Selling More Xmas Festive Season Events & Functions – 10 Top tips
You can Make LOTS more function sales during the busy Xmas Festive Season by following these 10 top tips and preparing in advance.
1: PLAN Ahead for the Festive Season
Planning ahead for your busy festive season really helps, here are some things you can do to prepare early:
- Use a Wall Calendar Plan Diary – look at dates from November to February – What DATES are available and are still to fill up – Have an A4 one page season summary diary and an A3 wall calendar for each month
- Adjust your Pricing – Sell your BEST Function days for More. Set minimum $$ spends on best days and cross-sell to less popular days if they can’t afford it.
- Set Your Function Sales Goals and Incentivise function salespeople to followup and make the effort to make more bookings
- Get a staff member to Mystery Shop your function competitors, find out their xmas function offers and BRAINSTORM the REASONS WHY you are better than them.
2: Put Up Festive Season Function SIGNAGE ASAP
Signage Sells! – Don’t keep your function spaces a secret – Tell the locals and your regulars what you can do for them with great function signage.
- Put up more Function & Event Signage inside and outside the Venue
- Use Signs with Function “Hero pics” of the venue, A “Book your Function Now” Sign outside
- Use A frames outside or Use the back of the toilet doors with 4 x A4 Aluminium Frame Signs – show your hero photos and upcoming events
- You can get A4 and A3 pop up banners from Officeworks to put around bar/counter telling regulars about your functions offer
- Promote your Festive Events and Functions on the bottom of your Venue email signature
- Set up a sample functions display table if you have room
3: Improve Your Festive Season Function MARKETING KIT
Telling (and Selling) your prospects using just words and gestures is OK, but photos and videos SHOW me what you have done and can do. Providing more proof about your function capabilities helps convert more enquiries into events.
- Get some better PHOTOS of the different function areas set up – food, staff, drinks, events
- Ask a past customer for a function TESTIMONIALS – Words, pic or video – on google or FB
- Create A4 Function FLYERS or a Tablet with Photos of Food, Bar, Room and Entertainment – something tangible to see your past efforts
- Create a Functions FAQ SHEET – to answer all the weird questions you get – Can I bring…? – get all the staff on the same page about what is and is not included, what is and is not allowed and how much it costs for extras.
4: Get Your Venue TEAM INVOLVED in the Festive Season Event Sales
Your team are probably busy just getting the normal work done, so you need to encourage them to help you find and convert more function enquiries.
- Explain your Functions Plan & calendar and Ask for their ideas on how we could sell more functions and fill up the calendar (Nov – Feb)
- Train ALL your staff to look out for ideal function enquiries and pass them on (SMS to Boss?)
- Hand out business cards and DL function flyers to EVERYONE – Ask for the event!
5: Improve Festive Season Function ENQUIRY HANDLING
Converting more enquiries into events is the single fastest way to grow your function business. Pay more attention to those hot enquiries because they will go elsewhere if you are not fast and professional.
- Respond FASTER to any event enquiries – multiple times by Phone, Email, SMS, Text
- Develop a list of the BEST Function Enquiry Questions and put on the wall near the phone
- Measure Your Function Enquiries and Bookings – put up a scorecard on a wall
6: Redesign and Update Your Festive Season Function PACKAGES
Organising a Function or Event can be difficult and confusing to understand. You have to explain your function offerings clearly using tangible information and marketing collateral to get the message across. Be Professional!
- Design Profitable Festive Function Packages – 1 page flyers – 2 and 3 course Festive Menus
- Offer Teambuilding Activities to local groups – Karaoke, Group Games, Barefoot Bowls,
- Make a A4 flyer of Function EXTRAS avail – with photos and price – e,g, photo booth, chocolate fountain, cocktails on arrival, food platters
- Compile a list of friendly Function Alliances – DJ, Florist, Entertainers, Photographers etc
7: Work Your Customer and Functions DATABASE and Local Area Connections
You are MOST LIKELY to sell more functions and get more referrals from your past function clients and function enquiries. Work your Database of past contacts, past enquiries and local network connections to get more function sales.
Many of these buyers already know you, like you and trust you – you just need to keep in contact and give them a big enough reason to run another event at your venue.
- Contact your BEST PAST BUYERS from previous years and book them in EARLY at higher $$
- Contact Local Alliances – Accom, Businesses, Attractions, Council,
- Work your Local Sponsorships – Schools, Sports Clubs, Charities
- Visit the Local Visitor Info Centre – take a box of biscuits and hotel flyers
- Put a several “business card fishbowls” on your Bars to collect names of local businesses
8: Work the WEB to Get More Festive Season Functions
Most buyers will start with Google to find any venue or look for your venue. You can help convert more enquiries by improving your first page results on a search for your venue name for practically NO COST.
- Update and extend your Google My Business Listing with photos and event descriptions
- Put more information on your Own Website about Festive Season Events
- Get more Google Reviews about your events from happy customers
- List your venue on any FREE local online directories
- Consider listing on any PAID venue directories or function directories
- Get lots more Function Testimonials on your Website
9: Use SOCIAL MEDIA to Get More Festive Season Functions
Word of Mouth (good or bad) spreads virally on social media. Make sure you are doing everything you can to help spread the news about your great functions.
- Get staff to take photos of your event set ups and post on Facebook & Instagram
- Update your Business listings on Linked In, Facebook, Instagram etc – function info/pics/vids
- Work your Linked In account – connect to locals (search) and post about function events
- Work your # hashtags – put up a sign asking all guests to post using hashtag
- Run an online competition for Function Attendees to post their function pics on social
10: Be More GRATEFUL – “Recognition gets results” “What gets rewarded gets repeated”
The right mindset will be rewarded with better client relationships and a lot more repeat and referral business. Show me that you REALLY care and be friendly!
- Manifest success – Have an attractive mindset and a happy attitude (Don’t be grumpy) – Be nice to the function staff and other support people like photographers, DJs etc
- Reward ANY function referrers – phone call, card and gift for people referring leads
- Reward Staff for finding you any function leads – run a competition and give prizes
- Call and Thank all function clients a few days after the event (get the testimonial/review)
- Reward the corporate function organiser with a special gift or personal voucher for organising the event
The Festive Season is a Time for Planning Ahead!
You can expect:
- More Enquiries for Festive Functions & Corporate Celebrations
- It’s Holiday Tourist Time – You’ll get More or less customers depending on your location
- Sell December Teambuilding events, late January Strategy Events & Sales Meetings
- Make the most of Summer Sports Events – Cricket and Tennis are on!
- Opportunities for Gaming Machines – more holiday players and entertaining the lonely
- Watch out for EXPENSIVE Public Holiday wages – roster your BEST Staff that deserve it
- Staff want seasonal holidays, tend to resign in New year or just don’t turn up for shifts!
- Monitor any supplier Interrupted deliveries and shut downs
ABOUT THE BLOG AUTHOR – David Staughton CSP
Big Hat Professional Services can help you grow your hospitality business and improve your Function Event & Wedding Sales. David & Kevin can help you!
David Staughton CSP is an award-winning International keynote speaker, and experienced Small Business consultant. With over 15 years ‘hands on’ experience in the Hospitality industry, he speaks and consults on a wide range of hospitality business improvement in the areas of sales, staffing, service and strategy.
Kevin Kosky is a skilled business communications trainer. He is a specialist on inbound phone skills, presentation skills and delivering sales presentations. Kevin is an expert teacher of face to face communication skills like sales, supervision, and presentation skills.
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