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Prepping Your Venue for Booking Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends!!!! 🎉

Is anyone else as excited for 2019 as I am? Our {small but mighty} team has so many amazing things in store for this year that I had to tone down my excitement for the new year in order to force myself to be fully present during the holidays. #Truth! I guess it’s true that when you love what you do it doesn’t feel like work.

Now that the holidays are officially over – I’m still stuffed from my mom’s pecan pie – I’m sure you’ve noticed alllllll the shiny new bling being posted all over social media. If you haven’t just search the #engaged hashtag. Whoa! Congrats to all the new couples!

This morning venue owners/managers were probably greeted with a slew of emails from newly engaged brides. Welcome to booking season! For most venues, January through March is crazy busy with inquiries and tours. To ensure that you’re armed and ready to woo all the brides I’ve assembled 5 of my top tips to prepare your venue for booking season.

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If you’d like these tips in a checklist format click the image above to download the free checklist.

1. Update your website, social media, and paid advertising platforms

Your online presence is the face of your business. This will deliver that first impression to brides as they learn about your beautiful space. So you need to make sure that it is first optimized. Your website doesn’t have any broken links, it flows well, and your contact form is fired up and ready to go. Update photos and copy across all platforms and make sure that your branding is consistent. If you’re currently investing in paid advertising platforms like The Knot or Wedding Spot then reach out to your Rep and ask for their expert advice on ways you can improve your listing.

2. Refresh your CRM

Whatever your chosen CRM system is whether it’s Honeybook, Dubsado or something else, you need to go through all aspects of it with a fine tooth comb. Rewrite canned emails. Refresh questionnaires. Optimize your workflow. And automate, automate, AUTOMATE!

3. Review and update your contract and policies and procedures

As a best practice you should be reviewing your contract at the end of every quarter or at the very least bi-annually but let’s be real here – you and I were both up to our eyeballs this year in client work to do anything more than toss up a silent prayer that we were 110% legally covered. I get it. Now’s your opportunity to sit down and reread your rental agreement. While you’re at it you may as well go ahead and reread all legally binding documents (rental agreements, waivers of liability, employee contracts etc).

In addition to your agreements, I know you’ve randomly added to your policies and procedures throughout the year (like that time Sophie, the yellow lab, magically escaped her kennel and chewed through your bathroom door after smiling pretty with the bride in photos causing you to create a policy around cute pups and designated handlers. Thanks, Soph.) but go ahead and give them the once-over one last time. It might even do some good to replace that passive tone (hey, I get it, that bathroom door was a pain in the butt to replace) with an upbeat and happy tone.

4. Give your venue a facelift

Chipped paint, a squeaky door, trampled plants, scratched floors – you know all those little scuffs left over from a busy wedding season? Nows the time to call the handyman or put in a little elbow grease to get things nice and tidy for tours. Fresh paint and a little TLC to your floors can go a long way.

5. Prep your people

Have a team meeting with everyone from your venue manager to your parking staff. You want to make sure that everyone is up to speed on any changes that were made over the holidays. Update them on contract changes, review all of your policies and procedures (even if some of them didn’t change a refresher is always good), and make sure they’re aware of any promotional ads you’re running. Pro Tip: If you decide to run any marketing ads during booking season I’d like to encourage you to add value, instead of discounting your price.

2019 is sure to be your best year yet, I can feel it in my bones! You’ve got this my friend and I’m cheering you on the whole way!

Again, if you’d like these tips in a checklist format click the image above to download the free checklist.

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