How to Market a New Private Events Program

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Whether you’re a traditional venue like a restaurant or event space, or a more unique spot like an art gallery, museum, sports park or anything in between, adding a private events program can be a great way to increase revenue and grow your customer base. But when you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to navigate the launch process. We’ve got some tips and tricks for marketing your new events program in style, with a bonus checklist that’ll make the process simple and easy.

 

Leverage your email list

One of the most direct ways to connect with your customers (and potential event clients) is through email. While open rates for these types of marketing campaigns generally aren’t super high, it’s a great way to start getting the word out about your budding private events program by offering details, visuals, links to more information, contact info for your events manager and any promotions you’re offering.

 

Optimize your social media

It’s not enough just to be on social media anymore — it’s crucial that your brand is actively posting and interacting, too. You can link to your private events program in the bio of your Twitter account, promote it on LinkedIn and Facebook, and post photos of the available event spaces on Instagram.

 

Make sure your website is updated

Your website is likely the first place that potential customers will find online when it comes to your venue. For that reason, it’s imperative that all links and information are up to date — that means the latest menu offerings (including wine and cocktail lists if applicable), links to social media pages, and event-related details. Gather offers a lead widget that can be easily embedded onto your website, so those interested in your private events program can reach out for more info 24/7.

 

Include private dining information in the check presenter

Turn restaurant clients into event clients by providing private-event info (in the form of a takeaway postcard or note if you have the bandwidth) inside your check presenters. This way, when servers bring the check to their tables, they can inquire on the spot if they want more info, or they can take the flyer with them and look into it at their convenience. Win-win!

 

Host a soft opening

A great way to organically get the word out is by hosting a soft opening event to debut your new program. Invite friends, family, and VIP customers to enjoy some light bites, comped (or cash) drinks from the bar while getting a firsthand look at the new event space. For this event, you’ll obviously want the place in tip-top shape — you can add decor touches like fresh flowers, string lights, place settings and anything else you’ll offer as part of your events packages.

 

Send info via text

Text definitely the new frontier in marketing, particularly for younger customers. With the high open rates that result from text, it’s an innovative way to reach potential event clients directly — if used properly. Send too many messages and you’ll be hit with the dreaded “STOP” notification. Reserve this method to send a preliminary notice that you’re now offering private dining (keep it short), then include a link to more details. This is also a great source for promoting specials and deals, like a free appetizer or 25 percent off if they book an event between Monday and Wednesday.