Check out five of our top pointers for navigating these uncertain times and protecting your business against the threat of coronavirus.
Does your venue have a postponement policy in place? If not, it could be worth bringing one in. With the government warning that we are some way off reaching the peak of coronavirus cases in the UK, it’s fair to assume that their advice will soon be to avoid large gatherings altogether. This could have a real impact on large bookings you’ve got for March and April.
And so we’d suggest introducing this flexible policy, where customers can postpone their events for free, so long as they reschedule it within six months. It’s a painful decision to take for this month’s revenue target, but refusing to do so could mean the customer looks elsewhere when the virus threat calms down. Likewise, if you can afford to refund a portion of a customer’s deposit, it could go a long way to keeping customers loyal.
Your social media accounts shouldn’t just be used for marketing purposes. In times like these, it’s a great platform for you to directly communicate with your customers. We’d recommend making your coronavirus policy as transparent as you can to ensure that party organisers are kept right up to date. Posting a clear and consistent message on your website and Facebook page keeps your party-planners in the loop at a time when they are likely to have lots of questions.
As people are discouraged to use public transport and told to work from home where possible, you might notice a drop in site visits for the next month or so. But that doesn’t have to hamper your business.
Investing in 3D tour technology gives corporate event organisers the chance to explore your venue – to see its potential and envisage how a function would work at your place – without leaving their sofa. It’s a really popular feature with our organisers and we’re offering 50 per cent off 3D tours during the downturn. This is also a good time to check your venue photos on external listing sites. Do they show your space in the best possible light? Could you add any more attractive pictures to help your venue stand out?
If your client can’t make it into the venue for a site visit, we’d also recommend using Zoom, the video conference software that could help you win business virtually.
It’s probably been playing on your mind already, but now is definitely a good time to ensure you’ve got the best possible business insurance coverage to protect yourself. A few bad months caused by a global virus does not undo all of the hard work you’ve put in up to this point. But it’s wise to revisit your insurance policy if you think there could be a better deal out there.
Make up the shortfall elsewhere
At VenueScanner we are seeing a small drop in event bookings from March to May, but continued high growth in confirmed events between July and December. If you can accept that the next couple of months might be difficult, and instead focus on driving more bookings for traditionally quieter times, it could make a difference come the end of the year. Running promotions for summer parties in September, for example, or putting your focus on hosting autumnal away-days could help you to recoup lost revenue from the first quarter.