To most ordinary people, Christmas is six months away. However to anyone working in hospitality, our minds have already decided on what Christmas campaign we will be launching, what our festive cocktail menu will consist of - and most importantly, how we’ll be decorating our tree this year! If you’re working in hospitality, whether it’s a hotel, bar or restaurant, it’s vital that you are ready and prepared for the festive season now. We’ve revealed some of the reasons why your winter campaign should have already started, some of the benefits it will have on your business in the long-term and how you can start promoting it.
People buy early
Research carried out by The National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that “each year about 40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween”; and the same applies to hospitality. If you want to push and promote a successful Christmas, whether it’s those sold-out Christmas party nights or the festive family lunch on boxing day, you need to think like a customer, and act fast. They want to prepare for this well in advance to ensure that their seat in your venue is reserved for them. For those brands that aren’t already promoting Christmas, or even thinking about it, chances are you have already lost that potential customer to a competitor brand, who were efficient, organised and ready to take on guest bookings for this period. Brands such as Asda and Tesco are the perfect example of being prepared to meet their customer's needs, by having their Easter Eggs, Valentine’s Gifts and Halloween outfits available to buy up to 3 months before.
Consider your audience before you promote
If you are trying to attract business Christmas parties to your event, then you could already be working on email campaigns to woo agents and your point of contacts to join you to celebrate. They are the target audience who will want to hear about the Christmas events you’ll be hosting, but posting on social media channels daily and updating your Facebook and Twitter banners to Christmas themes just might be too much. Instead, gradually mention it now and again, and slowly build this up monthly. By early November, it should be in full-swing with your audience aware of everything you'll be promoting and hosting.
Planning is key
When launching any seasonal campaign, you must always remember than planning is key to it being successful. It’s important that you plan how the campaign will work, update relevant content on your website, showcase marketing materials both around your venue and digitally and to also have a content calendar which you can plan when you’ll send out your email campaigns and social media posts. It’s also vital to ensure that all team members within your venue are fully aware of the activities that you’ll be running throughout Christmas - and for them to upsell these at any opportunity they can.
Products and packages
When it comes to creating offers for your guests, ensure that you have your creative head on to give them something new and fun this Christmas. If you have returning clientele, it’s important that each year you give them a service that they simply can’t get tired off. Consider if you really want to do that traditional Christmas dinner; why not create new packages such as a Festive Afternoon Tea, and replace those Christmas parties with Festive Cocktail making? It keeps it fun, engaging and may help you attract a new audience, and will give them a day, or night, to remember forever. It’s also important that the products you’ll be promoting come winter will be pushed out on social, through marketing materials such as flyers or brochures - and that all the team within your venue are fully aware of the upcoming products so that again, they can try and upsell these to new potential customers who may be considering spending this lovely occasion with you.
Entertainment needs to be booked
Whether it’s a DJ for all the Christmas party nights, or that Father Christmas that will be joining kids for a festive breakfast, hospitality venues need to pre-book their entertainment well in advance -otherwise you could miss out on the best ones out there as they will get booked up quickly by other venues leaving you in a bit of a panic! The same goes for turning your venue into a winter wonderland, you need to consider who will style it to bring the magic of Christmas to life! If you’re looking for fabulous entertainment, or a team of professionals that will deliver the perfect Christmas for you, we’d highly recommend Springbank flowers and also The Big Event Group.
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