Something New for I Do was recently called upon by a wedding business publication to share wedding PR tips. The topic? What wedding vendors should be doing now to prepare for a successful year in 2016. It’s no secret that most wedding vendors are gearing up for January. But rather than thinking in terms of the immediate future and Q1, why not start planning for an entire year of success? Here are some ideas to tide you over until the full piece comes out in November!
Wedding Vendors: To Dos to Prepare for 2016’s Wedding Season
If you haven’t already, plan to attend a January bridal show.
This is the best time of year for wedding vendors to market your business and reach the couples who just got engaged. Being a vendor at a show that connects you with your target audience is always a winning idea, plus the lead lists you will receive will likely be workable for the entire. So you will automatically have a targeted segment of new and prospective clients to engage with for the year. Bonus points if you can plan out which bridal shows you will attend for all of 2016!
Get your marketing materials ready now.
Whether you’re in need of business cards for your storefront or marketing materials for bridal shows and open houses, go ahead and start updating, designing and printing what you need. The longer you wait, the more expensive they can be – sometimes three times the cost to have them expedited.
When we’re attending bridal shows, we like to plan open houses after the bridal show, leveraging the lead lists received, to invite the couples we only had a few minutes to chat with with wedding vendors at the show back to one of our venues to further get to know them. This is where our wedding vendors close the most sales. So if you’re planning on having an open house, make sure it doesn’t conflict with sporting events, school holidays, other major bridal events, etc. You want as many brides to be able to make it as possible.
Know your slow seasons and create a calendar for sales opportunities. Have a strategy mapped out ahead of time. You want to be prepared to drive sales at all times of the year. And you don’t want to be waiting for the phone to ring. Plan open houses, contests, or special themed discounts (like a Valentine’s Day sale). Set a limited number of deals, however, so you’re not giving away too much and end up losing money on your deal.
Revamp your social media strategy. Many business owners are so busy actually running their businesses that they don’t have time to do this. Evaluate your success on social media by looking at your analytics, and then make adjustments for the upcoming year. Even if you’re successful on social media, it never hurts to know what the latest trends, channels and strategies are.
Get to know where your brides are coming from. There are so many ways brides can find you. Update your website’s contact form to include a drop down box with a list of where a couple found you. This will be incredibly helpful in knowing where to invest more time. This is also helpful finding out what isn’t driving sales.
We would love to hear from fellow wedding professionals on what your 2016 business to dos might be. Please share in the comments or let us know on social media!