Event Venue Business Plan Guide + Free Example

July 6, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

Finding the perfect venue for an event can be a daunting task, and running the perfect venue can be even more challenging. If you are looking to start your own event venue, this demands strategic thinking, careful planning, and a sharp eye for detail. It's not just about finding the right location; it's about understanding your target market, gauging competition, predicting costs, and generating profits. Sounds overwhelming? Fear not, we have your back!

In this blog post, we will take you step-by-step through the process of creating an effective and practical business plan for your event venue business. From defining your business concept and forecasting your financials, to marketing strategies and operational plans, we will cover it all. Moreover, we've included a free, downloadable event venue business plan example to provide you with a tangible resource to guide you through your own planning process.

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur who's new to the industry, an experienced event planner branching out, or simply exploring the idea, this comprehensive guide and free example are sure to make your journey to launching your own event venue a bit easier. Stay with us as we delve deeper into the world of event venue businesses and empower you to bring your vision to life.

Here is what I plan to cover in this post:

With that as our guide, let’s dive in. 

Why write a business plan for an event venue? 

The primary reason to write a business plan for an event venue is because your potential investors and lenders have asked for your business plan.  I can come up with all sorts of reasons why it might be smart to write a detailed business plan, but at the end of the day, the real reason is because writing a business plan is standing in between you and the startup funding that you need.  

What to include in an event venue business plan?

If you are looking to secure an SBA loan, then this general overview on how to write a business plan for an SBA loan can be helpful.  It discusses the differences between writing a standard, long form business plan versus a lean startup business plan which will typically use a business model canvas.  I think this can be some helpful background, but we want to know more specifically how to write a business plan for an event center business.  The following is the outline we use for our event venue business plan template.   

Event Venue Plan Outline

I. Executive Summary

II. Business Concept

III. Market Analysis

IV. Competition Analysis

V. Marketing Strategy

VI. Menu and Kitchen Operations

VII. Service and Hospitality

VIII. Financial Plan

  • Startup Costs:
  • Projected Financial Summary:
  • Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit:
  • Key Financial Ratios:
  • Income Statement:
  • Balance Sheet:
  • Cash Flow Statement:

IX. Organizational Structure

X. Conclusion

As you review our business plan template I think you will get the idea of what to include in most of the sections, but I wanted to focus on a couple of unique sections of your business and provide some tools and techniques that I think might be helpful as you try to complete a competitive analysis and marketing section of your business plan. 

How to Analyze the Competition for your Event Venue?

In order to analyze the competition in a given market for an event venue I like to try to pull both website traffic data and physical foot traffic data.  I use a few different tools to help find this data.  

How to Estimate Website Traffic for a Competitor

To estimate website traffic for a competitor I would start by looking up their website on a tool like Ahrefs which will show us how much organic website traffic they are getting.  For this example, let’s assume that our competitor is a wedding venue and winery called The Sycamore Winery.  We can see that they receive approximately 650 organic website visitors per month:

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Additionally, with Ahrefs we can see which keywords are sending them the most organic traffic.  In this example, they are getting some traffic from wedding venue related keywords as you can see below:

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You can look up all of your competitors with a tool like Ahrefs and find out which ones seem to be getting the most website traffic and from which keywords.  This can help you set an SEO strategy for your venue and determine which keywords to target first.  

How to Estimate Foot Traffic for a Competitor  

In addition to website traffic, it can be really powerful to estimate the actual foot traffic that a particular location might be getting.  This can help you get some understanding of how many events and people you might be able to expect at your event venue which can be important for your financial projections.  Ultimately, the number of events and the size of those events will likely correlate directly with your revenue, so estimating foot traffic can be a secret weapon as you analyze the competition.  

Using our foot traffic report service we can see that The Sycamore Winery has roughly 3,500 visitors per month. 

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The report also allows us to see foot traffic by day, so we can see how busy various days are.  This would give you some indication of how many events you might be able to forecast on the weekends and weekdays.  

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With that level of detail you may know more about your competitors than they know themselves, and it can really help you understand key drivers of business for your competitors.  

How to Promote an Event Venue? 

Another aspect of your event center business plan that I think I can provide some unique guidance in is how to promote your event venue.  There are obviously a number of ways to promote your wedding event venue such as: 

  1. Digital Marketing: Launch a visually appealing website that features high-quality photographs and videos of your venue. Incorporate an interactive virtual tour that enables potential customers to envision their event at your venue. Utilize SEO strategies to improve your venue’s visibility on search engines.
  2. Social Media Promotion: Use platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to showcase your venue. Post photos from real weddings and other events held at your location, behind-the-scenes shots, and testimonials from happy couples. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and direct messages promptly.
  3. Bridal Shows and Expos: Participate in local wedding expos and bridal shows. These events are a great opportunity to network with prospective clients and other wedding vendors. Provide potential customers with a tangible feel for your venue through pictures, videos, and brochures.
  4. Collaborate with Wedding Planners: Wedding planners can be your strongest advocates. Develop relationships with local and regional planners, and invite them to visit your venue. They can recommend your venue to their clients if they're impressed with what you offer.
  5. Online Wedding Directories: List your venue on wedding directories and websites like The Knot or WeddingWire. These platforms can significantly increase your venue's visibility to couples searching for a venue.

One area I want to spend a little bit of time on is how to promote your event venue with SEO.  If you can rank well for relevant keywords it can provide you with a long term competitive advantage.  So here is what I would do.  I would use Ahrefs as I showed you above and look up your competitors websites to see which keywords are sending them the most traffic.  You will see a column called KD which stands for keyword difficulty.  You should look for relevant keywords for your venue with a low KD – keyword difficulty – these are the keywords that you have the best chance at ranking well for early on.  

Additionally, I would use the Google Keyword Planner Tool, which is free, to see which keywords have the most search volume.  For example, I can see that Indianapolis Wedding Venues has roughly 3,600 monthly searches.  Using the keyword ideas function you can see search volume for other related keywords and identify smaller niche keywords that you are most likely to be able to compete in. 

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These search volume estimates give you a good idea of how large the market is and ultimately can flow right into building assumptions for your event venue financial model

How to Create Financial Projections for a Business Plan

Just like in any industry, the event venue business has its own set of factors that influence revenue, such as location, event demand, and pricing strategies. Utilizing an event venue financial projection template can simplify the process and boost your confidence. Creating accurate financial projections goes beyond showcasing your venue's ability to host events; it's about illustrating the financial path that leads to profitability and the realization of your vision for creating unforgettable event experiences. To develop precise projections, consider the following steps:

  1. Estimate startup costs for your event venue, including venue acquisition or lease, renovations or decor, permits, licenses, and initial marketing expenses.
  2. Forecast revenue based on projected event bookings, pricing per event, and potential revenue streams such as catering services or equipment rentals.
  3. Project costs related to event preparations, staffing, and other event-specific expenses.
  4. Estimate operating expenses like utilities, maintenance, insurance, and administrative costs.
  5. Calculate the capital required to launch and operate your event venue, covering initial expenses and providing working capital for sustained operations.

While financial projections are a vital part of your event venue business plan, seek guidance from experienced professionals in the event industry. Adapt your projections based on real-world insights, leverage industry resources, and stay attuned to emerging event trends to ensure your financial plan aligns with your goals and helps you create a successful and in-demand event venue.

Example Event Venue Business Plan

Presented below is the text for our sample event venue business plan. To make it easier for you, we offer a downloadable Google Doc version of this event venue business plan template here. This allows you to edit it and make it truly yours. Furthermore, we provide a video walkthrough that will assist you in tailoring the business plan to suit your unique event venue concept.

Table of Contents

Event Venue Business Plan Outline

I. Executive Summary

II. Market Analysis

III. Product and Service Offerings

IV. Marketing and Sales Strategy

V. Operations and Management

VI. Financial Projections

Startup Costs

Financial Summary

Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit

Key Financial Ratios

Income Statement

Balance Sheet

Cash Flow Statement

VII. Conclusion

I. Executive Summary

The proposed event venue is a state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of the city, catering to a wide range of events including weddings, corporate events, and social gatherings. The venue has a total capacity of 300 guests and boasts a spacious ballroom, a cozy lounge area, and a fully equipped kitchen.

The target market for the venue is the high-end segment, which is expected to generate a significant portion of the revenue. The estimated startup costs for the business are $500,000, which will be funded through a combination of personal savings and a loan from a financial institution.

The business is owned and operated by a team of experienced event professionals who have a deep understanding of the industry and a passion for creating unforgettable experiences. The team's goal is to make the venue a preferred destination for event organizers and guests alike.

II. Market Analysis

The Market Analysis section provides an overview of the event venue industry and the target market.

The event venue industry has experienced steady growth over the past decade and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. The high-end segment of the market is particularly attractive due to the increasing demand for premium event experiences.

The target market for the venue includes corporate clients, wedding planners, and social event organizers. The primary customer demographics are affluent individuals and businesses located in the city, as well as those from nearby cities who are looking for a luxurious event venue.

The venue will differentiate itself from its competitors by offering a combination of exceptional service, high-end amenities, and a prime location. The venue will also leverage technology to enhance the customer experience and streamline operations, making it easier for event organizers to plan and execute their events.

III. Product and Service Offerings

The Product and Service Offerings section provides a description of the venue's features and services.

The venue has a total capacity of 300 guests and includes a spacious ballroom, a cozy lounge area, and a fully equipped kitchen. The ballroom is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems and can be configured to accommodate a variety of event setups. The lounge area is perfect for intimate gatherings and cocktail receptions, while the kitchen provides ample space for catering and food preparation.

In addition to the venue itself, the business will offer a range of services to enhance the customer experience, including event planning and coordination, catering, and lighting and sound support. The venue will also partner with local vendors to provide event decor, florals, and photography services.

The pricing for the venue will be competitive with other premium event venues in the market, with a range of packages available to meet the needs of different types of events. The pricing strategy will be based on a combination of demand and cost considerations, with the goal of maximizing revenue while delivering exceptional value to customers.

IV. Marketing and Sales Strategy

The Marketing and Sales Strategy section provides an overview of how the venue will reach potential customers and generate revenue.

The marketing plan for the venue will focus on three primary channels: digital marketing, events and promotions, and partnerships. The digital marketing strategy will include a strong presence on social media, a website optimized for search engines, and targeted online advertising campaigns. The events and promotions strategy will include hosting events and open houses at the venue to showcase its features and services. The partnership strategy will include working with wedding planners, corporate event organizers, and other local businesses to promote the venue and generate referrals.

V. Operations and Management

The Operations and Management section provides a description of the venue's organizational structure and day-to-day operations.

The venue will be owned and operated by a team of experienced event professionals who will be responsible for the overall management of the business. The team includes a General Manager, an Operations Manager, and an Event Coordinator.

The General Manager will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business, including financial management, marketing and sales, and customer relations. The Operations Manager will be responsible for day-to-day operations, including staffing, scheduling, and vendor management. The Event Coordinator will be responsible for event planning and coordination, ensuring that each event runs smoothly and meets the expectations of the customer.

The venue will utilize a booking and event management system that integrates with the financial and operational systems, making it easier to manage bookings, track revenue, and provide excellent customer service. The venue will also have a robust staffing plan, including a team of event staff and catering staff, to ensure that each event is staffed appropriately.

VI. Financial Projections

All of the unique financial projections you see here were generated using ProjectionHub’s event venue  financial projection template. Use PH20BP to enjoy a 20% discount on the template. 

The Financial Projections section provides an overview of the startup costs and the financial performance of the business.

The estimated startup costs for the business are $500,000, which will be funded through a combination of personal savings and a loan from a financial institution. The startup costs include the purchase of equipment and furnishings, leasing costs for the venue, and initial marketing expenses.

Startup Costs:

Financial Summary:

Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit:

Key Financial Ratios:

Watch how to create financial projections for your very own event venue:

Income Statement:

Balance Sheet:

Cash Flow Statement:

VII. Conclusion

The Conclusion and Appendices section provides a summary of the key points of the business plan and supporting documentation.

In conclusion, the event venue business is poised for success due to the growing demand for premium event experiences, the experienced ownership and management team, and the state-of-the-art facilities and services offered. This business plan outlines a comprehensive strategy for reaching potential customers, generating revenue, and delivering exceptional value to event organizers and guests.

Event Venue Business Plan FAQs

How do I start an event venue business?

To start an event venue business, you'll need to identify your target market and niche, secure a suitable location, design and set up the venue space, obtain necessary permits and licenses, establish relationships with event planners or vendors, and create marketing strategies.

What amenities should I consider offering in my event venue?

Amenities to consider offering in an event venue include seating and furniture arrangements, audiovisual equipment, lighting and sound systems, catering facilities or partnerships, restrooms, parking or valet services, and any unique features specific to your venue.

How can I attract clients to book my event venue?

To attract clients, develop a visually appealing website and online presence, showcase your venue's unique features through high-quality photos and virtual tours, offer customizable packages, provide exceptional customer service, and establish relationships with event planners or industry professionals.

How to create pricing packages for an event venue?

Pricing models for event venues can vary, and may include hourly rates, package rates based on event duration and services, tiered pricing based on the size or type of event, or customized pricing based on specific client requirements. Research the local market and industry standards to determine your pricing strategy and if you'll include any equipment rental options.

How can I effectively manage bookings and scheduling for my event venue?

You can effectively manage bookings and scheduling by utilizing event management software or tools, maintaining an up-to-date calendar, streamlining the booking process through online forms or platforms, having clear communication channels with clients, and having dedicated staff to handle inquiries and event coordination.

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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