(Editor's Note: Starting today, we're kicking off a whole new content theme for the month of June. All our posts this month will be exploring the topic of event-day management, and how you and your team can be more productive, prepared and successful than ever!)
Most professionals have some sort of routine on wedding days. Perhaps it involves some sort of equipment preparation, product assembly or simply a personal routine to help mentally ready yourself for the day ahead. These days are, by nature, lengthy and intense. There is a strict schedule, many tasks to fulfill and a team of vendors to work with, many of whom you may not know. Oh, yeah, don’t forget dealing with your clients and their guests, and delivering the service you were hired to perform. Needless to say it’s a lot of work. Encouraging you to concentrate on marketing or networking during the day may seem like I’m asking too much, but I promise it can be done and is highly worth the effort.
We’ve written in the past about marketing at weddings in our previous article, Problem Vendors Series Part 2: Marketing While Working. In that post we explored all the ways not to market yourself during an event, such as displaying too much collateral, putting vendors before clients or bringing a disruptive film crew or potential clients to a private affair. Today we’re going to discuss the ways you can and should market yourself during the event to encourage teamwork, foster relationships and earn vendor referrals.
If this is the only thing you can manage at a busy wedding, at least it’s probably the easiest and most important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with vendors who don’t even bother to tell me their name, let alone their company. I try to collect this information from my clients ahead of time but sometimes I’m missing a few. I try to introduce (or re-introduce) myself to everyone as the day goes on. Maybe we’ve worked together before, maybe we’re Facebook friends but have never met, or maybe this is our first time ever encountering one another. Regardless, I’m going to be working with this person all day, so it’s just polite to say “hi" and learn their name. It takes seconds to extend this courtesy, and it will help the vendor to remember you the next time you meet.
Offer to Help
If you really want to make a connection, help out a vendor in need during the course of the day. Hold doors, carry boxes, pick up something that has fallen out of reach, or alert them to an issue that needs attention. If your attitude is “that's not my job," you’re missing the point. You’re working as a team at the event, and team members support one another. Other vendors will remember this act of kindness more than your slick marketing campaign or your brief meeting at a networking event. The wedding day is an opportunity not only to show off your particular technical skills but also to present yourself as someone whom people enjoy working with.
Hand Out Business Cards
Business cards aren’t just for potential clients. Giving the other vendors your card will help strengthen your connection and give them something to remember you by. It familiarizes them with your logo, brand and company name. After all, that is how they will recognize you online and it will make it easier for them to refer you in the future.
Follow Up After the Event
After you’ve successfully accomplished the first three tasks, be sure to contact the vendors after the event is over. This can be a call, an email or a Facebook message to express your gratitude for their work the day of the wedding. Give them a follow or like them on social media so you can stay in touch virtually. The next time you work together, you will already be familiar with each other and it may even result in referrals.
Get Together Off the Clock
This is the ultimate step toward solidifying your relationship. Getting together for lunch, coffee or a happy hour drink will allow you to get to know one another in a relaxed setting and to determine if you are a good match for future events. At the very least, you will learn more about each other’s business and style so you can work together harmoniously at the next wedding. The meeting may even result in finding other vendors that are a perfect fit and can help you on your way to success.
It only takes a few moments to make an good impression. This can easily be done throughout the course of the wedding day without disruption to your clients, the schedule or your professional duties, and without resorting to sleazy marketing tactics. It will make a huge difference in your working relationships, potentially earn you referrals, and will absolutely garner you goodwill in the industry.
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