I’ve never really been big on the “off season,” admittedly. Or “downtime” for that matter. Or naps. But alas, here we are.
Okay, it’s more along the lines of- here you are. For me, this is actually my busy season as wedding pros wrap up their year and start coming out of the wood work for coaching sessions, branding and wedding pr work. But don’t you fret- I had a brief blip of time over the last couple of weeks where I could breathe easier than usual. So naturally, I decided to paint all of our kitchen cabinets. And train my kitten to snuggle on command.
I’ve never quite understood the concept of the off season but perhaps it was the nature of working in reception venues. No sooner had the last box of leftover cake been picked up, and I was suddenly drowning in holiday parties and team retreats to discuss branding and wedding packages. A few days off for Christmas and it was back in the game for bridal show and engagement season. I’d close my eyes (not for a nap though- I hate naps) and it was April 1. So much for the downtime.
So get a head start this year and make this off season your most productive yet. Below are my top 5 off season To Do’s that I’d encourage you to consider, in between naps and holiday parties:
1) Drink Coffee. Better yet- drink coffee with fellow wedding pros. Is there a new Director of Catering at a local hotel you’ve been hoping to meet? Set up a coffee date. Have a wedding planner sending you oodles of business and you’ve been meaning to thank them? Coffee date.
2) Start tracking leads. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– tracking leads is key to determining a return on investment for your wedding marketing. Far too many wedding pros pay fees blindly- be it for advertising, seminars or association fees. There are some great computer programs and online tools to start tracking leads or if you’d rather, just open up an Excel spreadsheet and start typing. There is a general lull in leads this time of year so
3) Say Merry Christmas. Or Happy Hanukkah, New Year’s or just a plain old, “hey we survived wedding season, that’s kind of sweet.” Create some holiday cheer and hit the post office- preferably with something showcasing your brand (and while we’re taking brands, if yours needs a refresh, consider this your To Do #3.5).
4) Join Two Bright Lights. What’s the best way to showcase what you do? Photos. What’s a great way to stand out from the competition? Wedding PR. Lucky for you, Two Bright Lights is a great tool for both. If I was stuck on a desert island and had to figure out a way to get my job done, I’d ask for my lap top, TBL and Grey’s Anatomy Season 2 on endless loop.
5) Submit! Have a sassy pants wedding chock full of bloggity goodness to share? Well now is the time! Snag those images (properly crediting of course), grab that vendor list and work on telling the compelling tale of why that wedding rocked and can inspire other brides.
5.5) Guest Blog. For those with something to say and the prose to say it, do it. Guest blogging is not only fantastic for search engine optimization, but a good way to stay connected within your wedding community while also building yourself as an expert.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a breather but as you inevitably head into slower times, just remember that Spring will be here before you know it. Take advantage of this time to finally cross off some of the pressing To Do’s that have been lingering since.. well, last Winter. And if you have any additional time on your hands, you’re welcome to come over to my house with a brush and join me in the kitchen.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.
Photography credit: Dominique Attaway