How the Epping Club Tells its Story


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Sydney's Epping Club presents to the Clubs+ Weddings & Events Summit 2012

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  • I have been here at the Epping Club for almost 11 years and I work here because I enjoy meeting new people and coming up with innovative and fun ways, to let people know what we do here. I graduated with a business degree from Macquarie University and commenced in a graduate position with one of the large Sydney advertising agencies- where I worked primarily on the McDonalds account. Surprisingly McDonald's – and most of us have one near us- is a very similar style of marketing to clubs- its all about local relationships at the core. After a coupe of years of sports and hospitality marketing in Sydney, I then gained some further experience working for a South African owned, event management company in London and across Europe. I really learnt some great skills about the importance of detail in large scale events here. I worked at st Andrews on the golf- and even in the summer, weather is an important factor in Scotland. So sponsored umbrellas were one of the little detail that should not have been forgotten. prior to joining the Epping club I built on my media knowledge while working for fox sports and was part of the start up team, at the fox studios entertainment precinct. So after almost 20 years of varied marketing and advertising experience- I wanted to get up here and crack some funny jokes and bamboozle you with all the best kept marketing secrets, of how we created such a successful events and wedding venue but at the end of the day- the answer is simple -Knowledge. Know your customer!!!! and know your product. And What do you do well, know what your customer wants and how do you tell them you have it? This simple theory will work for the biggest of Clubs with gorgeous harbour views to a tin shack out in timbucktoo!
  • As a team, we also step out of doing the business, regularly to look at where we are heading strategically, so I will share a few of these insights with you.
  • 1. Develop a plan with weekly kpi as goals- break your bigger annual budget into achievable chunks and monitor regularly- so no surprises with revenue or profit at the end of the year.2. Focused advertising and communication plan – that talks to those who need/want your product within a budget that generates a return on investment for your Club3. New business development- networking and don’t think you will put out a sign saying “we do weddings”- and people will come knocking your door down- you need to get out there and meet the community, your local business groups, who runs the school pa and c?4. Rewarding current clients/ High Level customer service and delivery is a big factor for repeat business5. Timely use of resources ( budget & time)6. We Position our Club brand as being synonymous with quality and a company that delivers your expectations “Sydney’s 5 star club. determine your position! what does your Club do ? and where do you fit in comparison to your local competitors- are you the biggest or the friendliest or have the funniest entertainers- anyway you get the point- so many marketers are shouting out at everyone-! What is your niche?
  • I would like to share the baked beans theory- baked beans advertising is a good example of targeting- “ Beans mean Heinz ‘has been a successful advertising strategy to target house wives/ mothers of children to buy baked beans for their family for generations. So while you are throwing the big money and big message to your main customer, it will still splatter out and hit those on the outskirts such as a teenage boy or a granny living alone will still buy baked beans. this is another key message- who are you talking to ? Too many clubs are trying to talk to everyone and get desperate ,then your advertising dollar is spread too thinly and you miss getting the frequency or appeal to who really wants your product
  • One stop shop customers- offer all inclusive package- for those that want to do not want to do a thing themselves. Budget weddings- $98 – upsell servicesGoogle analytics Google analytics told us why people were not enquiringWhy we have packages on websiteEnquiry form
  • Partnership / networking- key suppliers / planners (not a one off bride rather multiple events and easy to deal with)Own dedicated Wedding Coordinators as a strong USP- in the father of the bride-” every girl wants her own “ franc” Focus on inviting potential clients into the venue and the “site inspection” will Close the sale.Advertising/Promotions in the Wedding market- how to chose what is the best medium- measure your leads, look at advertising with a target market that mirrors your average wedding client- are you getting enough bookings to justify the advertising spend, our in-house wedding expo- ROIHandling challenges- you may sit there thinking, how can we do this in our Club?- we don't have a pillar less ballroom with chandeliers or a sweeping staircase- but we too,in our part of the market have our challenges, people compare us to venues with more parking and stand alone wedding reception venues, that are not sharing the space with other club members- it is all about your handling of these objections and turning them into positive benefits that put you ahead of the rest.
  • Time saving is one of the main benefits- everything is easy, world is fast- efficiency is the key. Parking is easy, organising- give me what I had last year, Access to dedicated event coordinator- understand clients special needs.we call them and offer to book it in after this years event- while is still strong and positive in the memory, saves them shopping around or being poached. Low turnover of staffCustomer relationship management-Support them through their other projects, Christmas presents, school fundraisers etc, personal hobbies and interests.Corporate loyalty scheme- reward and encourage referrals- unlike weddings- this is a network for repeat business and them to refer friends colleagues etc. so much potential like a spider web, networking is once again very important here.Testimonials- utilise some of the bigger corporates to grow your brand as being synonymous of what their brand means in the hearts and minds of other potentials- the testimonials then say- we are great as do you think the Westpac's and Unilever of the world would do business with us if we were not delivering.Professional Event Planners – target that group , networkingincorporate into the corporate strategy focus on big business Government, Charity, PA’s, facilitators.
  • Reputation- experienceSri Lankan, Indian, Korean plus more- network and surround yourself with other suppliers from that community- reward referrals.Culture- become culturally savvy and learn what makes that culture tick- what are they looking for, show you understand their special needs and speak from a position of experience. staff that are from that county- overcomes language and other potential cultural barriersMenu/ Food Vip tasting nightsRelationships and ReferralsAdvertising to that community, eg Indian Link, Korean newspaperuse images from past events promote on website.
  • Direct target- do your research- what charity or community organisations in your area do which event and when do they start planning for thesePackages- price point, if they are fundraising develop a package or incentive to suit their budget, maintain profitability through offering seasonal food or a week night instead of weekend to save on staff labour Visits and directly contactingOffer fund raising advice and experience- many are volunteers and have not organised an event before, offer your experience and ideas and even offer to assist with advertising, as the more tickets they sell, the more money you will make too
  • We are in the unique marketing position of knowing who at least a big chunk of our customers are- we have a database of their contact details- how many businesses would kill for this information. We can talk to them directly, through a variety of communication tools that are a lot more effective and much cheaper per customer than a competitor venue, who are out in the cold dark world shouting out to everyone, trying to hope they can catch the potential events client. we can get to know them intimately- what is their favourite drink, do they enjoy football or poetry.- we need to ensure we keep this vital database as accurate and relevant as we can- we then need to use, this asset as precious as gold, to our benefit and target them directly with various offers- we send them a birthday cardan and a special offer for their birthday if they hold a party here in our function rooms- timing is everything-so consider when they would be planning this event. Member Communication- members magazine, sms, email – special offers only advertised to them directly Clubhouse= “Home away from home” first place they think of for a celebrationIncentives and special benefits- Loyalty Program incentives Offer member only promotions for specific times- eg include birthday cake
  • E Plus Star Rewards Reward and Incentivise current relationships (CRM) Strong relationships- obliged to utilise the Club – Adele had a client saying too guilty not to use them after everything she has done for himCross departmental referrals and promotionsSurprise and delight clients
  • Set up alliances with local business/ groups/ suppliersEmploy a dedicated full time BD executor- potential clients will have a relationship with them, not distracted by event coordinating- always selling and leaving other to manage the eventPlanning- develop calendar with targets and focus markets for specific time of the year with specific goals and follow up plans-Relationship Based- networking is they key- how many people do you know who know people?Incentives- offer rewards Utilize data to target offersSchools program- morning tea and how to get past the gatekeeper
  • main plan must generate roi- keep analysing , fine tuning and tracking is the key to advertising success.Members Marketing- Club Magazine, sms email- database specifically targeting , profiling staff to maintain relationship focus- website and publicitySignage, referrals- word of mouth from previous customers or associates, Above the line advertising- radio, print, magazine- need to mass market weddings particularly as it is a narrow and very fluid market- e card to collect database for even tighter targeted advertising from a mass pool- interactiveDeal/Coupon Websites-Promote for introductory visitsFlyers, PostersDirectly targeted marketing
  • Social networking- Facebook, twitter and blogsWebsite and search engine optimisation- ad words, key words, how do I rate on a search and how do I stay on the front page. Website competitions and databasesFunction packages- monitor downloads- we don't gate- but are considering putting in an incentive to download your details as we are finding the rate of downloads is a lot higher than the enquiry level. PDF’s function packages- monitor downloadsOnline bookings/ enquiry form- quick quote button- make it easy- while they are at work or shopping on line at night. Deal websites- beware of commission, use to closely and specifically target quiet times or a smaller room/spaces when the best or bigger rooms sell quickly or in off peak periods such as January for us.Sms/Email- great as a reminder-and act today- eg wedding expo this weekend- send an offer to give them a reason to come into the venue right now!Google Analytics- watch the traffic and movement and the downloads, know your customers and react quickly if your strategy is not working
  • Dedicated events site has demonstrated a big improvement in trafficutilising client real photographs creates authenticity and shows you do a variety and a large number of eventsKeeping Facebook active and alive- they like it too
  • How the Epping Club Tells its Story

    2. 2. Peter SaezChief Executive Officer
    3. 3. Overview Why the success?• History• Customer Service• Staff• Event Sales Team• Purpose
    4. 4. Clubs Business PurposeTo Deliver a 5 Star Experience
    5. 5. Melissa GilloolyMarketing Manager
    6. 6. Strategic ObjectivesIncrease Revenue/ Identify Key Target Awareness Markets Strategic Develop New Build Loyalty Objectives Business
    7. 7. Delivering on Major Strategic Objectives Increase Revenue/Awareness • Key Performance Indicators • Advertising and communication plan • Position the Club brand
    8. 8. Delivering on Major Strategic Objectives Identify Key Target MarketsDeveloped strategy focussing on 5 major target demographics • Weddings • Corporate/ Schools • Cultural • Charity • Members
    9. 9. Delivering the Plan- Weddings Target 2 main markets1. One stop shop customers- offer all inclusive package 2. Budget weddings- $98
    10. 10. Delivering the Plan- Weddings cont. • Key suppliers • Wedding Coordinators • Site inspections • Advertising/Promotions
    11. 11. Delivering the Plan Corporate• Time• Access to dedicated event coordinator• Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    12. 12. Delivering the Plan Cultural • Reputation • Relationships and Referrals • Use images from past events • Menu/ Food • Advertising • Website
    13. 13. Delivering the Plan Charity • Targeting• Develop a specific package • Assistance
    14. 14. Delivering the Plan Club Members• Member Communication• Clubhouse “Home away from Home”• Promotions• Loyalty Program incentives
    15. 15. Delivering on Major Strategic Objectives Build Loyalty • E Plus Star Rewards• Reward and Incentivise current relationships • School/Sporting Groups
    16. 16. Delivering on Major Strategic ObjectivesDevelop New Business • Alliances • Dedicated BD executor • Calendar • Relationship Based • Incentives • Utilize data to target offers • Morning tea program
    17. 17. Advertising & Communication Plan • Members Marketing • Signage/ Displays • Referrals • Above the line advertising • Directly targeted marketing
    18. 18. Advertising & Communication Plan cont.Implement Innovative E Marketing Strategies • Social networking- Facebook, twitter and blogs • Website- SES • Function packages- monitor downloads • Online bookings/ enquiry form • Deal/Coupon Websites • Sms/Email • Google Analytics
    19. 19. Advertising & Communication Plan cont. How Website works for us
    20. 20. Sydney’s 5 Star Club