Waterworks Museum is located on the site of the original Chestnut Hill Reservoir and pumping station built in 1887 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The focal point of this late 19th century architectural gem is the three magnificent, steam-driven pumping engines that stand over three stories high and once powered Metropolitan Boston’s public water supply.
In the fall of 2011, Waterworks Museum opened the space for private events, primarily for corporate meetings and parties.
The challenge for events manager, Sandra Hoderlein, was promoting the museum as an event venue in the Boston area. Because the museum is a non-profit, she had a relatively small budget allocated for advertising and marketing initiatives.
Sandra spent her budget with companies that ranked high for event search terms. Advertising with Eventective and two other national wedding and meeting websites optimized the museum’s presence on search engines and increased awareness of the rental space.
“ Prospective customers are finding the museum in Google searches and Eventective has definitely been a good source of inquiries and phone calls. We have booked enough events through Eventective that it more than pays for our annual advertising subscription. ” - Sandra
Last year Waterworks Museum booked 27 events which Sandra said was a big success for them since they just started renting the facility a little over a year ago. Events booked for the first quarter of 2013 are up 425% over the first quarter last year. Sandra’s online advertising efforts resulted in more corporate events and helped the museum book weddings.
“ Museums are often not top of mind for brides looking for wedding locations. Advertising has helped us reach brides online as they browse for potential venues. Our event space has become a great venue for couples looking for an unusual and impressive venue to wow guests and share a piece of Boston history.” - Sandra
It can be difficult for non-profits with limited budgets to find the resources to advertise online, but “you do need to spend money to make money.” Work with your board to discuss a marketing strategy and start small with your paid advertising. As you build your event business, you can increase your advertising spend.
Networking with professional event planners and hosting free events to entertain local vendors and meeting planners is a good way to show off your venue. One local networking event Waterworks Museum hosted helped generate interest and excitement with event planners that later resulted in booked events from their clients.