If you own an event venue but are only booking social events you’re missing out on a huge possible client base. Corporate events might seem like they’re more trouble than they’re worth, but they have a huge up-side! Conferences and conventions not only attract a large amount of people to your space, they also tend to be annual events. This means that, if you play your cards right, you’ll have this huge multi-day event booked every year, securing your income! Once you’ve developed the infrastructure needed for one conference you’ll be able to attract corporate events. Think of these three things as investments in your business’ future and you’ll go far!
Have enough space
This is the single most important thing that you probably won’t be able to get if you don’t have it already. If you own a small venue you might still be able to book smaller conferences without a trade show attached to them. However, bigger conventions need a lot of space.
You should make sure your space can be set up for different types of events inside the same convention. This means having a large space set up for keynote speeches and plenary conferences, as well as smaller enclosed areas for panels and discussions.
For trade shows you might not need to provide dividers out right, but you’ll be perceived as a lot more helpful if you recommend a trusted vendor who can provide booths and stands. Also, figure out different layouts that can fit multiple styles of conventions and conferences beforehand. This way you can present pre-made plans to you possible clients and take one extra responsibility off of their shoulders.
Conferences tend to be very technology heavy, and there are a couple of ways you can be prepared for this. The first step is getting great internet! Many conferences and conventions live stream events online, so a fast and reliable connection is essential. Apart from that, you don’t need to provide access to every guest unless specifically requested to do so by you client. And even then, most convention centers and hotels charge extra to provide internet access to event attendees.
You should also figure out where outlets will be needed and make sure you have them ready. Extension cords can become a hazard! Make sure to have rules about power strips and how many things can be plugged into a single outlet. You should also think about lighting and maybe looking to provide a power generator. Make sure you don’t cause problems in your area with the higher electricity use!
Agood idea is to acquire some good quality projectors since these can be used in all sorts of events. You could also rent them at an extra cost. Seating is another important expense and you could simplify things for clients by providing it yourself. For keynote speeches and other longer events you should provide banquet chairs such as these. For other formal networking events you can provide more elegant options such as these barstools for cocktail hours, or even Chiavari chairs for formal dining.
Promote your past events
Once you’ve managed to book a corporate event, even if it’s just a small meeting, ask your client to write a review for you! Business owners will trust other business owners and might find a review or testimonial more compelling than any other information you can provide.
Also, remember to take plenty of pictures. You should probably invest in your own professional photographer so that they are really high quality. Create a special corporate event gallery on your webpage. This way meeting planners and business owners can easily find the information they need. Adding the logos of businesses you’ve worked with in the past is a great way of showing how reliable your services are.
BONUS: Be extremely upfront with your possible clients
A conference or convention might mean a lot more traffic than what your venue is used to. Because of this, it’s important you weigh pros and cons and design a strategy that’s right for you. This might mean anything from asking for your floors to be covered to charging a damage deposit. You might also want to consider asking for a larger than average cleaning fee. Another good idea is having your client cover some AV costs, or even help with the higher electricity bill.
Another important aspect to consider is security. Either ask your client to provide their own or ask for a fee to provide it yourself. Always put the security of attendees at larger events at the top of your priority list!
Follow these suggestions and you should be booking conferences and conventions at your venue in no time!
Is there anything else you would recommend a venue owner do to attract corporate events? Leave us a comment down below or follow us on social media! You might also like these other articles we made special or you. We promise you’ll love them.