January's 'Meet the Team' Q&A introduces Flora Donnelly, Marketing Executive at Lime Venue Portfolio.
How long have you been part of the team at LVP?
I started in June 2018 and have really enjoyed my experience so far - I’ve learnt so much already.
Describe the events industry?
Exciting, diverse and forward-thinking.
How important is it for venues to identify different customer groups?
Venues need to be aware of their customer groups in order to understand the needs of their customer and to ensure they can continue to grow and adapt to their changing requirements. A corporate client can have a completely different approach to those customers in the charities or association market, simply due to budget. Knowing who your clients are and what they are looking for in a venue will help you cater to their needs and secure their business.
Why should venues use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram?
There are so many platforms available in addition to those mentioned above, so it is best do some research and use the best channels that apply to your venue and potential clients. Social media is a great way to share insider information about your venue through use of Instagram ‘stories’ and to also encourage engagement from your customers, such as sharing snaps from their event and checking in at your venue. These social platforms are also a great way to connect with guests who have visited your venue as you can respond to comments and like any shared photos. These social media platforms can often be a second source for potential customers to use when researching your venue, in addition to your website. Don’t be afraid to have fun or show a bit of personality.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the variety of my role as I come across different challenges and feel like I’m learning all the time. It’s a lot of fun coming up with ideas and working closely with the Group Sales and Central Sales teams to get their input, and it is a role that engages with my creative side. It has also been great visiting a number of our venues – enjoying the views of Edgbaston Stadium from the rooftop in July whilst an electric violinist played was something special! Seeing inside HMS Belfast was interesting, plus the standard of food is really something across all of the venues I have visited so far: Aston Villa, the Kia Oval, the list goes on.
Dirty Dancing. The watermelon scene is hilarious and I love the music and some of the fashion.
Thoughts on venue photography?
It is really important to have some professional images of your venue and to ensure they are up-to-date. If you’ve had a refurbishment then ensure your image gallery is a true representation of the venue. If you have a social account such as Instagram it can give you the opportunity to show the venue in a raw, real-life way, or include some ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage. And don’t forget the food! Most of our venues have some great images of the food on offer and they can help potential customers imagine their entire experience.
What should venues have on their radar for 2019?
2018 highlighted the importance of CSR to event bookers. Delegates want to know that the venue they are booking with cares about its global footprint as well as its customers. Reducing single use plastic and implementing sustainable options within the business where possible could be the thing that sets your venue apart from others when it comes to decision time, and can be great content for marketing purposes. But delegates want this effort to be genuine, as highlighted in our 2018 Beyond Conference. Do it because you care and you mean it.
Good to know?
That word of mouth is still a powerful way to grow your business. If customers have a good experience at your venue they will be more than happy to shout about it, to their family, friends, colleagues and social network. But the same goes for bad experiences - if something goes wrong for a customer, you have one shot to make amends. Don’t let anyone set foot outside your venue dissatisfied!
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