Screengrab of Michael Wickens mid line dance. (Photo: P. Shaw)
As part of my role as Full House Group’s Victorian Venue Relationship Manager I get to enjoy plenty of time on the road. On my journeys I visit a huge range of pubs and clubs in the city and the towns from Melbourne up to the Murray region.
Most of the time I make the journey on my own. There is plenty of time to think, and think I do. Mainly about my beautiful wife at home but also about what works for venues when planning and activating entertainment options in their venue.
A lot of it is about the stable of products that I represent and how I can help venues utilise them to become the social hub of their community.
However, while dancing The Nutbush a couple of weeks ago at the Mulwala Ski Club, I had an epiphany.
My colleague, Pete Shaw, and I were on a road trip visiting our venues in North East Victoria.
After a couple of drinks and a delicious meal at the Ski Club I decided to join in the venues weekly line dancing group. Pete has two left feet so he sat it out, but I had a ball and enjoyed a few laughs with some of the venues regulars.
It got me thinking about what venues can do when planning their entertainment offerings.
The Ski Club’s Line Dancing group was a great example. There were 60 people participating in the group at 10pm on a Thursday. Many had come early to enjoy a meal and many stayed around for a drink post dance. The atmosphere was great, everyone had a smile on their face.
No doubt the venue had put some thought into this and I’m sure the staff had gotten behind it, promoting the event and nurturing a welcome atmosphere.
Another thing I’m seeing plenty of venues offering are Open Mic nights. Locals come in and take turns playing music, putting on comedy sketches or telling stories.
Many of these people bring friends and family for support and most of these people enjoy a few drinks and check out what else the venue has to offer.
What a great way to boost visitation and spend! The only cost is a microphone and a bit of promotion. This is just one example of venues being creative with their entertainment offerings. There are tonnes of others to consider like Family Day’s, Boozey Brunches and Book Clubs.
Put your thinking caps on and see what you can do to provide creative entertainment offerings to your patrons. Include them in your marketing mix with one of Full House Group’s great products and you will begin to see a whole bunch of new faces pour into your venue.
I look forward to seeing some of you in my travels soon.
Michael Wickens, Victorian Venue Relationship Manager