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An agent's view: How can venues increase conversion rates?


a pink megaphone standing above other blue megaphones

Our team of venue finders and event managers speak to countless venues each week, proposing the best options for our customers and their briefs. For each destination or location, we’ll typically put forward three options that hit the brief for our client, whilst also giving them a good flavour of the area.


Competition is fierce for venues, and a question that our partner brands and hotels often ask us is, what more could they do to win the business? We put this question to our teams that are seeing influences and decisions made every day, and this is what they had to say…


Imagery and videos.

We’re in an era where audiences favour content under 60-seconds, and this is conditioning a dwindling attention span in many, with one study finding that 95% of buyers prefer shorter, visual content [1]. So, when we’re putting forward a venue, the more accurate, high-quality imagery or video tours that we can share, the more that customers can really picture their event happening there, without having to read reams of descriptive content.


Being able to digitally walk-through the event from where registration would be held, to the plenary rooms, experiential areas and all the way through to catering, allows a project to come to life, and customers increasingly favour venues that offer this upfront. So, don’t leave it to the imagination of customers, show them exactly what your venue has to offer.


Highlight your top three unique selling points (USPs).

We’re talking really unique here, something that no nearby competitor may offer. Perhaps you’ve got a wine cellar and billiards rooms that can be taken over for tasting activities and events (see Stanbrook Abbey), or quirky treehouse accommodation (yes you, Chewton Glen), or have an onsite, inhouse teambuilding company?


By having a strong understanding of the initial brief and objectives from the event, our team will be able to decide what may swing the clients’ decision to book a certain property. If the shoe fits, it’ll be easy for them to make the right decision for their needs.


Added value.

We all love a bacon sandwich, but what other additional value can you incorporate into the deal? Often, it’s not just about having the lowest rate, a lot of clients ask to see added value from an RFP, and this could be anything from sustainable initiatives, wellness activities or a unique, creative suggestion that comes with minimal cost to a venues business.


Be available for questions.

It’s a tough act to balance for a venue, particularly those with a shared events and sales team who are often running events or showcasing their space to ensure they’re staying on top of new enquiries. But from an agent’s perspective, if we can’t fill in the blanks or resolve queries for a customer by a deadline, it can often give customers a bad first impression on venue responsiveness, causing them to hesitate, and perhaps that venue is taken out of the running. This can be particularly decisive if other venues are more responsive.


We’re always open to working with how you prefer to communicate. Just let us know what work best for you, whether that’s via emails, phone calls, or even WhatsApp messages that are seemingly on the rise, and we’ll always work to this if there’s someone at the other end to answer our queries and ensure a swift turnaround.


Include reviews and testimonials.

It’s easy enough to see guest reviews from individual leisure travellers, but the experience a group or event planner has can be entirely different. It’s something we don’t often see, but testimonials from clients, other planners that have managed a project onsite, or perhaps even conference delegates, would go a long way in putting validation behind great images and videos.


Offer live availability.

It’s a strategic marketing tactic that can help capture an audience who are booking either small or simple meetings and events, and are looking to book now. At Agiito we launched a live availability and instant booking function through our platform, Meetingspro, and have seen that nearly half of our business for meetings of under 30 people is now booked this way.


Bookers can search using set parameters such as room size, ceiling height, or capacity in any given layout, and this then utilises the ‘fear of missing out’ motivator we all have hiding inside our minds. What this means is, if a booker can see a space that fits their brief and is available without having to enquire, they don’t want to risk losing out and are more likely to make a quick decision.

We believe that at the very core of bringing people together is people, and so we can’t ignore the fact that in tandem with all our suggestions in this article, that the relationships venues and suppliers maintain with our staff are crucial to conversation rates. Clients put their faith in us to know what venues will work for them, and when we have a good relationship with a venue team, we know they’ll get a good service and a stand-out event.

 

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