Setting your venue up for success: Expert Advice from the team at WeddingDates, your trusted partner in the wedding industry
Ever wake up feeling like this might not be your breakthrough year? Or you’re eagerly awaiting your venue to flourish, but the roadmap seems elusive. We get it – been there, done that! But guess what? 2024 is gearing up to be your time to sparkle! So, let’s embrace the positive vibes, shake off any lingering doubts, and get ready for a spectacular year ahead!
At WeddingDates, we’ve been supporting wedding venues across Ireland and the UK for more than 15 years, helping them grow their businesses, boost bookings, and increase revenue. In this blog post, we’ve tapped into the collective wisdom of our team to bring you practical advice on setting your venue up for success this year. Whether you’re looking to attract more leads, improve conversion rates, or enhance customer retention, we’ve got the insights you need. Think of this article as your venue’s pep talk from the pros.
Here’s to your venue owning the game this year! Let’s see what our team has to say:
Carys Duckworth, Wedding Venue Expert
EXPERT Advice: Acknowledge the elephant in the room aka the cost of living
Lots of venues tell me they’re struggling with the cost of living impacting couples’ budgets. If your target market is more price conscious consider tailoring your starting package to ‘include everything they need, but nothing they want’. This strategic approach allows prospective couples to establish a baseline for budget expectations when considering your venue.
As a sales professional, this not only empowers you to offer a clear starting point but also provides the flexibility to enhance the package with desirable extras, showcasing the value you can bring to their special day. This minimises haggling which I know can be wearing. If they can’t accept your base price it’s time to gracefully step away and know your worth. They may come back to you still but might need longer to save if you’re the venue of their dreams.
Alix Matania-Allerton, Former Wedding Planner
EXPERT Advice: Make the couple feel special from the very start of their journey
As wedding pros, it’s easy to get caught up in the influx of enquiries, but amid the hustle and bustle of admin tasks, it’s important not to lose sight of the real couples behind the computer screens. Stand out from the competition by ensuring the couple feels genuinely special right from the beginning of their journey with you.
Ensure the process for them to enquire with you is seamless and tech-friendly, respond swiftly regardless of the time by using automation tools like WedPro, and, most importantly, shift the focus from selling to connecting emotionally once the enquiry lands. If you do just one thing this week look at the first response you send to couples and find a way to inject more personality.
Your venue should be seen as more than a space – make the emotional journey as memorable as the celebration itself.
Mizan Potgieter, B2B Marketing Specialist
EXPERT Advice: Give your social media presence a thorough checkup
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and give your social media presence a thorough once-over. Whether you’re on Instagram or Facebook, take a critical look at your feed, especially the messaging and the images you’re sharing. Now, ask yourself the big questions: If you were a soon-to-be-wed couple, would your feed or posts make you hit that “book now” button? Are you providing enough details for them to confidently choose your venue? And, crucially, do they know who will be planning their big day?
And here’s a friendly reminder: don’t get caught up in overthinking each post. Sometimes, going back to the basics is the magic formula. Are you selling the dream? Does your content transport potential couples to a world where your venue is the backdrop for their happily ever after?
Medhavi Upadhyaya, Content Creator
EXPERT Advice: Capture hearts online with captivating visuals
Elevate your wedding venue’s online presence by prioritising visual storytelling. Use immersive content that showcases the unique charm and personality of your space (and wedding team). Leverage the power of social media platforms, especially visual-centric ones like Instagram and Pinterest, to engage with your audience and create a community around your venue.
Stay authentic and relatable in your content, providing glimpses into the behind-the-scenes and the personal touches that make each event special. Keep up-to-date on current content trends and technology to ensure your venue remains not just a physical space but a captivating online experience. Remember, in the digital age, compelling content is your venue’s virtual invitation to couples seeking their dream wedding location. So, let your story shine through visuals, and make 2024 the year your venue captures hearts online!
Jasmin Terry, Customer Success Specialist
EXPERT Advice: Boost your venue’s reputation with positive reviews
In 2024 prioritise getting reviews from happy couples. After their wedding or engagement party, kindly ask them to share their experiences on your website, WeddingDates listing, or social media. You can also use surveys or feedback forms.
Positive reviews not only boost your online reputation but also attract more potential customers to your wedding venue. It’s a simple strategy – let satisfied couples vouch for your venue, and you’ll see an uptick in visibility and trust. Plus, genuine feedback helps you understand what works well and what might need improvement, allowing you to refine your services and provide an even better experience for future couples. So, encourage those positive reviews and let your venue shine!
Sarah O’Farrell, Head of Operations
EXPERT Advice: Leave nothing to chance when impressing guests
I wish that everyone moved through life like a good Event Manager, or indeed a General Manager. Trained to see the detail, it’s the keen eagle eye that keeps the team on top of the hand prints on doors, the unattended person at reception who’s looking lost, or the stray leaves blowing into the foyer. Trained to keep that well-oiled machine running smoothly, and leaving nothing to chance when impressing the guests arriving on property.
When you have impressed the guests, and given them a warm fuzzy feeling about your venue, consider whether you’ve maximised their chance to tell their friends and family. Walk through your property with that same eagle eye, and figure out where you can let everyone know that weddings are just dreamy at your venue. Display wedding offers in the elevators, a wedding display at the reception, strategic leaflets and posters with QR codes to join the mailing list. Let everyone know you are open and looking for new wedding business.
Ciara Crossan, Founder & CEO
EXPERT Advice: Embrace growth and lead with passion
It’s never too late to become the best Wedding Coordinator, Sales Manager or GM you can be. Your journey is unique, and every step, regardless of when it happens, contributes to your growth. In 2024 embrace continuous learning, stay curious, and adapt to the evolving landscape of the wedding industry. I encourage you to invest in your team’s development, foster a culture of collaboration, and lead with passion. The best coordinators and GMs are those who are not afraid to learn from each experience, whether it’s a triumph or a challenge. So, seize every opportunity, inspire your team, and let your commitment to excellence drive your success.
You’ve got this!
(And if you need a bit of inspiration don’t hesitate to get in touch, your success is our success and we are always happy to help you and your team achieve their goals.)
Chris McCarthy, Software Engineer
EXPERT Advice: Give your team a power boost with automation
My top tip for wedding venues in 2024 is to embrace automation – let technology be your trusty sidekick. You can automate routine tasks like booking confirmations, follow-ups, and event coordination. It’s a true time-saver and ensures a seamless experience for your clients and guests. If you are introducing tech into your operations make sure it is as welcoming as your venue with a user-friendly interface. A smooth, intuitive experience leaves a lasting impression.
And don’t forget, data security matters, so ensure your software is equipped with robust measures.
Linda Meade, Accounts Administrator
EXPERT Advice: Don’t wait till the end of the year to review your performance
Regular self-assessment is key to staying on top of your game. Set aside time for periodic check-ins to evaluate your or your wedding team’s performance, pinpoint areas for improvement, and establish realistic goals. This proactive reflection not only keeps you in control but also ensures ongoing growth and adaptability.
In 2024, make it a routine to engage in consistent performance reviews throughout the year for a more productive and fulfilling journey. Fortunately, with WedPro, tracking your performance is a breeze, thanks to its numerous reporting features that simplify the process and provide valuable insights into your achievements and areas for development.
We hope you learned something valuable from our team’s 2024 expert advice!
If you want to learn more about our sales pipeline management software and how it can help your wedding business, visit our website or contact us today for a demo or discovery call. We would love to hear from you and show you how WedPro can help you achieve your goals.