It never ceases to amaze me how undervalued in-house wedding coordinators can be by their employers (considering the extent of their dedication to their role). The wedding department is so often seen as the ‘little sister’ department to room sales or corporate events, meaning that less investment is made in wedding marketing. It often falls to the wedding coordinator meaning that not only do they have to wear a great many hats, they often end up working well over their contracted hours.
We all know what the core of their role consists of – taking enquiries, answering any and all queries, conducting show rounds and making those crucial sales. Not to mention managing potentially difficult and demanding clients, helping them plan the biggest day of their lives and making sure all the information is in place for a smooth-running day.
Those tangible efforts are easily tracked by looking at annual wedding revenue, but do you give any thought to the intangible benefits this vital employee brings to the property?
You might think that being office based, your wedding sales team doesn’t have that much contact with the outside world. In fact, if your planner is doing their job fully, the contact they have with clients, suppliers and the wider industry through planning weddings and running the wedding social media (which we strongly recommend they do!) makes them one of the most public-facing members of staff on the team. Their daily brand and network building work is utterly invaluable to the business! And making sure that those weddings, attended by 100+ guests each time, run flawlessly makes for great ongoing PR and goodwill.
So, have I impressed upon you how important this role is? I do hope so. If you already have an awesome wedding coordinator then make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their work. I have many venue clients who absolutely do just that and it’s no coincidence those planners love their work and that passion shines through in their ability to sell their venue.
If you’re looking to recruit a new team-member, then don’t just look out for the strong sales skills and fantastic organisational abilities that are the bedrock of the role. Passion counts for so much more than experience in my book. The role is so rarely 9-5 and we all know it’s hard togive 100% when working long hours if you don’t love what you do. Moreover, great co-ordinators have to dive into the wider wedding industry. This involves keeping fully up to date with wedding trends, building relationships with new suppliers and researching popular design ideas, all through reading related blogs and magazines. Without this essential daily research, how can they possibly undertake their marketing duties and represent the wedding brand effectively? How can they relate to couples, understand their visions for their days and help them find the right suppliers?
I’d just like to finish with a special shout out to three current wedding co-ordinators/wedding sales team members who absolutely rock in my opinion – drum roll please for the lovely Hollie Barr of Waddesdon Manor, Rosalind Craven of RSA House and Amie Murphy (formerly of Royal Museums Greenwich and now 10-11 Carlton Terrace). These ladies demonstrate all of the positive traits mentioned above in spades and are an absolute credit to our industry as a whole – you’re a lucky couple if you’ve any of these ladies on your wedding venue planning team.
If you’re an ambitious wedding venue and you’d like to ‘kick it up a notch’ in 2018 with the type of quality weddings your venue deserves, then get in touch for my Refine & Shine programme.