We are often asked for tips on how to make the most out of Hire Space by Venue Managers. Together with Darren Hart, Director of Sales at Camm and Hooper, a dynamic creator of event spaces, we set out to uncover the secrets to becoming top performing venues on Hire Space.
1. Use Eye-catching Photography to Generate Enquiries
"Today's event organisers and their online attention span can be difficult to capture due to the abundance of venue options and the level of online marketing they are faced with every day. At Camm and Hooper we’ve found using amazing imagery of our venues and events great for grabbing people's attention," said Darren.
Darren also shared Camm and Hooper's enquiry performance on Hire Space and their company as a whole, "For enquiries placed in 2016 (for events to take place on any future date), Hire Space accounted for 12% of total agency demand. The next best agency placed 6%. In terms of business converted where the enquiry originated in 2016, Hire Space accounted for 11% of total agency converted revenue. The next best agency placed 8%. This makes Hire Space our top enquiry and revenue generating source."
We also discovered a prizewinning online performance from Victorian Bath House, one of Camm and Hooper's venue options:
Victorian Bath House attracted on average 6 different potential clients daily between Jan 1, 2016 and Dec 31, 2016
What we learned from their headlining venue photographs:
Tip: Upload a winning image of the façade of your venue onto Hire Space, even if you only occupy the building partially. This image will give clients an idea of what their guests will be greeted with on their arrival.
Tip: Advertise your venue with 5-15 high-quality photographs of your event space(s) taken from different corners of the room. The majority of these should be interior shots as opposed to feature shots.
2. Respond to Enquiries Quickly
When asked about the secret to converting enquiries into bookings, Darren shared a simple yet powerful tip. "Hire Space's enquiries are great for our team as they are pre-qualified at the very first stage through clients using their search function and us keeping venue specifications and pricing guidelines up-to-date. That said, we still abide by the golden rule of responding quickly and checking in with clients after the initial viewing or phone conversation. This really is the #1 secret to converting new business."
He went on to describe the way they conduct sales discussions with clients. "Because clients coming through Hire Space and other lead-generation websites would be actively on the hunt for venue options, a tactical Venue Manager should always invite potential clients for viewings and match the event brief with their event space features," said Darren of his experience on Hire Space and other websites.
Tip: Setting out an SLA (service level agreement) for new enquiry response time is advised if you haven't got one already. Nowadays, it's possible to set up auto-alerts on unread emails with filters such as subject line and keywords to ensure nothing gets missed.
3. Offer Simple Quotations
"Simplicity is key when quoting for an event brief. Clients presumably receive multiple quotations from venue options, so a full-on PDF proposal at an early stage could be counter productive. Hire Space Venue Experts also generate their own proposals to clients, so providing them with brief quotations or even all-inclusive packages have been working well for our business," remarked Darren about their approach to quotation requests, "we also list realistic pricing guidelines online. This helps qualify the prospective client before they enquire and ensure the overall high quality of leads we generate through online activities."
Tip: Regularly check if pricing updates are required on your online profiles. When faced with a quotation request, offer the most suitable quotation format to clients, be it venue hire fee or all-inclusive delegate packages. Keep it simple!
About Darren Hart
Darren Hart has 12 years corporate events sales experience in both venue and hotel organisations. 4 years was as Head of Corporate Sales for the award-winning, £12m turnover city events venue, The Brewery. Subsequently, Darren spent 4 ½ years at the Grove, a luxury 5-star hotel, and events venue just outside of London. Here Darren managed sales for a £32m turnover property focusing on London-based corporate, sport, entertainment and media sectors. After joining Camm & Hooper in 2013 he has launched sales and marketing for four venues to date, with more in the pipeline, and overseen the development of a sales, marketing and reservations team of 14 people. At Camm & Hooper Darren has delivered rapid revenue growth for each new venue and led innovative online marketing and tech-based projects to aid lead generation and revenue growth.
About Camm and Hooper
The group opened its first two locations, Tanner & Co and Tanner Warehouse in May 2013, followed by Banking Hall in Cornhill in May 2014, which was awarded Best New Venue launch in London. The Victorian Bath House at Liverpool Street followed in December 2015 and the fifth location, Six Storeys on Soho opened in November 2016.