2: Special facility – sports venue
3: Special facility – full-service/nightclub
4: Special facility – conference center
5: Luxury resort
6: Catering company
Question 1: How do you develop existing business and maintain relationships when your clients are hurting/canceling events?
5 Develop alternatives. Bring down costs the best you can. Stretch costs when available. Get creative with money.
4 Think outside the box. Put packages together for empty facilities, especially if they were going to be empty anyway. Everyone wants a May wedding but you can have a lot of January/February weddings if they’re savings are in the thousands.
2 Special promotions work great but some things just aren’t reasonable, such as built in, unavoidable fees.
1 It helps to try to provide our clients with a full event-experience…all amenities such as entertainment and food, and of course flexibility.
5 It comes down to being flexible, not monetary. Allowing yourself to work with the terms…intangibles are more important than price tags or numbers.
2 Close bookings (no travel) are NOT going away. People are going to book close. Customer Service is key. Being honest with a customer, letting them know what you can and can’t do.
Question 2: What is the most effective way of reaching the corporate market right now: Print ads, web ads Backyard Marketing, grass roots, social media word of mouth, live events et al?
2 The Million Dollar question. We’ve spent most our careers trying to get business from the competition. But what happens when there is no business? What can you do when there is nothing?
6 People are staying in for events. They are going to Kroger and Sam’s club. Halting expenses due to cash flow.
Question 3: Where are you going to find new business?
1 We have to go back to basics. Good Prospecting. Looking in the backyard. Find new clients the old fashioned way and develop new systems to fit their needs.
6 It is key to find the gatekeeper, maybe the receptionist or assistant and cultivate a relationship. There is always a competitor who will jump through hoops to get business. They will be able to do things that you cannot. The key is to treat every single client as an individual.
2 A great website will work. But what is even better is to be at the top of the search engines lists. You have to go out and see everyone’s websites.
4 The number one way we will be booking in the future is through our websites. We need to step it up. But personally touches are essential as well, even if it is sending a pizza over to the offices across the street to remind them we are here, and “we can take care of them”. You have to follow through. January is the month where I call every client that booked with us the year before. Pick up the phone. Make calls. Make a report.
3 Databasing. Sales calls. One thing that works is to ask for the budget straight out of the gates so we can work together to get what our customers need.
3 Facebook is starting to change how we do business, as far as paying for clicks and being able to reach our audience directly. Right now, it’s crazy where our leads are coming from. Calling old clients to new ones. We often don’t have enough time for personal e-mails. I wish we did. But we have to send e-blasts. One thing we’ve really focused on is getting people to the property and blowing them away when they come. Keep it flowing. I might be pulling my hair out, prospecting, calling leads, getting ready for visits… but once someone is at our property they are the only priority.
4 Another thing is to work with your partners. If we get a referral from a partner/competition 5% cash is going into their pocket. It’s huge.