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Why Virtual Tours for Wedding Venues are a Game-Changer

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Why Virtual Tours for Wedding Venues are a Game-Changer

Why Virtual Tours for Wedding Venues are a Game-Changer

Here at The Venue Experts, we’re huge advocates for the power of virtual tours for wedding venues. With our base in Loughborough, nestled in the heart of the East Midlands, we’re fortunate to collaborate with incredible wedding venues all over the country and worldwide. However, the reality is, we can’t physically be present in every venue to sell its charms. That’s where virtual tours step in as our trusty sidekick, allowing us to showcase venues to couples near and far.

Where our virtual tour journey began

Our journey with virtual tours began during the tumultuous times of 2020’s global pandemic. As we all adapted to a world confined to virtual interactions, these tours became our primary tool for connecting couples with their dream venues. What initially started as a necessity quickly transformed into a strategic approach, yielding phenomenal results that surpassed our expectations.

Virtual tour marketing
Image by Anthony Tanton

Let’s hear from the experts

I reached out to two of my recommended partners with whom I work closely for some advice that I could share with you all:

Mark Shepherd, Founder of Apollo 3D, said,

“The simplicity of reach and convenience for all are two great benefits of virtual tours. The ‘reach’ is the fact there are no boundaries with geography to explore a venue, and convenience means anytime and with anybody. You can take a virtual tour by yourself or with your whole family as you plan.”

I strongly agree with Mark Shepherd from Apollo 3D that virtual tours for wedding venues do enable us to enter new markets geographically. Last month alone, the TVE team spoke with couples in Vienna, Australia, Dubai, Canada, New Zealand, several US states, and Germany. Couples today are time-poor, so being able to reach them from the comfort of their own home and start to build that connection when they are in wedding planning mode is so powerful. Our very own awesome sales executive, Emily Jordan, achieved a huge 75% conversation rate from her virtual tours and achieved a best-ever result for one of her venues. As a data-driven company, we know that couples who have had virtual tours prior to visiting a venue in person are so much more likely to book. The conversion rate of viewing to booking shoots up if the couple has viewed the venue virtually beforehand.

How can Virtual Tours add value to a wedding venue?

I asked Keith Mcmahon 📸, sales director of Venue View for his thoughts on virtual tours for wedding venues:

‘Everyone knows of the ability to use Virtual Tours to drive revenue – mainly in the way of new bookings. This is achieved by showing beautiful spaces in a range of alternate room setups, then putting effective CTAs inside the experience…but let’s look at 3 other ways Virtual Tours are adding value.

Personalisation

We already have the ability to add in video conferencing to virtual tours, allowing sales teams to engage with people directly. This, or chat functionality such as Facebook Messenger, can provide that first contact that allows the venue representative to understand the client’s needs and tailor the sales message accordingly. There have also been huge strides in recent years in the ability to add additional 3D content into spaces. This could be alternate setups, moving TV screens with custom messages, or even green screen characters living in the tour. It’s all about the client’s imagination – what do you WANT to happen in your tour!

Environmental

If tours were popular before the COVID lockdown era, they went through the roof as more people spent their days at home! Virtual visits almost eliminate the carbon emissions of both the client and the sales staff, as the number of actual visits to the venue can be drastically reduced. On the latter, it’s evident that many people are still working from home, and what better way to still ‘be there’…even when you are not! As more and more people look towards carbon-neutral venues, having a digital twin of your venue is essential.

Engaging A New Audience

The customer landscape is shifting. A new generation of clients, who have only ever known a digital world, are getting married, having events, or looking for that elusive special space they just can’t find anywhere. They are spending more time online than ever before, and it’s essential that they get the information they need in an engaging and entertaining manner. The days of providing fact-based information or relying on a print brochure to get your message across are gone – you need a solid and exciting digital presence that is ever-evolving along with the demands of your customers. If you stop moving, you are going backward – as you can guarantee your competitors are investing in the future.’

Training wedding venues how to sell virtually
Image by Jess Sommerville Photography

My Top Tips for Selling Virtually

With the rise of Gen Z making an entry into the wedding market and the move to more digital wedding planning in general, I believe that virtual tours are an essential part of any venue’s marketing strategy. So, to help, here are our top tips on virtual tour selling and marketing:

Not all Virtual Tours are made Equal

Work with a good trusted supplier and do your research. Ask to see their portfolio and other venues they have worked with ensure you can everything you want and to cover the whole venue. If you need any recommendations, feel free to reach drop me an email.

The customer journey

Much like an in-person viewing, consider the journey you will take the couple on. Where do you want to start the tour? Remember to ask all the pre-qualifying questions prior to the meeting, i.e., how many guests, what type of ceremony they are having, and the time of year they desire. Knowing this will affect how you conduct the tour and allows you to tailor the virtual viewing to match up with their requirements.

Plan ahead

When filming a tour, plan ahead. How many different setups do you offer? Are there any more tricky parts to the venue to sell? Use the virtual tour to help sell these areas. For example, if your ceremony space also doubles up for the evening reception, show the spaces set up within the tour. Weddings are a very visual thing, so we need to show our couples how the rooms will look and work together cohesively.

Simple styling

Keep styling minimal. Whilst it might be tempting to showcase the rooms with various colours and florals, trends move quickly and not everyone has the same taste, so we would recommend keeping styling to a minimum. That being said you do want to include some minimal additions to help the couple visualise the potential of the space but keep it neutral.

Quality connection

Ensure your internet connection is solid; you don’t want any lags in the tour or glitching!

Embrace the Digital Future

I, for one, am excited for the future of virtual tours and the digital landscape, and rest assured that we’ll be at the forefront, sharing all the latest updates and innovations with you all. If you’re ready to elevate your venue’s virtual presence or just want a chat about selling and marketing your venue virtually, then don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Stacey@thevenueexperts.co.uk.

Finally, a big shoutout to our virtual tour partners for their expert input:

Keith McMahon from Venue View – info@venueview.co.uk

The Apollo 3D team – info@apollo3d.co.uk

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