How to get listed at 4 and 5 star venues (2 of 3)

May 14, 2018 by Terry Lewis

Last week I shared the number one way to get listed. This week we are going to look at some more.

Other ways to get listed 

I said there was only one truly effective way to get on the preferred list of luxury venue’s and I believe the way described above to be it, however there are other routes to being listed, but the probability of them working is much lower:

Cold call and meet 

At the time of writing, Google is the most powerful search engine in the world, type in a relevant search term such as ‘Luxury wedding venues in <your town>’ and the results will be displayed on your screen in seconds. From the results shortlist the venue’s you want to work at, call asking who the wedding and event manager is, speak to them directly (not a colleague) introducing your company, highlighting your differences. If you are similar to the other creatives in your industry, without genuine USPs you will struggle to get a foot in the door, so be proactive and make it your priority to create USPs first. Don’t try to get listed via telephone, post, email or by just sending them to your site as you will drastically reduce your chances of success, in fact this is practically a waste of time. The event manager may pay you lip service but unless you are well known and your reputation for excellence precedes you, I can’t imagine a reputable venue recommending anyone to their high paying brides without having seen their work first, can you? It would be like trying to get a job without a face-to-face interview. You must first impress to get venues to express an interest in listing you.

Verdict: I’ve tried the ‘Cold call and meet’ strategy and it is somewhat possible but will eat up a lot of your valuable marketing time, and has a very low success rate.

Being in the right place at the right time 

Wedding supplier placements can last for years but they never last forever.

At some point the listed creative will move on either by choice or otherwise, creating an opportunity for you.

If you are well known in your industry for being an outstanding wedding creative you will be high on the venue’s wanted list. I know a wedding creative who was approached under similar circumstances, who because of who he was rather than for what he did was able to negotiate rates nearly 3 times that of the outgoing wedding supplier.

Venue managers also (inconveniently) move on, and there departure can also lead to your departure especially if the new manager has license to bring in a team from the outside resulting in your pipeline of referrals grinding to a halt… An unsavoury situation I found myself in a few years ago:

Maria Scullion was an event manager I got on well with at Dartmouth House in Mayfair, London. After a while I noticed

I’d not been receiving enquiries from brides and grooms marrying there. I later discovered that Maria had moved on, a new manger had been appointed and hand-picked a new list of wedding creatives she already had a relationship with and I was out! I learnt a very harsh lesson… a lesson I never forgot.

I thought “how can I guard against this ever happening to me again?” and reminisced on corporate life, when I was employed in the City, and how my bosses discovered the hobbies, interests and passions of their top clients, then matched them with tickets to Wimbledon, cricket, football, rugby, opera, theatre, and the races etc., I could not compete with a corporate entertainment budget like that but I could engage in corporate entertainment on a much smaller scale. So when I got listed at the fabulous St. James’ hotel around the corner from Buckingham Palace, I discovered that the venue manager, Rochelle Payne loved the former chart topping group JLS, so when I heard they were holding a farewell concert at the London o2 Arena I got her a ticket. The effect to my referrals was incredible, and when she eventually left the luxury wedding venue, guess what happened? She personally called me to say she was moving on. She invited me in for a handover meeting with her incoming replacement, at the same time I was introduced to two other new members in the event team. During the meeting she announced “…This is Terry, he is our preferred supplier, please send any enquires to him…” at the time of writing I get on very well with the new event manager and my pipeline of enquiries flows without interruption. How different to my Dartmouth House experience!

The moral of the story is when something negative happens to you in your business or personal life, analyse what caused it, create a solution to guard against it from ever happening again and implement your solution by taking immediate action, remember never let procrastination steal your dream.

Put down roots 

You will have to work very hard to get listed at your top venues, so don’t let them slip through your hands once you become chosen. Learn from my mistake, get to know your event managers on a personal as well as a business level if you want to protect what you have. Don’t just send them a Christmas card each December most suppliers do that and you’ll simply get lost amongst the other cards on your contacts desk, only to have your card cleared off and binned early January.

Make touches that he or she will really value throughout the year, if you value your opportunities.

Verdict: Being in the right place at the right time is not about luck; it’s about staying ready not getting ready so when opportunity presents itself to you are in the perfect position to sprint towards it.

Next week, I share my fine thoughts on getting booked at 4 and 5 star venues. This is just the tip of the iceberg, if you want to deep dive into proven ways to luxury brides click the link below:

Terry Lewis Terry Lewis (69 Posts)

Terry Lewis Biography 2009 I started my professional wedding DJ career. 2011 – 2014 I won 6 Best Wedding DJ Awards, including Best Wedding DJ in England. During this period I also became a preferred supplier at more than 50 venues from Mayfair in London to the suburbs. And had the honour of performing at international weddings. 2015 – Date I sit as a judge for the Wedding Industry Awards (the largest and most respected in the UK), and as a condition of accepting the role, I am no longer permitted to compete. 2015 I began my keynote speaking career at BPM Birmingham run by Mark Walsh & Eddie Short. Since then I have given motivational and educational talks at DJ associations such as NADJ and for leading Wedding Industry Networking groups. 2015 To facilitate my role as a mentor and coach, I launched a new company called Wedding Marketing Mastery, and created a world class 1-1 training program. It’s built from the ground up and designed to oversubscribe a wedding suppliers business at above average fees. 2016 I published my 1st book ’12 Habits of Successfully Booked Up Wedding Suppliers’ – Available on Amazon and read from London to Sydney. About my training I realised that to get above average results in the DJ and wedding industry, you need to help those you serve, get what they want to get. If you can do this in a remarkable way you will succeed in any endeavour. About me I am a father to four children and 2 step children. I am in love with my wonderful partner Julie whose support I could not do without. We love travel, entertainment and fine wines! I am also the co-founder of The GAAP Orphanage Foundation, our work helps orphans and abandoned children in Africa.

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