Give your holiday sales marketing a new recipe


As fall approaches you have a small window to catch your breath for a few brief moments—and then jump right back in. That’s right—it’s time to promote your holiday sales!
In order to stand out from the others you need to show that you are different. As business owners we can’t just expect revenue to flow our way; we need to compete for the business and prove that we are the best choice for our clients. Following are some tips that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Update your database
You may have thousands of email and postal addresses, but if they are not current your mail outs will fail. Spend some time adding your new clients to your database and updating corporate contacts that may have moved on. (Another thought is to stay connected to individuals who leave your corporate accounts so you are on their minds when they start at their new positions.)

The newsletter no-no
Your newsletter is not the space to promote your holiday events, offerings, and promotions—these beneficial holiday offers may get lost in your newsletter and also dilute your message. Consider a dedicated brochure or mail out in order grab attention.

Tell a story
Your marketing pieces may get some traction if they tell an engaging story—this works well with postcard mailings and social media campaigns. Each ad you create should tell a story or have a theme. Consider creating characters, as this will this leave the audience wanting to know what happens next. (For my company we produced a flutter of children cooking to promote house parties, along with a tag line.)

Cyber Monday
If you do a good amount of online business make sure that you take advantage of Cyber Monday. Consider running ‘limited time’ specials, or a promotion in which your clients receive a bonus, gift, or discount if they book within a certain time frame.

Decorate for success
You probably decorate your office for the holidays, and so why not decorate your website? Create landing pages with specials, menus, tips, and recipes and spread these to your social media platforms.

Spread some cheer on social media
Your social media platforms are a great way to spread holiday cheer. Be careful not to bore your followers by pushing your product, repeating terms like ‘book now,’ ‘taking reservations,’ and ‘still have some availability.’ These terms are sure to prevent any possibility for sharing—no one wants to repost a sales-forward link. Instead, post genuinely interesting and valuable information and your followers will reciprocate.

Additionally, paid advertising can be a great way to attract new clients and reach different audiences. Why not use this holiday season as a chance to try a Facebook ad campaign?

It’s not always about price
Don’t worry if your closest competitors are offering lower prices. Studies have shown that clients do not always make their pick based on price; they want the best that they can afford, and are often willing to stretch a budget to get what they want. Become what they want, and show them why you are different.

“Santa in the Clouds” martini from Feastivities Events

“Santa in the Clouds” martini from Feastivities Events

This one is my favorite!
Spend this small window of downtime to come up with some creative event additions. It could be as simple as a signature cocktail with a fun seasonal name (Santa in the Clouds; Mistletoe Martini; Claus Cosmopolitan; Grinch Nog—just let your imagination take over), or adding lighting to enhance the drama and transform the space. You can easily add 20 to 30 percent in revenue without taking on any more events. There is nothing to lose—you have already booked the event.

Above all, remember to let your own unique personality and your company’s valuable benefits shine through. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and busy holiday season in the catering industry!


Really, Another Article on Social Media?

Leveraging Social Media   

I know what you’re thinking… ‘Another article on social media?” But read on… there are some things you may not know.
Social media is a viable tool for marketing your products and services and managing your brand identity. It is inexpensive, easy to work with and offers a great network of potential clients. Daily, millions of people use social networking applications. Social media is all about conversation and building effective relationships. Facebook, Twitter,

Google+, Instagram amongst others are all avenues to sell your company. Social media is powering the world in ways we could never have imagined years back. Today, connections are formed out of thin air. Imagine the millions of people that daily use social networking applications.

Did you know that 22% of Americans use social media multiple times in a single day? Selling your company in today’s competitive market involves a savvy use of social media.  There are tons of social media applications and websites available; however there is need to choose carefully before investing your time and energy in one. You should invest in a platform that supports your brand image. 

Till date, Facebook remains the best platform for creating brand awareness – its user base is diverse and nearly 75% of adult Americans use it. Tell me, how then is this not a wonderful channel through which you could build your brand and sell yourself to the world?

Setting up a Facebook page isn’t enough. It needs to be interactive, drive conversation and promote your brand all at the same time. If you only promote your products and services you will lose viewers. Try adding interesting tidbits, for example, a blurb about the history of pasta. To encourage conversation, you could post trivia and questions like “when you were growing up, what was your favorite comfort food?” How about a category for each day of the week:  Monday’s – “Foodies, Can You Guess This?” Tuesday’s- “What’s Happening in the Kitchen Today.” Wednesday’s- “Recipe of the Week” , Thursday’s – Event of the Week” and so on. Endeavor to provide your followers with something that piques their interest and that they can as well share to other people.

Businesses, especially those that rely heavily on images have lately have been flocking to Instagram in droves and rightly so because Instagram allows you to sell your company  by posting images and short videos. While many companies have difficulty getting relevant content,  we are very fortunate, everyday there is a new event to capture. How lucky are we that we have a professional photographer at most of our events. Make sure when posting to give the photographer photo credit.

There is the option of Facebook group page or business (fan) pages. Business and fan pages let you measure your traffic. With fan pages, you can add feeds from other applications like YouTube Box, Flicker, and Twitter. For Facebook groups, you don't have that many options. When your fans take action on your page, their actions will be documented on the news feeds of their personal pages. Their friends could see the news feeds and check out your business page. Fan pages stand out on profiles, whereas group pages get lost in the mix. Fan pages enable you to provide unlimited news or updates to your fans while Facebook groups are limited to a definite number.

Don’t forget about Pinterest;  a wonderful social network where you can reach people. When setting up your business page make it easy for visitors and name your boards; Culinary, Design, Cocktails, Weddings, and for each photo make sure you add descriptive words so it can continue to be re-pinned.

 Video sharing services like YouTube allow you to add captivating videos of your products and services. When using YouTube, make sure you properly brand the beginning and end of your video with contact information and a call to action.

Blogging is also a wonderful way to sell your brand. Start a blog that is attached to your Facebook and website. Search engines easily pick up blogs. Platforms such as WordPress and Joomla make it easy to promote yourself to your target audience. On these platforms, you could post on topics that would pique the interest of your audience and they would find educational while at the same time highlighting your unique skills and experience. Did you know that Blog posts with images receive 94% more views? Don’t be afraid to make use of visual content. Email marketing is also very beneficial. You could send an email blast teaser to direct people to your Facebook, blog or website. Another way could be adding link icons of your blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter accounts to your email signature and all internet direct mail. 
Keep in mind that people who post on your Facebook page, Tweet about you or comment on your blog want to be heard. It is extremely important that you engage with your social community and answer or comment promptly. 

With building your brand on social media, you should be careful who is representing your brand. Your employees play a big part in brand management and will need to be screened by you. This is important with all social network sites. Every single piece of content shared should support your brand identity. Poor choices of content, images tend to reflect poorly on your company. Set guidelines for your team to follow, suggest different accounts for business and personal and encourage them to play an active role in the company brand strategy.

The old expression, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know holds true in this new age marketing strategy. Continue to tweet, blog and post and watch your efforts flourish.

Hello, World!

How to Cultivate Return Guests at Your Next Special Event

How to Cultivate Return Guests at Your Next Special Event
Meryl Snow, vice president of Feastivities Events and senior consultant for
Catersource, has both attended and offered her services at her fair share of special
events. “If people aren’t having fun, they aren’t going to come back. That’s just a
fact,” Snow says. Many supporters, sponsors and donors are invited to several fundraisers annually, and you must take the necessary steps to make yours a memorable one.                                                                                                                                            
Here Snow offers her tips for creating an engaging and memorable evening to
which people want to return:

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Get Motivated!

Motivating a team is one of the most important things that a leader can do. Without guidance, employees can flail and suffer, unsure of what to do next and how to succeed to their highest potential.

While it is true that no one can truly motivate anyone (true gumption has to come from within), a good leader can do a tremendous amount to influence people and encourage their motivation and success.

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I didn't book it, our price was too high

We have all said these words – frustrated after preparing a painstaking proposal for a client only to be turned away for our rates. While we know we are charging a reasonable amount for excellent ingredients, top-notch service and outstanding results, the client opts for a cheaper – and or less qualified competitor. In order to find out more about this issue, I sent a survey to 474 event professionals around the country- both large & small – and asked them to rank the reasons why they believe that a client didn’t book with their company.

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Born of Necessity...

In this crazy business logistical issues arise, and most often when there is but a tiny window of time to plan.

A case in point…

This event was for 125 guests for cocktails and dinner stations at a recently renovated venue. In order to maintain the integrity of the décor, the venue director prohibited food displays in the newly styled rooms. For her event the client wanted, no surprise, “something different” and also wanted to use all three floors. The logistical issue – the only turn out / kitchen space was in the basement.

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