The importance of… A brochure

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Not all wedding venues and businesses need fancy pants brochures, but if you’ve decided it’s something you need, then make sure you do it properly.

Who needs a brochure?

Frankly, not everyone. Just because most venues, hotels and suppliers have elaborate upmarket ones, doesn’t mean you need to as well. But if having one flatters your business, then crack on. A brochure ultimately serves as an expanded business card; photographers can feature their best work, venues can showcase their event space and designers such as bridal boutiques and cake makers can present their most popular collections. As a venue, if your target clients are visiting over 10 other venues, then yes you will need a well-crafted brochure in order to match the competition. However, if you specialise in a niche market, where most of your clients that visit you convert to customers, then a hefty printed brochure really isn’t needed.

Having a brochure doesn’t necessarily mean you need to bear the cost of an expensive print run either (although there’s a time and place for this).  Instead they can simply consist of a well designed PDF document.

The only time you should consider a printed version is if:

  • You have a high volume of visitors who need something tangible to take with them so as to remember your venue/product out of the crowd
  • You’re a high end supplier and market to a luxury audience
  • You have the budget!

What does it need to have/look like?

The mistake that most people make (venues in particular) is that they produce visually stunning, glossy, photo-led brochures WITH NO INFORMATION! I see so many venues not putting any descriptions or prices within the document and it baffles me. Why spend a fortune on a photo shoot for your venue and then provide nothing of importance to your potential clients? Your brochure is supposed to be as, if not more helpful than it is aesthetically pleasing.

So whether you’re a venue or hotel, the following is the absolute minimum you need to be including:

  • Photos of the empty rooms and event spaces dressed up for occasion
  • A floor plan which illustrates the flow of space
  • Indicative pricing and information on the business model (dry hire or all-in-one?)
  • Key T&Cs (e.g. license expires after 11pm or no confetti rule)
Hotel Brochure

If you don’t have exact prices, then “starting from…” prices are fine. But please for the love of Aphrodite include something of value. Don’t make the client have to call you to find out what the overnight price is or whether you have in-house catering. All this should be illustrated within the document itself.

Having said all that, I don’t mean utterly abandon effort in terms of quality of presentation. It still needs to look great (always think ‘inspiration and aspiration’) so every single image you feature has to be professionally taken by a photographer –  not on your iPhone 6 camera. If you’re selling a product, be creative in the way which you present it. For example, a wedding cake – display it in a setting as it would be on a real wedding day. Include close ups of your delicate work and show off the flavours with shots of the inside. Remember, this isn’t a boring catalogue, it’s your exclusive portfolio to show to your most valuable clients, so do it well.

Ultimately, your brochure isn’t going to draw in new clients but what it will do is bridge the gap between when they first come across you and the next step of the sales funnel. It can be the key to getting you that next booking which is why it’s so crucial to provide the clients with the information they need to know. If you do it right, you’ll soon see the importance of your brochure.

 

Photo credit: GQ Design

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