Patio Admiration Sparks New Event

Last month during one of our weekly staff meetings, a team member commented on how beautiful McNamara’s patio was–the trees and grass were lush and green with the water feature, newly scrubbed, gurgling nearby.  Not only do we enjoy the patio for our spring and summer staff meetings, but access to the patio is a lovely perk for couples booking University Hall in the spring–its floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the landscaped patio. Together these two spaces make up our University Hall wedding package. “It’s too bad we don’t have a spring open house to showcase it,” another team member replied. That got me thinking. Could we plan an open house in 2-3 weeks and promote it to engaged couples using only social media and McNamara’s online wedding listings? I challenged our millennial team members Liz and Bekah to take this on. Challenge accepted.

Planning quickly began–a floorplan was drafted, cake and punch were ordered from our partner D’Amico Catering. Our graphic designer created an open house graphic modified for different online size requirements. McNamara’s website and 5-6 online wedding listings were updated with the event details front and center. Facebook and Twitter posts quickly generated interest as people circulated our posts. The only money spent on advertising was $94.21 through Facebook Ads which reached 9,835 people and generated 108 clicks. Now we wait…

On the morning of Saturday, June 3 the sun was shining and the patio and adjacent University Hall were set and ready for visitors. We did not have to wait long for guests to arrive–by 11 a.m. (the event’s start), three couples had arrived! Sari and Amy of the sales team stayed busy giving tours for the full two hours. By the event’s conclusion, eight groups had toured and two couples booked!

So what did we learn? We learned that social media is a great resource for last minute promotions, reaching a large amount of people in a short amount of time. We learned that we didn’t need an elaborate event with specialty linens and decor to showcase McNamara’s already lovely patio. Lastly, we learned that our customers–eight engaged couples anyway–do not need a lot of lead time in making weekend plans. Two bookings for less than $100 of expenses? Challenge perfected.