The most important aspect of selling out for exclusive events throughout the festive period is to be ready with your offering on time.
There are only 3-4 key dates for corporate Christmas parties every year, and companies with the highest budgets like to secure their dates from January onwards. Most would have confirmed their booking by the end of August.
In order to convert enquiries and stay competitive, your menus, brochures, required spends and contracts should be ready by the time the enquiry comes in.
Here is your checklist of actions to be completed ideally by the end of January:
Set up a meeting with the back of house and front of house team within the first two weeks of January, to discuss challenges and winning strategies. Agree on this year’s packages and menus, as well as opening dates and theming.
Now that you have all the information, create your brochures, proposals and contracts. You can also include an early bird offer for exclusives that confirm their Christmas party by the end of the first quarter, i.e.: complimentary DJ or free glass of Fizz on arrival. Ensure your brochure has eye-catching and original photography, and has a fresh feel compared to last year’s collateral.
- Start to promote to your target market
Now that you have the tool to sell your venue, you have to identify the target market and ensure you approach them before your competitors.
- Remember to update your website and brief all your team members with information on the festive period as soon as your brochure is ready! It would be a shame to lose out on a sale because a potential client cannot find the information needed for them to consider your venue.
- First you should email the brochure to all your past exclusive events, offering a discount if they rebook.
- After this you have to ensure all your agents are emailed the online brochure, perhaps offer them a higher commission for bookings confirmed by the end of the first quarter. You can you this opportunity to strengthen your relationship with these agents, go and visit them on Valentine’s Day perhaps, to show some love by dropping off not just your brochures, but a bottle of Champagne and chocolates as well.
- Ensure your brochure is listed on all relevant websites by February, such as Square Meal, Office Christmas Parties, and Privatedinignrooms.co.uk etc.
- Send out a newsletter to all your B2B contacts and local businesses around you, reminding them of the incentives for early bookings.
- Ensure you have leaflets or the full brochure printed by February, perhaps along a corporate gift to give out on show rounds to all your agents and local businesses.
I ho-ho-hope you found this summary useful. If you have any questions or comments please drop me an email, I would love to hear your thoughts.