Could your business offer an event to remember?

SavvyG conferenceWhen I worked as an Event Manager for large business, it was surprisingly challenging to find venues for conferences. The brief usually requested a new location (for a change to the previous year) within a few hours of the office, with lots of activities nearby.

Throw in the need to house 120 or more people who wanted to get some work done and have fun, and there were a whole lot of boxes to tick.

There aren’t actually that many resorts or hotels near Sydney that fit the bill. So I started thinking outside the square. Golf courses, theatres, wineries, museums, galleries, boats, yoga retreats…

Of course that created a new problem. The most inspiring venues usually aren’t equipped to handle events, with all those drop dead deadlines, range of catering requests for gluten-free vegans, and the need for high-powered presentations.

Is your business event-worthy?

Have you ever considered whether your business could host an event? You don’t need to be a big chain hotel to run a conference, you just need to position your business to attract that market. And there are plenty of benefits – guaranteed revenue return, the ability to fill your venue, and another way to raise awareness of your business with a larger audience. Hopefully they’ll bring their friends and family back to your vineyard/gallery/hot air balloon another day.

You don’t need to run a tourism-based business. If your office is housed in a unique heritage estate, for example, you might have exactly the venue a company is looking for. And it’s a great way to fill your office on a weekend and create a new revenue stream.

First, consider if you have the right environment for an offsite meeting, product launch or conference?

  • Are you within a few hours drive of a major city?
  • Do you have interesting activities nearby?
  • Can you provide accommodation?
  • Can you provide catering and beverages?
  • Can you pull together enough staff to manage the event?
  • Do you have AV equipment and enough power to run multiple meetings at the same time?

If you can’t provide all these things, think about other local businesses you could team up with. For example, boutique hotel + local winery, gallery space + local caterers.

Now, you need to let event organisers and business managers know that you’re their perfect new venue. Here’s how:

1. Set up a Famil program with your local council or business network

Offer an incentive to key event managers to consider your region when making their decision.

2. Update your website

Make sure there’s a page on the types of events you cater for, and how to get in touch to plan the perfect event with you. Include photos and videos.

3. Register on free online directories

These make it easier to be found through organic search, so make sure you link them back to your website.

4. Direct mail

Set up a database of event organisers and communicate with the regularly. Create VIP offers, seasonal packages, upcoming events, news and tips.

5. Social Media

Depending on your target audience, you can use Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Facebook to share news and information about your services, and share special offers or upcoming events.

The most important thing is to make it look easy for them. Event managers are under pressure to keep a large number of very different people happy. If you can come up with ways to make their life easier, and make them look amazing from beginning to end of the event, you’ll have created many new customers for life.

Have you expanded your business offer to target events? What has worked best for you?   Leave us a comment we’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to discuss how you could increase your profile further or need assistance with running a business conference contact SavvyG today vicky@savvyg.coma.u