How Do Venues Make Money During Dark Days?
In a perfect world, your calendar would have just enough dark days to accommodate for routine maintenance activities. But, since you and I both know it’s not a perfect world, finding ways to make money at your venue during dark days is just another part of the job.
Ideally, you find a way to book the space but since we know that isn’t always possible it’s also worth thinking about whether there’s anything else you could be doing to draw revenue during these pesky lulls in the real action.
Here’s three strategies to help you make the best of the downtime:
If your venue is home to a beloved sports franchise, then offering guests the opportunity to access exclusive spaces that might not be available to the general public in the throes of a game is a no brainer. But even if that’s not the case, this could still be a viable option to help you create a new revenue stream that actually depends on there being dead space on the calendar.
Think about what you have to offer. A unique setting (like a backstage dressing room, perhaps?), proximity to a historic landmark, a particularly scenic outdoor courtyard or gorgeous view of the skyline? Popular for wedding, engagement and family photo sessions, this can be an easy way to squeeze a few extra dollars out of dark days.
Jumpstart this new service by reaching out to local photographers; maybe even establishing partnerships that will allow them to offer your venue as a location to their clients at a discounted rate. This is a great way for venues to make money during off-time.
Are You Ready For Your Close Up?
The same way that local residents might be interested in going behind the scenes for a fun photo shoot, production companies could have a similar interest in your space as a filming location. An obvious fit for venues with close proximity to Hollywood, this lucrative source of revenue can be scaled to work nearly anywhere!
First, tax incentives designed to lure film productions (and their economic benefits) exist in virtually every state. Check out what’s available in your area here. Second, consider teaming up with your local CVB to market your ability to provide hard-to-get shots of large crowds and action sports to local productions (think commercials, etc.). This is a strategy used by venues across the globe to make money during dark days.
Keep an Eye On The Competition
This is good advice, in general, and likely something you’re already doing anyway. But, keeping a close watch on what’s going on in nearby venues can provide you with yet another good opportunity to draw some revenue even on the darkest of days.
Look out for events in close proximity that you might be able to piggyback in some way. For example, one of our clients finds themselves just steps away from Super Bowl 50 this January. Plans are currently in the works to capitalize on that crowd by offering mobile and portable ticketing kiosks for related events on their outdoor plaza. Beyond that, there’s also talk of setting up a themed pop-up bar in the lobby with moderately priced drinks to lure the masses inside the doors.