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Kramer Events Bash 2019 Chamber Mixer & Industry After Party!!

 

Last Wednesday was a huge day for us at Kramer Events!  A big THANK YOU to our team, our sponsors, the SLO Chamber Staff & Members, and our event industry peers for supporting us in throwing a super successful Mixer and Industry After Party! 

The inspiration for the combination Chamber Mixer and Industry After Party event began when we entered into the process of planning August’s monthly Chamber of Commerce event at our offices.  Our team’s desire to create a highly interactive event experience for our Chamber guests quickly opened our eyes to the inevitability of an after party and thus began the planning of the dual party concept.

Everyone involved in the production of this event contributed a high level of enthusiasm, passion, and energy to the project and we were blessed early on with the active involvement and creative contributions of several of our sponsors.  Our friends at Avenue Twelve and All About Events were integral to the initial design and layout of the event, providing support and advice from day one.  Jackeline and Nicola, the husband and wife creative mitochondrion of Mistura Catering & Events, conceptualized and beautifully executed their culinary vision for the event. 

Just Baked SLO provided sweet treats for our After Party.  Our wineries, CASS, Hammersky, Presqu’ile, and Justin each came prepared with amazing wine, fun swag, and engaged, attentive pourers with plenty of back up wine just in case! George from  Central Coast Brewing kept the beer ice cold and flowing all night long and Pati’s “Criu” at Criu Hospitality provided a high level of support to both our vendors and our guests.  Lastly, Yvonne Goll Photography and Platinum Peek Productions provided the playful element of documentation, keeping our guests smiling and talking while capturing special moments throughout the evening!

We debuted several new services at the Mixer and After Party including our overhead Fairy / Twinkle LightingPhoto Mosaic, Low Lying Fog Effect, Safe Indoor Cold Spark Fountains, and LED Glow Globes.  Our Game Show MC Nick and his assistant Logan had us ROTFL all night, DJ Glen, karaoke host to the stars, had some serious talent roll up to the Karaoke Lounge.  DJ Dustin kept the whole house dancing with Silent Disco and Jake, Alex, and Ethan got goofy with our guests in our photo booths.  Lastly, we have our lighting tech Brian to thank for the canopy of fairy lights that set our outdoor area aglow.

There were also a few unexpected highlights to the evening.  Nicola went live, serving up stir fry for our guests to order, and our Cold Spark Fountains incited an impromptu photo shoot, setting the stage for epic team photo opportunities and providing flying sparks for romantic shots of our attending couples.

For those of you who attended and those who may have missed it, check out the video produced by Platinum Peek Productions and the Cold Spark Fountain photo shoot captured by Yvonne Goll Photography below!

Thank you all for your continued support!  We can’t wait until the next one!

Participating Vendors For Our SLO Chamber Mixer & After Party

We would like to thank all of the amazing vendors working alongside us to produce tomorrow’s Chamber Mixer and Industry After Party!  Without  each of their individual contributions this event would not be possible.

Let us introduce these awesome vendors.

All About Events Paso All About Events LLC is a wedding event rental company located in Paso Robles, California (they also have a SLO location) Whether it’s farmhouse furniture or something elegant and sleek you imagine for your special day, All About Events LLC strives to offer wedding rental necessities and accessories for all event designs. The quality service and products they have delivered to thousands of weddings over the years has earned them several prestigious awards. 

Avenue Twelve Rentals Avenue Twelve is a fun design and rentals studio based in San Luis Obispo, California. They specialize in unique furniture and decor for weddings, parties and events with funky vintage finds and other specialty items that transform any space into something magical, memorable and personal.  They also offer custom fabrication and installation services by an experienced design team with a professional background in residential, commercial and set design, as well as styling for events ranging from intimate to extravagant. 

Cass Winery Cass Vineyard and Winery is located in the rolling, oak-studded hills between Paso Robles and Creston on California’s beautiful Central Coast. This area that the vineyard calls home offers quiet serenity for the visitor and an ideal growing environment for wine grapes. 

Central Coast Brewing Now with two locations in San Luis Obispo, Central Coast Brewing is a local crafter of small-batch beers with local flavor. Central Coast Brewing opened in 1998 and is located in beautiful downtown San Luis Obispo. Recognized as one of the premier brewing facilities on California’s Central Coast, CCB is known for its variety of hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind ales and lagers. Whether at the bar enjoying a fresh beer or out on the patio, Central Coast Brewing is your neighborhood brewery

Criú Hospitality Professionals Providing excellent, qualified temporary staffing and consultation for the California Central Coast wine and event industry. Assisting but not limited to provide staff for your next special event, extra help in the tasting room, and for holiday and festival weekends. 

HammerSky Vineyards–  HammerSky Vineyards is a distinctive property nestled in the westside region of Paso Robles, California. The ultra-modern tasting room offers award-winning Bordeaux centric wines, hospitality and comfort for all who visit. This picturesque property is a perfect setting for intimate special occasions, celebrations and corporate entertaining, as well as photo and video shoots. They have created an inviting environment that consists of a resorted farmhouse built in 1904, a traditional barn brought in from New Hampshire, a tasting room to serve our estate grown, award-winning wines, and 50 acres of rolling vineyards and meadows. 

JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Enjoy stunning views of their vineyards from the new Tasting Room. Bathed in natural light, it’s the perfect setting to learn about and taste their wines, including new vintages and limited releases. Along with tasting and tours, JUSTIN offers world-class dining and luxurious accommodations. The views also offer the perfect place to host any special event. 

Presqu’ile Winery Located in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley, Presqu’ile is a small, family-run winery dedicated to crafting exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Made using grapes from our own sustainably certified Presqu’ile Vineyard, and from a handful of the finest winegrowing sites in the valley, their wines capture the essence of their vineyards and vintage, and have earned acclaim for their elegance and balance.

Mistura Catering & Events– Mistura is a modern Peruvian restaurant that is as dynamic as the country it celebrates and its biodiversity. Mistura captures the multicultural spirit of Peru, blending its Native Pre-Columbian and Incas gastronomic heritage with the Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese influences that embody the country’s vibrant cuisine. Mistura is a true homage to the diversity of Peruvian food by proposing flavors that are once familiar yet adventurous and unexpected. 

Platinum Peek–  Platinum Peek offers services in videography, website development and social media management, in hopes of developing your brand and promoting your image as a business.“OUR STORY IS TELLING YOURS” That is the more than just the ‘tag line’ for Eriksen and  Soren Dickens business.  It is their passion. Telling stories is what they do. Learning and telling yours is what they do BEST! 

Yvonne Goll Photography –Wedding photographers based in San Luis Obispo, California, whether you’re marrying on the Central Coast or on the sun-drenched beaches of Bali, it is their joy to adventure through this part of your love story with you and bring back the images that perfectly capture the moments and emotions that make your wedding day uniquely you.

We’re so excited to be partnering with such an incredible lineup of local industry professionals and we hope you’ll stop by to meet and mingle with them tomorrow!  To learn more about each of our contributing vendors, check them out on social media by following the links below!

All About Events Paso
Avenue Twelve Rentals
Cass Winery
Central Coast Brewing
Criú Hospitality Professionals
HammerSky Vineyards
JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
Mistura Catering & Events
Platinum Peek
Presqu’ile
Yvonne Goll Photography 

Industry Mixer & After Party

Kramer Events Industry After Party

We love our Industry friends and family, so when we found out we would be hosting this month’s SLO Chamber of Commerce Membership Mixer, our wheels immediately started turning!

With plans already in the works to transform our warehouse and open our doors to the Chamber community, we couldn’t resist the urge to parlay our mixer into an After Party for the amazing people who make our local wedding and events industry so special!

Please join us Wednesday night for an evening of food, wine, and interactive fun, brought to you by the Kramer Events team in partnership with an absolutely incredible lineup of vendors!

Check out our Amazing Vendors Here

Reviews: The Great & The Less Than Great

Gain Inside Knowledge From Marketing Consultant Corinne Smith

Since we are in the midst of wedding season, I thought it would be a good time to share some thoughts about dealing with reviews.

 Did you know that 90% of millennial brides will check your reviews online before they commit to doing business with you? The number one determining factor in choosing a vendor is a referral from someone within their personal circle. The second determinant is positive reviews online. Like it or not, Google, Yelp, Wedding Wire, The Knot are all a necessary part of the business. And now, reviews get written on social media channels too.  

 The reason you want great reviews is that it is a persuasive tool in acquiring new business. If you’re rocking your game, you’re going to encourage great customers to write reviews for you. Notice I said great?! A great customer or bride is someone you connect with, who is in your corner and already loves you. You had a great time working with them in the process and in the end they were happy. Those are your ambassadors now. Make it easy for them to write you a kind review by providing the links to the sites that are going to be most helpful to you. You could send them a friendly “checking in – hope you’re off to a wonderful honeymoon” email (yes, a lot of reviews get written on honeymoons… kind of sad right?!). In other words, keep the relationship and connection going – they will spread the good word for you. Brides have friends that are brides or will be brides soon. Again, direct referral – #1 determining factor in vendor hiring decisions. 

 So, this begs the question, why not make every bride an ambassador? THAT should be the goal of every business. Not all brides are going to connect easily with you, some will take more effort, but if you got a direct referral from every bride you worked with – how would that increase your business? It’s in the realm of real possibility. Do what it takes to connect and understand what your brides are looking for and to the best of your ability, personalize your approach with each bride – meet them where they’re at. Understand their priorities and make those priorities yours. It will pay off. 

 Your response to a positive review is critical. A response equals validation. Everyone, especially the millennial market, wants, or should we say NEEDS, to be validated. These are the kids that received participation trophies. No, REALLY!! If you don’t respond, it will leave them thinking they made the wrong decision. Do it, it’s like saying thank you for liking us and telling your friends. It’s good business practice. 

Now, let’s talk about handling less than great reviews. You may know that the threshold of sharing bad news is very low. Inversely, the threshold of sharing good news is very high. That means that the motivation to write a bad review is very high. The motivation to write a good review is low. AND everyone is a critic. The way you handle a bad review is crucial and reflects even more on you then a great one. Here are some tips on responding to a less-than-awesome review.

 1)   VALIDATION. See above regarding the participation trophy. When people complain, their need is to be heard and understood. Acknowledgement is validation.  It’s important to acknowledge their specific concern. 

2)   EMPATHIZE. Have you ever been disappointed? It sucks. Being disappointed on your wedding day intensifies the disappointment by 100. Emotions are heightened to astronomical levels the day of and expectations are high. It is the perfect storm if expectations are not met. “It must have been terribly disappointing for you to not have gotten exactly what you expected.” This statement does not have you accepting blame, it has you putting yourself in their shoes – you are now a soft shoulder. The perception is that you are on their side. 

3)   RESPONSIBILITY. If you did something wrong or didn’t live up to your end of the agreement, own it. Don’t blame others, don’t run and hide because it’s uncomfortable – come clean and be honest.

4)   APOLOGIZE. Say the words. It matters more than you can imagine. Even if it wasn’t your responsibility, it mattered enough to them that they needed to let you know. Let them know you’re sorry that it didn’t go the way they wanted it to. 

5)   VALUE STATEMENT. Ding ding ding, opportunity to state how you do business. 

6)   IN THE FUTURE. This can be part of your value statement, or if you need to make amends in some way of value,  ask that they reach out to you directly so you can handle it. 

 Not only will your customer feel you took their review to heart, they now know you care about what happened. How many times have you gotten a recommendation from a friend with a story about something that happened and the end of the referral being, “and they took care of it”? We all want to work with people that care about what they are doing and who they are doing it for. So even if things didn’t go perfectly, what does matter at the end of the day, is that your customer and your potential customer knows YOU CARE. Anyone reading your response to a complaint will get that message if you handle it professionally and with empathy. 


 

 

 

Team Member Spotlight

 

This month we wanted to show some appreciation to one of our full time staff members, our Warehouse Tech Brian Howard! Brian keeps our warehouse up to date and organized so our events can function properly! With all the new inventory we have been introducing, Brian has managed to find a place for it all and do it with a smile. When Brian isn’t busy assisting Beau in the warehouse, designing lighting installations, and assisting our DJs in the field, you can find him surfing the Central Coast.

One of our Core Values here at Kramer Events is to be a Team Player,  and we’re lucky to have found someone who embodies that attitude. When under pressure,  Brian helps lead others to the finish line.  He truly understands that the show must go on, no matter the circumstance! 

We are so grateful to have Brian on board with us, and to see him grow!

 

Read more about our Core Values here

5 Creative Tips for Your 2019 Wedding



Here at Kramer Events we LOVE all things wedding, so today we’re revealing all of our best secrets! You’ll find decor moments we’re obsessed with, practices we want to steal (um, we mean politely borrow), and concepts we can’t wait to see couples execute. Basically, these are the ideas/tips that could take your wedding from “cool wedding” to “wedding of the year.”  

And not to brag, but we kinda know our stuff:  We look at wedding pictures  All! Year! Long!

  1. 1. The Last Dance- At the end of the night,  kick all the guests out and take one last swing,  just the two of you.  But don’t worry, this is not a rude move.  In fact, it has an added bonus as it gives everyone else time to get in place for your sure-to-be-perfect exit.

2. Wallpaper Accents – It’s no secret that wallpaper can transform a space at home—and it’s the same when used at a wedding. We’re seeing planners use prints on statement walls (behind the head table, as an escort card display) or even as the ceremony altar itself. It is sure to be a show stopper! 

3. A Mid-Ceremony Shot – No, we’re not talking about a squad pic. Instead take a fun posed shot during the ceremony. Talk about a great way to start the party—and a lifetime of adventure together. 

4. A Touch-Up Bar – There’s always a HUGE long line in the ladies room as girls (by nature) love to fix their hair and makeup mid-party. Thankfully, planner Tara Guérard gave us an idea for a solution: Hire some pros and have a few touch-up stations at the ready. We’re not talking full makeovers here, but a fresh gloss or curl can go a long way—especially when your guests know there’s a photo booth nearby!

5. Custom Illustrations – This often entails hiring a local artist to render some part of your big day.  This could include artwork that might first appear on a save-the-date telling the story of the couple’s relationship may reappear on the invitation, on linen napkins, or even on a band backdrop. 

We’ll be right here ready to swoon over your wedding pics when you do!

Have you done any of these tips/ideas at your wedding? 

New “Worry Free” Ceremony Sound System





When many people think of speakers and sound for a wedding, they think of the dancing, the entertainment, and the DJ.  And yes that’s a large part of it.  In fact, most DJ companies focus their main equipment around what’s needed for dancing. 
 
But the part that’s the most emotional, the most cherished, the most remembered is that moment where you are saying your lifetime vows to each other during the ceremony.  The reality is that most DJ companies don’t focus on making this ceremony sound system perfect
 
We’ve all been to wedding ceremonies where you can’t hear the officiant or the wedding couple.  Or the microphone keeps cutting in and out.  You’ve felt disconnected, distracted, and in some cases bored.  How would the couple feel if they knew that’s what their guests were experiencing?
 
Some of us have been to a wedding ceremony where you can hear every word, are on the edge of your seat, and you feel the emotion that the couple and the family are experiencing.  You feel part of something special and are sharing in the moment.  
 
The difference is the ceremony sound system that was used.  Most sound / DJ companies don’t invest in great microphones party because they are expensive and they’ve already invested so much in their main dancing system.  And most don’t come with 2 microphones.
 

At Kramer Events, we are changing this!

 
We now use crystal clear top of the line Shure QLX microphones that don’t cut out.  They are the microphones a touring band would use at a concert.  You’ll have 2 of them, one on your partner and one on your officiant.  You’ll also have 2 award winning QSC speakers.  Our sound tech / DJ will ensure every word, including your vows, is heard crystal clear.
 
We are so confident that your ceremony will be “Worry Free” from sound that we are now offering a money back guarantee.  
 
Let your guests enjoy and fully experience your wedding ceremony.

 

Beau Kramer
Team Leader

Team Behind The CWD Awards!

The Best of California Wedding Day Awards annually sets the Central Coast Wedding Industry abuzz when they announce their nominees for the title of “best of” each of our respective trades.  Wedding professionals across California light up their social media channels, send out emails to all of their most supportive advocates, and drop hints at networking events all to say “vote for us”!  We here at Kramer Events are no exception to this routine and every year that we’re nominated we are filled with appreciation at just being considered!

This year our local wedding community sent us home from the annual California Wedding Day Awards Gala at Vibiana in Los Angeles with two awards; Best Lighting and Best DJ!  The Central Coast Wedding Industry is ripe with talent, professionalism, and a genuine collective enthusiasm for what we are able to accomplish together as a community. We are filled with humble pride at having received this recognition from our peers, but nothing would make us happier than to shine a little light on the incredible people without whom a win would never be possible: our team.

To highlight some of their individual contributions, you could set a clock to Nick’s impeccable professionalism and his ability to light up a room and infuse every event with humor.  By the end of a wedding, Dustin will know the life stories of everyone in attendance, all of their favorite songs, and the bride and groom will, literally, become his best friends. To compliment his laid back demeanor, breadth of EDM knowledge, and his turntable skills, Miles’ attention to detail is the stuff of planners’ dreams.  Sam, a firefighter by day, DJ by night, with his Captain America good looks, will show you how country feels with a wide repertoire of country music knowledge and a reputation for inciting line dances. 

We have scientists and engineers-in-training; Conor who dominates the mixing board, and shreds on the guitar, while attending Cal Poly by day in pursuit of his aerospace engineering degree.  Janine with the voice of an angel and an unusual passion for instruments of scientific measurement, will be graduating next week with a BS in Biochemistry and singing behind her DJ booth a week later.  Chandler will also be graduating this summer with a degree in Political Science, and we’re pretty sure he might take over the world one day with his charisma, intelligence, and ability to fix almost anything. And, although he’ll soon be transitioning out of our ranks, we could not have accomplished many of our events this past year without our expert of all trades, Paul, who has excelled as a DJ/MC while building the foundation that will pave the way for our new techs to excel moving forward.

Lastly, our talented lighting and A/V techs, whose hard work and creativity transform so many of our stunning local venues, could not possibly go without mention.  With his straightforward mentality, his calming natural confidence, and his innate eye for design, the number of clients who have fallen completely in love-at-first install with our lead tech Leo is beyond our ability to track.  Our up-and-coming A/V tech, Logan, with his outgoing personality and his aptitude for lighting design, has already in his short time here, made tremendous improvements to our lighting program and contributed to the overall expansion of our A/V department.

To say that we are backed by a team of dedicated professionals would be an understatement and, just when we think we couldn’t possibly appreciate our front line more, they go and do a thing like this.  Every member of our team brings passion, creativity, and a keen eye for detail to each event while remaining true to their personal styles and work ethic. They individually value the relationships they form with our venue managers, fellow vendors, and clients and many of the improvements we make to our processes are a direct result of ideas our team members bring back to us from their events.  Not only are we beaming with pride at the extent to which we can rely on our team to produce amazing results event after event, we are beyond excited to see what they’ll do next.

As we welcome new team members, seek to improve our internal processes and nurture our relationships within the local wedding community, we walk beside our team confidently, recognizing that they are at the heart and soul of everything we do.

 

5 Steps To A Worry Free Ceremony – Officiant Paul Howell





Build, Trust, Enjoy
 
Your wedding will be one of the most joyful and memorable moments of your lives. It’s a milestone of hopes and dreams fulfilled as well as new ones created. In its essence, your wedding is about the two of you, yet it also includes many of your loved ones who have been there all along the way. It’s a day of happiness, unity and celebration. Making your wedding day came fully alive and having an optimal experience is both an art and a science.
 
The Big Picture
It’s important that you realize from the start that a wedding is a very complex event requiring a tremendous amount of planning and decision making. Deciding and executing the character, the setting, the colors, the sights and sounds, the foods and a thousand other details of your wedding will be required. And when you consider that you have a deeply emotional stake in it, you’ll soon find that the process can be a daunting task. And the culmination of all of your hard work will be the day when you’ll want (and need) to be completely free to enjoy your wedding day, unencumbered with responsibility or worry.

Build
If you want to experience your wedding day happy, carefree and fully present, you’ll need to have people in place who will be able to carry out every step without you having to do anything else except enjoy your wedding day. Building a team of trusted allies working with you and for you is your best strategy. 
 
Wedding professionals have lots of experience with every imaginable wedding situation. They can help draw out what you want in your wedding and make it unfold in a practical, seamless way. Choose vendors who you feel confident with, those who listen to you and want you to have a perfect experience. Then let them draw on their professional experience to give you advice, make suggestions and work with you to help them to do the best possible job for you. 
 
Trust
As a professional wedding officiant who has officiated over 600 weddings, I’ve stood face to face with many couples at the very moment of the culmination of long planning. The couples who have let go with confidence in their planning and their vendors are the ones who are fully present for their vows and who are fully engaged in what is happening. All of the details are left behind to be taken care of by those they trust.
 
Enjoy
I’m writing this because I’ve worked with Kramer many, many times over the last 12 years and have the utmost confidence in them each time I step up to the altar. I know the members of the Kramer team and the dedication, experience, and passion that they bring to each wedding. 
 
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of officiating a ceremony with Kramer’s new sound system and was quite impressed. The sound was remarkable and I knew I could devote all of my attention to the couple and their ceremony with no thought about possible microphone handling strategies. An investment like that is for the sole purpose of delivering a perfect experience for a couple’s most important moment instead of risking it to wind or poor sound. This sound system is a great example of going the extra distance to ensure the best possible wedding for a couple and their guests. It’s Kramer’s dedication to providing the best for you that has made them stand out among the rest. 
 
So build a team that you can have confidence in, let go with and enjoy your wedding day!
 

 

Paul Howell, Officiant
Marriage With Meaning
www.marriagewithmeaning.com
805-540-9294

Corinne’s Corner | Maximizing Your Paid Promotional Channels For Bottom Line Results!!

 

Demystifying Marketing 101.6

 

Here we are – the last of the Marketing basics – the last of the Ps of marketing! Last time we addressed PROMOTION – the free side of promotion. So let’s talk about Paid Promotion here.

For a marketer – promotion is the realm of delectable possibilities! Visions of clever print ads in glossy magazines, waves of targeted traffic to your website driven by pay-per-click, cool contests in social media to gain followers, hip networking groups to be a part of, wedding fairs to participate in, pie-in-my-eyes kind of options! 

But remember all that groundwork we laid? The defining of target markets, pricing considerations and research, placement, product attributes – NOW, they really come into play. Before going out and spending a couple K on a beautiful advertisement in a heavy hitter magazine, consider the information you have at hand. You’d be surprised how many people I know that have done this with sky-high goals, to be proud of their glossy ad but little return for the investment. And I’m not going to knock print ads in beautiful magazines, they have their place (even in the world of digital everything), but that’s not where you’ll reap immediate impact. You may know that one of my clients in recent years was an up and coming local wedding venue. At my recommendation, we did spring for a big beautiful add in a well-known glossy magazine. I knew from the get-go we would not directly sell the venue to potential brides by doing it. We did it because part of our target market was high-end planners and designers in the state of California, who advise their clients looking to have a destination wedding weekend. How did I know that? I had data, from the magazine, that showed their analytics. Side note: any print or digital channel worth investing in, should be able to provide this information to you. We did it for exposure, knowing that when said magazine comes out, planners and designers flip through the pages and ponder them. Coupled with some additional targeted tools to reinforce the consistent messaging, it worked. We gained brand awareness, we made appointments with planners and their clients, we booked weddings. Did any bride call or email to view the property saying that she saw our big beautiful ad? One or two, but there were no waves of brides coming our way specifically because of the ad. It might be a good place for me to remind you that marketing research and science shows that your name brand needs to be presented to a potential buyer 7-8 times before they take ANY action. Before they go to your website before they pick up the phone or write an email. This begs the question – HOW are your potential buyers hearing about you, WHERE are they seeing you and learning about you? Successful marketing is a perfect storm, multi-layered efforts, not only one or two gusts of wind.

OK, so on that premise, I’m going to tell you that information is your best friend. For most of us, our website is our brick and mortar interface with customers. Your website is also a wealth of critical information that can be used to make important marketing decisions. How often do you read your analytics? Do you know how many site visits you have each month? Do you know how visitors got to your site? Do you know what words they searched for in Google to find you? When you gain a new client do you ask them how they found you and keep track of the data provided? I will wholeheartedly tell you that if you don’t have this information, you’re spinning. Spinning means you’re putting in the effort and most likely not getting results. Sure, you’re busy working hard. I would challenge you to work smarter, not harder. Put the information to work for you. Maximize your efforts without working harder. How does that translate?

First, be honest with yourself. Sure, you’re a part of a fun networking group that you lay out funds for every year, but how is that actually contributing to your bottom line? Don’t get me wrong, networking, having fun and making friends in the industry is actually invaluable, but if that’s your marketing plan, you’re going to be disappointed in the results. So be honest. Is that website you’re paying to be listed on bringing you qualified inquiries that you can convert into sales? Could those funds be funnelled more effectively to a pay-per-click campaign engaging keywords that people already are using to find your website? Hey, I’m just asking the question – it’s your money.

Second, before spending hard-earned dollars, answer these questions: 1) What is my desired outcome from this expenditure (purpose), 2) What effort am I willing to make to maximize the impact, 3) Does this expense get me closer to my desired overall goal or am I experiencing a case of FOMO and 4) Does this channel align with my market.

Here’s a biggie for me. If I know that my target market is 70-80% out of town brides, why would I spend money advertising and marketing locally? How do I know this information? I (YOU) keep track of my existing customers, I know where they’re from, their attributes. I invest my resources in taking advantage of the channels where they are engaged and looking for me. I only encourage you to learn what factually works for you by getting acquainted with the information readily available to you. When I was first out of college, I worked for a community revitalization non-profit as the Marketing Director. Our overall goal was to get people to come to our historic Downtown to shop, eat, do business and see first-hand the revitalization projects underway. I was the board of directors liaison to several committees and we would often use the phrase “shoot while the geese are flying” as we planned out our promotional calendar. Meaning, you don’t go goose hunting WHEN there are no geese, or WHERE there are no geese. It is much easier to take advantage of situations, or markets, where there is already availability – it takes less effort and considerably fewer resources. For our particular efforts, there was a definite lag in shoppers coming Downtown in February and March, but we already had great inherent traction during the summer months and holiday months. You know – the first quarter blues. Rather than planning promotions and activities in all the months of the year, we concentrated our resources to focus on summer months and holidays when we knew we had an audience, with the goal to grow our organic audience during those times. In all honesty, there was spill over – getting people to enjoy their downtown exposed them to how fun it was to be downtown in general and they wanted to be there more – including in the “off” months.

The wedding industry is not a great mystery. There is a season of planning, there is a season of research and kicking tires, there is a season of producing. There is also information available to you that can be coordinated to maximize your efforts on the limited resources that you have. So, if you came here looking for a clear road map of where you should be paying to promote your business – I can’t give that to you, and I apologize for your disappointment. But what I can do, is challenge you to ask yourself the questions that will create the road map for yourself. I can lead you in the direction of the questions you should be asking yourself. Take the time to go through your unique information, be honest and make a small plan. A marketing plan that gets the seeds germinating for bigger things. Seeing your brand gain traction and your sales increase by a growing margin is exhilarating! It’s a process – and I’ll speak more to the process next month. Once you see small results from your efforts, you’ll become motivated to dive further in, get more technical and hone your efforts. Your business and bottom line WILL grow.

On a personal note, I just want to say thanks for reading Corinne’s corner. Those of you that reach out and tell me that you read these words encourage and inspire me – I’m appreciative. You may know I’m a bit of a geek about things I’m passionate about – Marketing is something I’m passionate about. If you have questions or have feedback, I’d be honored to hear from you! Please email me –  I’d love to share a Q & A in one of these posts sometime.

 

Be well, be inspired and be prosperous!