Hosting corporate events may seem like small potatoes when considering the myriad of ways to obtain increased sales at your restaurant, but you’d be surprised at what this growing number can do for your bottom line. According to Event Marketing’s 2019 Benchmarks and Trends Report, 84 percent of individuals in leadership roles believe that in-person events are a critical component of their company’s success. In today’s current environment, businesses understand the need to create a united team that feels appreciated and fosters an effective company culture.
Warby Parker, a successful prescription eyewear brand, is known for its fun events and programs. In fact, the company has specific staff devoted to ensuring their employees have something to look forward to. Brand management firm, Chatmeter, schedules quarterly team outings. Businesses are always looking for additional ideas on how to say “thank you” for a job well done.
Have I got you wondering how to get a piece of this burgeoning pie yet? Let’s take a look at the few key elements for successfully marketing and hosting of corporate events.
Know Your Space
What area of your restaurant is best suited for hosting these types of events? The size of the space will determine, to a large degree, your target market.
Little touches make a big difference. Have they chosen your establishment for a monthly management meeting? Or is this a let your hair-down and celebrate our success type-of event? What you offer in terms of décor, service, and food choices will probably differ quite a bit in either of these unique circumstances. Let surrounding businesses know that you are multi-talented and not a one-trick pony and that you have the ability to create a unique setting for different types of events
Promote Your Space Online
Did you know that 49 percent of event planners use the Internet for finding and booking venues? Make sure that your online presence and website contains the types of events that you host such as corporate meetings, conferences, or parties. Include the menu or information on the various specials that you offer depending on the type of event. And don’t forget the number of people that you can accommodate and the room that you’ll utilize.
Include photos that you’ve taken when the room is set up for various types of events. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words. The words that are important are “keywords” that event planners and businesses search under, so be sure to include words or phrases such as “event planning” and “hosting corporate events” on your website.
In most cases, you are not the only space in town hosting events. If your hard work (such as an emailing campaign or a door-to-door brochure hand-out) has prompted a call from a surrounding company, don’t let them wait for your response.
You’re building a reputation with surrounding businesses, so make sure that it is one that includes good communication and consistent, well-planned coordination on the day of the event.
Before you hit the streets, you’ll also want to come up with a cost breakdown. Is it per person or by consumption, and are you charging a fee for the room? You may want to do some investigative work and call a few of the other restaurants in your area to find out what they are offering in terms of hosting corporate events.
Build it and They Will Come
You’ve got your eggs in a row and you’re ready for the onslaught of events and parties, now you just need to get the word out. In addition to the aforementioned email campaign, be sure to work with your local chamber of commerce and use your space for one of their weekly meetings, or for a special event, so that businesses in your community can see the space first-hand.
And, now that you have your space ready, use it for other events as well. Is it time to host your first wine-pairing multi-course dinner or perhaps some live music? If you opt for the latter, be sure to get the appropriate permits.
For in-house events, you can get the word out through an engaging social media strategy as well as finding local vendors that may want to play a part in the event—generating greater awareness throughout the community.
Becoming known as one of the “best hosts” in town ensures not only an additional stream of revenue, but it is also a great way for people in your community to find your restaurant, fall in love, and become one of your regulars.