Life is meaningless if you never get to celebrate anything. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, professional accomplishments, corporate gatherings, fundraiser banquets, and other milestones are worth celebrating, which is why the event venue industry is a viable source of income for many property owners.
The rise in the popularity of outdoor venues has seen a shift in what kinds of properties can host these celebrations. What used to be reserved for churches, country clubs, and banquet halls has now spread to other kinds of properties, especially farms.
Agricultural business owners often have a lot of land to use. Recently, outdoor venues have become popular options for people wanting to host weddings, company parties, and other types of celebrations. As a result, many farm owners have made the shift toward hosting events on their properties. Here are some tips to improve this side of your agricultural business.
Although the nature of outdoor events is that they are reliant on people spending time outside, there are still likely to be indoor elements during the celebration. It could be a wedding ceremony/reception or presentation where everyone is gathered inside. That means you need a place for them to go, especially when the weather is unpredictable. Many property owners will invest in updating barn structures to be more comfortable and provide the necessary amenities. You could also construct a new building with steel roof trusses for aesthetic appeal, ample space, and long-lasting building materials. A quality structure can be the difference between clients choosing your property or looking elsewhere.
Partner With an Event Coordinator
Farms are incredibly labor intensive. In all likelihood, you cannot run the farm and plan events with clients. To ensure a positive customer experience, consider partnering with a local event coordinator who can help manage the direct relationship with the client. This person will be able to meet with clients, understand their needs, and plan a great event for them while you simply focus on maintaining the property and your other farming duties. If a family member is not as involved on the farm but loves event planning, this could be a great way to plug them into a role in the business.
Invest in Outdoor Landscaping
Since the outdoor aspects of the property are going to be what attracts clients, you must invest some money into improving them. Landscaping is crucial for outdoor events, especially when people are searching for beautiful backdrops for photos and a positive atmosphere. You may need to keep up with mowing the lawn, weeding, and trimming edges more than you do for the rest of the farm. Some unique elements like fountains, gardens, pavilions, and entertainment spaces can elevate the space as well. Consider adding stone pathways so that guests can easily find their way around the property during the event itself. Make sure the grass looks fresh with weedkiller, aeration, and grass seed if necessary.
Build a Marketing Plan
With all the money that you spend on the venue itself, as well as the high overhead for the rest of the farm, it may be challenging to spend a lot of money on marketing. For this reason, you will need to gain a competitive advantage with efficient marketing strategies. One of the simplest places to start is with social media. Most social platforms are free and you can quickly build a community simply by creating accounts, posting regularly, and interacting with customers. If you do want to invest a little, social media ads can be very effective. Focus on highlighting the best aspects of your Arkansas event venue with lots of quality pictures and customer reviews if you have them.
Remember Lighting and A/V
The amenities and services at an outdoor venue are often the difference makers when clients are deciding which property to use. Such amenities include the audio/visual capabilities of both the indoor and outdoor space. It is worth investing in a high-quality system so that clients who need it do not encounter roadblocks during the planning process. The easier it is for their event to be run on your property, the more likely they are to choose it. Another important amenity is lighting. When events are held in the evenings, which many of them will be, can guests easily navigate the property without feeling like they cannot see well? Ample lighting in the form of lanterns, string lights, flood lights, and other fixtures ensures that the whole property is visible, allowing guests to focus on the celebration rather than where they are placing their feet.
This Side Hustle Can Propel Greater Profits for Your Farm
Many agricultural property owners in Arkansas and across the country have already made the shift toward event hosting. Vintage barns have become incredibly trendy for large celebrations, and the property size that comes with them is also very enticing. The key is to plan your event-hosting business well. Do the research and take the steps listed above to ensure your property is ready to host great events for various milestones that clients want to celebrate.