Plan next year’s Christmas marketing now!

As your Christmas parties get underway, your marketing for next year is probably the last thing on your mind. But now is a great time to be building up material to use for next year.  What better way to promote your Christmas parties and packages than to show people having fun, and your hotel or restaurant in all its Christmas splendour?

So at the very least, here are some things to do now.

  • Take photos of the bar, restaurant and reception while the decorations and Christmas tree are looking their best – don’t leave it until half the needles have dropped off, or the light bulbs have gone out.
  • Keep an eye out for a clear, frosty morning and get outside with your camera to take some shots of a wintery scene.
  • Take shots from different angles of the restaurant laid up for dinner. Be careful with your lighting and use a tripod for best results. Experiment with and without flash – sometimes it’s better without. ‘Snap shots’ may be OK as small images for your website, but if want to use these bigger images, or for printed material, use a professional photographer to take some quality pictures. And include some pictures of the food. Although this is easier to ‘stage’ at a later date, if you can get some shots now, so much the better.
  • Get some video footage of parties – best when guests have just arrived, and had time to relax with the their first drink, but don’t leave it until the tables are strewn with empty glasses. Always check with guests that they are happy for you to record, and secondly for the footage to appear on your site.
  • Ask guests for feedback so you can learn from them what worked well, and what they didn’t like, so you can improve on it for next year. Don’t just do this on the night or at the end of their stay, but follow up post event.  If there is anything they didn’t like they may be reluctant to tell you there and then in front of other guests.
  • Following up now helps to develop your relationship, and increases your chances of repeat business either during the year or next Christmas.
  • Ask people for testimonials that they would be happy for you to use in next year’s marketing.
  • Keep tabs on your costs throughout to ensure your have an accurate picture of your profit margins.  This includes post costing for each event, to take account of wastage.
  • Get feedback from your team, and involve them in the review process by asking for their ideas.
  • Take stock at the end of the season, and learn from your successes and failures to build on this for next year – and make sure you record all this where you can find it easily when it comes to planning next year!
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