Wedding venue expert Zoë Dew explores why the wedding industry has seen a slump in February 2019 and explores some ways to improve for March.

I asked my closed group – The Wedding Coordinator Club – if they had noticed a difference in enquiry / booking rate this February to the months preceding and the answer was a resounding yes. Then I started asking in industry circles if they had seen a difference too – again, the answer was yes. Moreover, no one can understand why.

In terms of activity, the businesses that I have spoken to ramped up their sales and marketing activity from January if anything. After seeing the success of the strategies that they had implemented at the beginning of the year. Many clients had their best month in January, followed by nothing in February, and on the surface, they hadn’t changed anything. Not one thing. Head scratching all around.

There was one thing that was certain – the enquiry rate was the same. Usually, these would drop as the first eight weeks of the year go on, but in most cases this year, the enquiry rate has maintained or even gone up! However, the conversion rate has plummeted for no apparent reason.

Attending wedding exhibitions such as the National Wedding Show at Olympia and Brides South West at the Bournemouth International Centre highlighted to me that something is changing.

Undoubtedly, this is being led by the couples that are coming enquiring to hold their wedding day at your venue.

They are savvy. Every week there are more and more opportunities available to them for where they can get married. And don’t they know it!. It is more than likely that you will extend any offers past the month deadline to get the booking. They also know that negotiation isn’t a dirty word. If they were to ask for a discount, they’d probably get it. They’ll probably get whatever they want because bookings are down and your venue staff need that sale.

However, please don’t do it. I know you want to, but please don’t.

Don’t discount. Or put out an offer. Don’t devalue your product.

Giving away a wedding is like a furniture sale. You are immediately telling potential couples that actually, it was never worth the original price in the first place.

Same goes for discounts, offers, late availability. The list is endless.

Some venues I follow have had an open weekend every weekend – so why are they special at all?

The way to improve your bookings, engagement & revenue, is to work out what is popular and focus on that.

There are so many ways that you can do this; I could go on forever. I could do a video series, focus on that and talk you all to sleep. Instead, I have written a guide on how to add value while retaining revenue. If you would like a copy click here.

Many other things go into increasing revenue, increasing booking rates, improving conversion rates…there is no one answer.

It’s why my signature package is six months long – we need to work together, strip back and rebuild. I can’t do that in a two-day visit and a report that’s handed over to you. Your trust has to be there that I can make things better for you. I will. More than that I need honesty on the understanding that you will get the same back from me.

I’d love to speak to you to see how I can make this happen for your venue. My star client increased booking revenue by 335% within four months of the contract starting. That was two months before our time together was up.

Book a call and tell me your problems. I will find a way to fix them.