5 Ways to Attract More Corporate Events

By Caroline Cox | 3 min read

As part of our State of the Plate report, we conducted an industry survey with hundreds of restaurant event pros. One of the interesting results we found showed that, for more than one-third (35.5%) of respondents, corporate events are the most lucrative event types at their restaurant.

Not only do corporate events often require less planning and lower overhead costs, but they can also help fill your weekday calendars and are more likely to be recurring events vs. one-offs, such as weddings.

Not sure of the most effective ways to attract more corporate clients through your doors? These tips will help you bring them in — and keep them coming back.

1. Highlight offerings for corporate events on your website

To attract more corporate event clients, make it clear from the get-go that you want and value their business. In the “events” section of your business website, make sure you include and highlight that you cater to corporate event clients. Even if you don’t have the means to host a company-wide holiday party, you can still market your small, AV-equipped banquet room as a great place for meetings and presentations.

You can also leverage past corporate clients by asking for permission to include a photo from their party, if a professional photographer was onsite, on your website. You want to make it easy for prospects to visualize their event in your space. (Here are a few more reasons why having great photos of your event space matters.)

2. Reach out to companies in your community

As we’ve said before, getting out in your community can be a great way to connect with potential clients and stand out from the competition. That’s why it’s a good idea to pair your marketing efforts with good old-fashioned outreach. 

Call or email a targeted list of corporate businesses and ask them if you can bring by a few of your newest menu items or some gift cards. When you do, make sure to include details about your private dining program, along with contact info if they want more information. It’s another way to become top of mind when they start planning an annual gathering, launch party, or holiday soiree.

3. Consider special discounts and limited-time offers

The results are in: customers love limited-time offers and getting a deal. Luckily, there are a handful of ways to offer specials without sacrificing your own bottom line. You can, for example, offer a gift card if a corporate client spends a certain amount on an event. Or, if a customer books more than one event with you within a certain time frame, you can throw in a complimentary bottle of Champagne. 

You know the phrase, “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money”? That’s true when it comes to attracting corporate event clients. If you have the budget to spend a little up front in order to snag their business, the profits that can come from making them repeat clients will make it more than worth it.

4. Stay on top of communication

Another thing about corporate clients is that, because of the aforementioned reasons, they’re a sought-after event type. That means you’re likely to come up against the competition. One way to set yourself apart is through speedy communication and lead processing. It’s likely that the company’s event point person is reaching out to multiple venues. So, the sooner you respond or follow up, the more likely you are to score the business.

Plus, you’re likely dealing with an event contact who’s also juggling plenty of other admin tasks. That’s where having a platform like Gather comes in handy. You can get lead alerts, check your calendar from anywhere, respond in a flash, and send a proposal in minutes. At that rate, you can get the contract signed before the other places have even seen the email in their inboxes.

5. Maintain the relationship 

If requesting client feedback isn’t ingrained in your event management process, it should be. It provides a thorough customer service experience and makes your guests feel valued. Furthermore, it allows you to make your program the best it can be. 

After requesting feedback, you can do a number of things to maintain a relationship with your corporate event contact. Make it clear that you’d love to be their go-to venue for future events. Consider nurturing the relationship by sending them offers, like throwing in some free appetizers if they book their next happy hour with you, or sending more gift cards their way if they reach a certain spending minimum. 

And, of course, don’t forget to reach back out to your archived leads a year after they initially connected with you to turn that one-time event into a repeat one. 

 

You shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel to get more corporate event clients. By adopting a few of these strategic methods, you’ll be on the path to creating solid connections and getting more of these parties on your calendar. Want to see how Gather makes managing corporate events a breeze? Let’s chat. 

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Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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