Contrary to belief outside of our industry, engagement season is a real thing. It starts around Thanksgiving and heavily continues through the end of March (and then past that because I dare you to tell people what to do when they’re in love).
As part of the sales crew, my off-season, in comparison, is a little different as my schedule begins to saturate in December and the gas doesn’t let off until the end of September. Therefore, my window of reset and preparation for the next round is a short and fleeting two to three months. Now, I know you don’t fully know me, but the one thing to note is that I’m all about efficiency and GETTING THINGS DONE. This is my absolute to-do list before it gets hectic up in here:
Whether it’s a Monday morning with an overloaded inbox from the weekend or the middle of January with almost zero tour openings, we can all agree that it eases your mind to know that your response is just a copy-and-paste away. However, what sounded well-written and applicable last year doesn’t always mean it will apply to the here and now. Hit refresh on those templates and think critically from your clientele’s perspective -does your wording need to be more aggressive, do you have the need-to-know information listed, are there any promotions you need to fit in there, do you need to touch up your attachments, etc. Don’t rest on what you have because you are content with what you have now!
Like my prior suggestion, you’ve got to see things from your clientele’s point-of-view. What may be popular last year may or may not continue onto the next; additionally, there will always be a shift in what people are looking for in terms of trends, flexibility, outside circumstances (hello COVID-19), budget, etc. You want to be ahead of the curve instead of stuck in 2020 – the last place anyone wants to be. Do you need to alter your pricing or offer discounts? Are your vendors providing the level of service and options for your events? What can you do to better serve potential events and benefit your venue in the long run?
We all know that there are powerhouses in this industry and networking will always benefit you, your company, your venue, etc. in the long run. Cast your net and cast it WIDE – intentionally contact planners, vendors, whoever really and incentivize for bookings, schedule a tour for them to check out your space, and start building that connection. You’ll see your effort come to fruition in small and big ways in the near and unceasing future.
I’m a big advocate of JOY – in fact, I have it tattooed on my left wrist. Your off-season is your time to do things that make you happy, give life, and set you up for success when you’re fatigued and still cranking out emails when the sun set long, long ago. Personally, I spend my down time listening to podcasts (highly recommend Unlocking Us with Brené Brown), reading personal development books, getting up to the mountains any chance I can, and curating Spotify playlists to use when I need motivation. As everyone on my team knows, my music inclination can go from musicals to rap to pop within a single given day – I have no shame. Lastly, use your slow time to rest, develop lasting habits, and take care of yo–self!
Ultimately, do the work while you can breathe, and you’ll see lasting benefits throughout engagement season and beyond. In the end, you’ll come out on top, looking like Destiny’s Child: