How to use calendar events to drive revenue and get those all-important Bums on Seats!

Easter, Father’s Day, Bank Holidays, King’s Coronation … there’s always a tonne of upcoming events that can be used to drive revenue and get those all-important Bums on Seats!

We’ve put together a one stop GUIDE on how to get the most out of key dates, using them as a ‘Reason to Visit’ to drive sales.

Plan and match!

Create a yearly Sales Plan calendar including all key calendar events/holidays etc. Then go back through these to ensure you focus on the events that match and suit your customer profile and demographic.

Focus your time on the biggest opportunity.

For example; if your customer profile is majority under 25 there is no point in chasing “Mother’s Day” bookings. Don’t try to make your customer profile fit the event, the event has to fit your customers wants & needs!

Look at your key calendar dates in 2022 to drive decisions for sales techniques for 2023!

Choose 2-3 key metrics to focus on from last year’s data. For example; what were the lead times for those key calendar dates? What is the average group size? How many bookings did you have to turn down last year? 

This information will indicate everything from your offering (e.g. do you need to cater for groups?), resource and marketing strategy (e.g. lead times indicate 4 weeks beforehand, people will book) and whether to contact previous enquiries to get them booked in this year (e.g. the enquiries rejected last year). 

Understand your main demographic.

It’s very easy to jump on the bandwagon and try to appeal to everyone out there but if you are a venue that has a niche and a particular demographic then you could be alienating them with your offers. Focus on what you do best and maintain customer loyalty.

Look at average sizes of past event days and see if you should be targeting the larger groups on certain event days or maximise your potential with a greater number of more frequent smaller bookings. That way you can tailor your booking platform to streamline the booking process for your target audience.

Know your brand.

Don’t blindly follow trends or competitors.

Key calendar event dates are an opportunity to identify and implement creative reasons to visit that align with your brand.

Key calendar events in your locality.

Key Calander events are not just those you; can, are or will host in your venue. Look outside to what is going on in your local area, what is going to drive extra footfall and how can you capitalise on that extra footfall?

Your key events calendar should include events such as; conferences, exhibitions, shows & lifestyle events (such as marathons, dry & vegan January) etc.

Next up is to set yourself apart from the competition and get ahead of the game!
Make contact with organisers for marketing swaps, become the official after party spot or simply plan out your paid advertising to capture those traveling in & out of the area.

Lastly, ensure these fit around your planned promotions, events & toolkit to maximise sales & bums on seats!

Lead and land.

Having those Key dates in place in the calendar early on is crucial, it allows you to plan out an effective pro-active approach to promoting those key activations.

With ample lead time you can get the right strategy and marketing assistance in place early to see those great ideas land!

The early bird always catches the worm once you’ve identified your dates created your strategy your set for success to deliver on the day!

Utilise third party content.

If your venue is listed on a third-party platform, make sure you are well versed in when their marketing campaigns are planned for around key dates. This will give you (usually complimentary or at a very small fee) additional exposure to any activity you have planned to their database of customers.

Depending on the platform, there are usually opportunities across newsletters, social media posts, blogs and competitions you can get involved with to boost your presence online.

Utilise alternative revenue streams.

Key dates are not just great for filling your venue, they’re also opportunities for gift cards and experiences!

Consider getting set up on a platform like Toggle – and creating some on-brand experiences as well as gift cards.

Market this alongside your in-venue campaign.

Extra tip: scheduling a newsletter about your digital gift cards and experiences right before the key date is a great way to drive those last-minute gifting sales!

Bums on Seats are a team of Strategic Sales and Marketing experts for Hospitality and Leisure.

Passionate about increasing your profitability and improving efficiency using proven sales opportunities.