I have dropped my prices for the holiday season to drum up interest but now people are inquiring about NYE at the lower price. Is there a way to have just one date/holiday at a different rate? They aren’t reading the price increase in the description and it’s making me take time out of my day to explain that to them. I’ve noticed that too much back and forth causes them to reconsider and I lose bookings. I already put my add-ons for catering, etc… but I don’t know if I can use that to increase NYE bookings only. I’ll look it over.
At the end of the day this is your location you dictate the pricing. Before the update where we had to manually change the price the clients were very upset to see one price and then accept another. Best way to handle it is to nicely bring it up. I usually talk over the phone and see the person before an event so we clarify everything.
Why would you DROP rates during peak demand season? That’s a cardinal sin in the business world: If you lower your rates during peak demand, you lower your value and negatively impact the earning potential of both yours and all other venues around you.
What happens is:
You drop your price to drum up new business
You get more calls, but only from people who were attracted by your LOWER rate, which means they were never interested in booking your space at a reasonable rate, which means they are unreasonable people. (good leads who were on the fence about booking your space will often drop you at this point because they don’t know WHY you lowered your rate and they assume it’s because something is wrong with your venue)
You are unable to book any of the new leads generated by lowering your prices because unreasonable people have unreasonable expectations
Ultimately, you create more work and more frustration for yourself, with no additional revenue (or significantly lower revenue) as a result.
You will see an increase in damages, an increase in complaints, an increase in negative reviews, and a decrease in revenue.
Moving forward, your rule of thumb should be, NEVER lower your rates to generate leads, ESPECIALLY in peak demand periods. All you will do is frustrate yourself dealing with people who weren’t going to book your space anyway, and if they did, were going to be abusive and likely provide negative reviews.
It can be difficult to abstain from lowering your rates to try to undercut your competitors or generate more leads quickly, but if your rates work just fine during the regular season, lowering them during peak demand is only going to cause you problems. (if the don’t work at all during any season, you need to adjust them to market value)
If people don’t want to book your space for the same rates you’ve had posted all year, but they were more than willing to book your space at your regular rates during off-peak season, then logic says your regular rate was not the issue.
Alternative reasons can include:
SEASON - people simply take longer to commit to a venue during the holidays, especially when spending a lot of money…be patient
BUDGET FACTORS - People have other budget concerns and the price for your venue may be great, but they may not be able to get their favorite caterer to deliver to your location, or the AV company may offer a discount for booking at their partner location
LOCATION - you may simply not be in an ideal geographical location for holiday-specific events
LOCATION - Your venue may not be what people are looking to book for holiday-specific events
PRICING - If you’ve lowered your pricing during peak demand, you’ve signaled something is wrong with your venue, so people are looking elsewhere (just like lowering the rate for a house that’s been on the market for a while signals that something is wrong with the house)
It can be counter intuitive, but you have to remove your own personal bias from the equation. We know our venues like they’re our own children. Clients don’t know your venue from a pothole in the street and they are weighing all the factors for their event, not just how nice you are as a host and how affordable your space is.
Event planners typically have a fixed budget and a high client satisfaction expectation, so they will often pay much MORE for the right venue rather than try to save money.
Discount Clients who are trying to save money first and pay attention to the quality of the event second are the cheapskates who started with an inadequate budget and often exhibit the most entitled behavior. They think you should bend over backwards to earn the “fortune” they’ve spent on your place…while you think they should be immeasurably grateful for giving them a discount on your already-reasonably-priced venue. This is an expectations-disconnect you will NOT be able to reconcile. You DO NOT want them in your space!
CHEAP CLIENTS = DISASTER
Ok, anyway, you didn’t answer my question. And the reason I brought prices down was because all the premium dates and times have been booked. Since I can’t fine tune individual days, I am adjusting as the spaces fill up. This is my workaround. Unless you have a better idea, all the days I’m offering at a lower rate are the weekdays that haven’t filled up. It would be one thing to have a premium weekend rate, which I do, but these holidays are on weekdays. NYE is on a Tuesday. That is a premium date. Friday, December 6th is a great day for a holiday party. Friday November 29th isn’t. So I lowered prices to weekday rates and made the weekends add-ons so that people can see it immediately, not with a back and forth email situation.
Lowering weekday rates is wonderful to drive business. Keep in mind what @Christopher_D mentioned that cheap clients are a disaster and they want too much!
@Diana_A – There’s no way to programmatically do what you’re asking.
One way that I offer discounts without cutting my rental rate (which I agree brings in undesirable renters) is to offer certain add-ons at a “special holiday rate” or for free. For photo/film shoots, I throw in equipment that I usually charge for. For events, I offer use of an office area that’s usually additional or decorative uplighting packages.
I edit the location description to include these deals so that people read it right away. I also include this info in my initial response message to inquiries.
Included in my initial message is mention that they’re saving $XX.XX so that they feel like they’re getting a deal when really they’re just getting stuff for free that doesn’t cost me anything to give away.
Good advice. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything I can throw in for “free”. My add-ons are catering packages and weekend premiums. My venue isn’t only an event space, it’s a full time bar/gallery so I use Peerspace to fill in days that are not high foot traffic. If there was just one more option for “holiday pricing” I would think that would solve it. There could be a checkbox where you indicate it’s a holiday and it triggers holiday pricing. We’re not open Thanksgiving, Xmas, etc… but if someone wants to pay me a premium, I can guarantee I’ll get the place open and staffed.