virtual tours today!
Up next, check out some of our some inspiring content marketinge examples to help engage and attract guests!