Of the many skills required to manage a venue, “magic” should be pretty high on the list. As a venue manager, not only are you tasked with the routine business of booking events, managing staff and overseeing daily operations, it is also your job to conjure up with a steady stream of new and unique ideas to keep the calendar full and drive new revenue. Often you may be asked to perform these feats without the benefit of additional resources.
To aid your efforts, here are three thought-starters designed to help boost your venue’s bottom line.
1. Short-Lead Bookings
Leadership at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre took stock of their under-utilized space and came up with a grand plan for increasing bookings in these areas. Called TenOnCall, the program provides same-day access to one of 10 flexible meeting spaces along with an innovative all-day dining concept that offers buffet style meals in a central atrium to walk-in clients. Thanks to a super simplified contracting process, clients at the Centre are now able to create exceptional meeting experiences that require virtually zero forethought.
Of course, location is the key to application of this strategy on a broader scale, but if you happen to manage a venue in a high-density, urban location,
it’s certainly something to consider. As a reward for their innovation, the Centre was awarded the AIPC Innovation Award—not to mention, that they experienced a 357% increase in bookings the first full year the program was implemented.
2. Expand Your Reach
Many venues are also looking to outdoor spaces to expand their audience beyond just the crowd inside.
Outdoor spaces offer opportunities to engage wider audiences. Portable screens and portable bars allow for some of the experience inside the venue to extend to passers-by that might then be inspired to purchase a ticket to a future event. Outdoor extensions also increase the awareness of the venue and its events.
Look for opportunities in your area by browsing neighborhood, community and city events calendars and possible partnerships with other area venues for cross-promotional purposes.
3. Food Truck Frenzy
With double digit growth, there’s no denying that food trucks are a trend with “wheels.” As an industry that relies entirely on crowds and hot spots, venues are in a perfect position to play host to food trucks. This can either be accomplished through their addition to scheduled events and/or as an event in and of itself.
A little like traveling groupies, popular trucks often have a dedicated and sizable fan base that faithfully track their movements and guarantee a reliable presence at their location. Capitalize on this built-in crowd by adding a lineup of food trucks to your next event or organizing an event around food trucks themselves.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is an example of a venue that has successfully done both. For the past several years, they’ve played host to a popular summer film series on their front lawn. This free series of events screens classic and popular films on Friday evenings and is complemented by a rotating bevy of local food trucks. The Museum capitalized on the trend even further by adding its own food stand selling alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and snacks (plus free popcorn for museum members).