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Maximising Online Bookings: 5 Game-Changing Strategies for Events, Venues, and Experiences

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As we approach the end of the year, let’s get real about all the entertainment, events, and booking enquiries you have coming up between now and the New Year!
 
Unless you’re a major blockbuster event like the Australian Open, boasting an impeccable reputation and matching demand, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and invest some effort into establishing your venue and connecting with your community to sell tickets or secure event bookings. This task has become even more challenging in the post-pandemic landscape, where enquiries and reservations often come through much later than before.
 
So, where should you focus your efforts?
 
We’ve pulled together the five essential pillars for a successful online campaign to boost ticket sales or bookings for your Spring and Summer event season.
 
1 – Strategic Social Media Presence

Your organic social media game should be strong. Regularly engage with your audience on the platforms they frequent, tailoring your content to match each platform’s unique vibe and design specifications.
 
Remember, every social platform has its distinct communities and cultures. It’s crucial to understand how your event, venue, or tourism experience fits into these contexts to build and engage your own community authentically. Prioritize delivering value – ask yourself, “What do my audience members gain from engaging with your channel? Is it entertainment, education, or inspiration?” Building a strong social media presence can be time consuming, but the rewards can be substantial.
 
2 – Paid Social Media Advertising
Paid social media ads provide an excellent opportunity to amplify your most engaging content to a larger, highly targeted audience. These platforms are incredibly sophisticated, capable of identifying potential customers based on their behaviours and preferences. However, remember that your advertisement’s creative quality and your product’s value play a significant role in converting potential ticket buyers and venue bookers!
 
Notably, paid ads perform better when your organic strategy is robust. A well-maintained organic presence can lead to a lower cost per purchase, as platforms identify more potential customers outside your existing audience.
 
3 – Effective Email and List Marketing (plus SMS/Chat, if you have it – and you should!)
In a digital world rife with platform changes and shifting algorithms, having a rich customer database is invaluable. Don’t underestimate the power of owning your list. Provide incentives for people to join or subscribe to e-newsletters, such as early access, pre-sale offers, or exclusive discounts. A great way to garner repeat business is to offer re-booking discounts or exclusive first “dibs” on your event spaces for clients who have booked with you previously!
 
Once they’re on your list, keep them engaged by informing them about upcoming events, special deals, and other engaging content that the venue has to offer. Avoid solely focusing on sales – make your emails interesting and valuable to encourage readership. SMS messaging can also be powerful if used sparingly and when highly relevant to your audience.
 
4 – Building Authority and Trust
Having external voices vouch for your venue is invaluable. This can come in the form of word-of-mouth, testimonials, reviews, PR and media coverage, or influencer marketing. Leverage traditional marketing tactics, such as print media, by incorporating them into your organic and paid campaigns for added credibility. Don’t forget to leverage your internal marketing as an incentive for customers to post a review of your venue, product or services. Utilise print materials that customers frequently engage with such as table toppers, coasters, digital and print posters.
 
Ensure alignment with your venue goals when selecting testimonials, supplier shout outs or partnerships. Repost their content or incorporate it into your advertising to bolster your event or venue’s reputation to engage with different audience groups (and ask them to do the same). Testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers are important (especially if you can get them on video) and serve as powerful reassurances for potential buyers and bookers.
 
5 – Streamlined Website and Seamless Purchase Experience
Now that you’ve taken care of the hard part, don’t lose potential customers at the finish line by making the purchase process difficult or uninspiring. Optimise your website, purchase or booking experience to ensure a seamless transition from decision to conversion.
 
Consider partnering with leading online ticketing or booking platforms to streamline the purchase process or invest in developing your own to maintain control and income from each sale (and you can offer it to your clients who are booking events as a fantastic added value upsell for your venue). Each option will have its strengths and weaknesses, be sure to choose one that aligns with your specific needs.
 
Applying these five pivotal strategies as you prepare for an exciting and busy silly season will turbocharge the customer experience when making bookings, enquiries for your events, venues, and experiences.
 
Ready to supercharge your digital success during this crucial year-end period? Connect with our Digital Marketing Expert, Lauren, at lauren@dws.net.au right now and claim your FREE Digital Engagement Accelerator Audit. Discover the untapped potential of your online presence and turbocharge your venue’s strategy for success!

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