Why are wedding suppliers scared to pick up the phone to speak to a wedding venue?
As a wedding venue consultant I am faced with client after client bemoaning venues to me, saying how they have had to chase for a response to a request for a styled shoot location, or a supplier liaison, or even just an answer to their query.
Whilst I understand how frustrating it can be for you to have to wait for a reply, and I always insist that things are firmed up in an email, surely the easiest way to get a yes or no is just to pick up the phone? There are a few reasons why a venue may not respond to your email enquiry, but here are some reasons why you are put at the bottom of the pile.
Wedding venues are inordinately busy. All suppliers are in the wedding world. Your email has hit a busy inbox, 50 new emails deep and you will not be a priority. The coordinator will have function sheets to prep and show rounds to conduct too. Believe me your email is going to go to the bottom of the priority list. This isn’t the venue being rude. It’s them trying to prioritise their workload.
Lack of knowledge
I will guarantee to you that the majority of wedding venues don’t know the huge advantages of working with suppliers on a styled shoot. It isn’t immediately clear that they can provide amazing PR opportunities and will be marketed to the type of couples that they want to attract. To them, a styled shoot means a day of ops work on an otherwise office day. It is a organiser’s job, as it is with all other collaborators, to ensure the shoot has clear aims and a clear vision that the venue can buy into, along with targets for cross promo and marketing opportunities. Do you send a full proposal document to each supplier for the vision? If so, why not send one to prospective venues too? They are just as deserving of being wooed!
Many wedding venues try to appeal to every single couple. Businesses with a clear idea of the type of couple that they want to attract usually have a clear idea of the type of supplier they want to work with. Most of the time the person that you email at the venue isn’t the decision maker. They will have to go and run anything you tell them by their general manager or marketing department. So although your vision might appeal to them personally, it might not be the right fit for the venue
So what do you do?
There are a few recommendations that I would make to any supplier wanting to work with a venue on styled shoots.
Be clear on your requirements
Firstly, know your audience. Put together a killer proposal document with any suppliers that are already locked in included. Be sure you know where you are aiming for the shoot to be featured and therefore the type of couple you want to attract
Find out who is the leader at the venue
Make some enquiries at the venue and find out who you need to speak to for a decision to be made. This is good practice in any case for making connections, however it’s important to know who to present your best stuff to!
Make a proper appointment with the person you have identified by picking up the phone and speaking to them directly. At the appointment, be really clear on your aims and why you want to work with the venue.. Take mood boards and your proposal. Push for an answer and a date during the meeting.
Confirm in an email
Lastly, always firm up everything via email. But make that first connection by phone!
Essentially, you need to treat the venue like your client. And if you aren’t calling your prospective clients – WHY?! I would be so bold to say that hardly anyone in your field picks up the phone.
I am going to a wonderful venue on Monday for dinner. Today is Wednesday and they have called me to confirm. It’s nothing, a thirty second call to check out intention to attend the restaurant. But it left an impression on me! If you are a wedding planner amongst a shortlist of 5, why would you risk being the only one who didn’t call. Take the leap and possibly be the ONLY one that calls!
This forms the base of one of my most popular wedding venue consultant packages. The Power Hour Hero is perfect for venues and suppliers alike. In it, we work together to put a quick start strategy in place so you can see results really quickly. It leads into my longer term consultancy for the venues and suppliers ready to commit to change.
Get in touch to book a discovery call and we can get started on transforming your offering!