Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wedding Recession? 15 Things You Should be Doing Now Webinar

I was honored to be asked to be one of 15 wedding industry pros to contribute to the recent Webinar hosted by Alan Berg, VP of Local Strategic Solutions and Director of The Knot Market Intelligence last night.

The best part {besides that fact that it was FREE} is that it is available for download to anyone who wishes to get some tips on surviving the current economic downturn and how it may potentially affect your wedding business.

Here were my contributions as sent to Alan a few months ago:

-Pat yourself on the back and take picked the RIGHT industry! Yes that is right – while everything about the wedding industry is not perfect [who needs weekends anyway??] there is one major benefit to targeting the bride and groom: weddings are recession-proof. While people may cut back on spending in all other facets of their lives – they rarely cancel their wedding or honeymoon due to economic hard times. Revel in this fact.

-Focus on service. While it is a well documented and rarely disputed fact that weddings are recession-proof, spending on various wedding elements can be susceptible to market conditions. The best way to combat this is to be sure that YOUR piece of the overall wedding spend is protected. Continue to add value to your clients and the most effective [and appreciated] way to do that is to up your level of service at each and every touch point. Go back to square one and be sure that everyone in your organization buys into providing exceptional guest service each and every day. This is non-negotiable if you want to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.

-Be Brilliant at the Basics. Take a day or even an afternoon with you entire team and dedicate it to focusing on your core business. What is it that you provide to the bride and groom and what value does it bring to their wedding event. Ask yourselves what it is that sets you apart from others that provide the same service. Challenge each other to see if you are really offering the very best you can offer for the prices you charge. Can you add any additional value without raising costs? Can you cut costs without sacrificing service? Brainstorm ways in which you can raise the bar for your clients and be sure you are being brilliant at the basics first and foremost.

-Be relevant. Now is the time to update your website/blogs/advertising/collateral etc. to ensure that you are telling the best and most compelling story about your business possible. How relevant are you to today’s [and tomorrow’s!] bride and groom? Fresh, exciting news, images, offerings, and experiences resonate with the increasingly sophisticated consumer.

-Be proactive and BOLD. Do not try to ‘save your way’ through the tough economic times. The opportunity to establish market leadership is now – when others tend to be gun shy about investing in growing their business via capital investments, new staff and marketing. If you are willing to be bold in your approach when others are sitting back and waiting it out on the sidelines, you have a distinct advantage in taking precious market share. Go for it!

Click here to download the full 1-hour, free Webinar, courtesy of The Knot's Market Intelligence division.

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