Event enquiries for ‘offsite’ events (which are classified as any event space that is not a dedicated or contracted function venue) will generally be handled by catering companies. Amazing events can happen anywhere! This style of enquiry can be more logistically complex to prepare and operate.
Here are our top tips on how to manage ‘offsite’ event enquiries to ensure you win the event. Event sales is always about asking all the right questions so that you can present your client with the best possible proposal.
It is important to address up front that ‘offsite’ event enquiries will more often than not, come at a higher price point for your client being that some or all equipment to run the event (such as cutlery, crockery, tables, chairs, kitchen infrastructure etc.) will most likely have to be brought in. The relevant questions around budget should be addressed up front so as to not waste anyone’s time.
The Obvious Questions - Event Specifics
Firstly, there are the questions that you need to ask in order to prepare a quote. The obvious questions to ask when handling event enquiries are:
The Venue – Non Dedicated Function Spaces or Non Contracted Function Spaces
There many Melbourne venues that are not contracted to any specific catering supplier or that may not have been built specifically for events or functions (such as art galleries). Good catering companies have lists of these event spaces and sales teams should be familiar with what each space is capable of. Having more spaces to sell into can represent strong potential for growth. Your client may have a space in mind or they may not so your line of questions should intend to get a better understanding of what your client wants their event to look like.
When quoting on an ‘offsite’ event enquiry there is another layer of important questions that you will need to ask in order to prepare your proposal. It is handy to have a sales manual to add these details into to ensure that you are able to turn event enquiries around quickly.
It is important to address client’s menu requirements up front so that you can factor in what type of kitchen and service equipment that you will need to factor in.
Black & White Marketing always recommends these key marketing questions so that you can get a better understanding of your client and to use for future sales and marketing campaigns.
There are some leading questions to ask so that you can identify client’s interest and gather the relevant info that you need to close the sale.
Remember that events industry standards for offsite or tailored event enquiries is 48 hours.
It pays to have a manual of event spaces, office buildings etc. so that you are able to provide your clients with quotes quickly and also be able to confidently sell the space.
Knowing Melbourne's offsite venues will give you an advantage and will most likely mean you don’t have to go to the time or expense of performing a site visit prior to closing the sale. Likewise, it is good practice to form strong relationships with equipment suppliers that will be able to turn their quotes over to you quickly so that you can factor their information into your quote. Also having strong relationships with offsite or non contracted venues will be an advantage.
Lauren Lacava MBus (Marketing)
Black & White Marketing
Lauren Lacava has been selling events in Melbourne for the last 18 years. Want to grow your catering or events business but don’t know where to start? Click here to email Lauren today.