4 ways to get group bookings back in your venues

With restrictions beginning to ease around the world and capacity control less of an issue, you may be ready to consider introducing group bookings back to your venues.

It goes without saying the landscape is still a slightly different one to the one we knew pre-March 2020, and now that we’re seeing most of our customers preparing to welcome back group bookings, we thought we would take a look at how other FECs and Adventure Parks can reintroduce group bookings to their venues.

Identify the need and your Unique Selling Point

If you get an enquiry through your website, social media networks or someone calling in to your business then work out what unique selling point your business can offer that none of your competition can, or what you offer that meets their need. For example if it’s a children’s birthday party, can you offer a meet and greet with a mascot? 

Or if you’re a business like our customer Topgolf and can cater to a more mature crowd, focusing on great drink and food offers can be a winner, as well as the experience you offer. 

Understanding what your customers want most from their experience will help you hone in on the key selling points and make sure you win the business over your competitors.  

Marketing

Marketing will undoubtedly play a huge part in your ability to notify potential customers what your business can offer for group bookings and parties. 

Whilst there are tonnes of marketing ideas we’ve previously covered, one area we wanted to focus on in this article was having a good Search Engine presence, as oftentimes the first place people turn when looking to plan an event or activity is Google.

Having a good presence in search engine results is what’s known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and can be an area sometimes neglected by FECs and adventure parks in our experience. Whilst it can seem daunting, there are three basic things you can do to help yourself cover more searches than your competition:

  1. Ensure your website is well built on a reputable platform, and doesn’t lead to any broken links (e.g. pages with no content on them)
  2. Make sure the pages include the keywords you want to rank for – you can research popular search terms on websites like Google’s keyword planner. So as an example, for a traditional FEC you could consider keywords like:

    • Children’s party bookings
    Children’s birthday party events
    Stag do bookings in [location]
  3. Promote as much content as you can, Google loves content so make sure you have lots of written content on your website and social media channels linking back to your website.

You can also pay to appear at the top of Search Engine results through PPC – whilst the results can be good, this can get expensive quickly and we would always recommend working with a specialist if this is a strategy you want to consider. 

Of course whilst things like marketing emails, social media usage and good old fashioned direct marketing can all be equally valuable, a good search presence can build a free, sustainable stream of traffic to your website. 

Reassurances 

Whilst there are some customers that will be more than happy to carry on life without any coronavirus restrictions, there will also be those who are apprehensive about embracing “normality” again.

So seek to reassure customers like this, perhaps consider building an automation email that is sent to all booked in customers explaining how you’re delighted to be welcoming large group bookings back, but you’re doing so responsibly with a strict focus on cleaning and hygiene, with hand sanitiser around the venue, and possibly requiring masks to be worn in certain situations. It’s also worth providing a point of contact should they have any questions or concerns – adding that human touch can go a long way with customers.

Customer experience

Finally, and as we touched on recently, the customer experience is incredibly important to getting groups back into your venue. Without copying the article word for word, it’s important to consider the customer experience wheel and the various touchpoints you have with your customers, and how each one can have a positive impact: 

  • Ensure your brand is strong and consistent
  • Make your brand and the collateral in your venue worth sharing on social media
  • Responsive to customer queries and reviews
  • Take the extra step for customers
  • A good website and booking system

Providing a seamless customer experience will build your reputation amongst customers, and likely make individual customers more likely to return as a part of a group booking. A great customer experience will also mean previous customers will talk about you to other potential customers and likely lead to an increased footfall thanks to the word of mouth referral. 

We hope this has given you a few ideas on how you can get group bookings back in your venue. Get in touch with us via the from below to find out BookNow can help you boost your group bookings with our all-in-one management solution.

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