By Heather Jones, Wente Vineyards
Peak wedding season can seem like a blur, no matter how well-organized and energetic you are. If you are managing a venue that is in a constant state of turnover between amazing events, you may have to put some important business functions on the back burner until things slow down and you can catch your breath. Your off-season is the perfect opportunity to catch up, work on necessary projects and get your property and your team ready for the next wedding season to come.
Keep a List Year-Round
Throughout the year, as issues are brought to your attention that need to be addressed, keep them on a list so you can prioritize them during your off-season. I have an erasable white board with all of the projects I want to work on and add items all year. This allows my team and I to keep an eye on the things that need to be done and address them as soon as we can. There is such satisfaction in crossing something off of that list!
Make Administrative Updates
Take a look at all of your materials and refresh them if necessary. Contact vendors and ensure that you have current contact information. Sit down with your legal team for an annual contract review and adjust any clauses that you may have noticed needed tweaking.
Schedule Repairs and Property Updates
No matter how well-planned, repairs and construction can be highly disruptive during wedding season. No couple wants to work around your repair schedule on their big day. If the repairs can reasonably wait, schedule them during the off-season when they will least impact your clients and your events.
Refresh Your Online and Social Media Presence
Review your website and make any necessary adjustments – you want prospective clients to find accurate information and your carefully constructed message when they click through. Check your profiles on wedding sites. Upload new photos and respond to reviews so your clients know you care. Correct inaccurate information and add anything new and exciting that you want to share with the world.
It can be very difficult to pay the kind of attention your clients deserve when you’re knee-deep in back-to-back weddings. If possible, schedule menu and beverage tastings during slower periods when you can focus entirely on future events, and when you have the bandwidth to devote your attention on the couple on hand.
Meet with Your Team
Whether you set aside some meeting time in your office or go for an all-out retreat, take the time to review your past season with your team. Did you make any changes? Were they effective, or do you need to try something new. Did you show progress in areas that you measured? Set new goals and discuss new ideas in preparation for the coming year.
You can get so much more done for your venue when you’re not buried deeply in wedding season. Take advantage of the relative lull of your off-season and prepare your venue before the next big wave of weddings starts again.