How to Survive COVID-19: Wedding/Event Market

Fellow Wedding and Event Market Vendors & Friends,

It is a scary time in our industry right now: events are being canceled, party planners are worried about upcoming dates, and to top it all off, you have employees and bills to worry about. I went through something a lot like this back in 2008 when I owned a banquet hall and catering business and the market crashed. It was definitely not an easy time, but with some hard work and tough decisions, we were able to stay alive and rise up after the dust settled. I wanted to give you a couple of ideas from my experience as a fellow business owner to help ensure that you and your business will get through this.

Check Your Insurance Policy

You may already have insurance that can cover you during times like this specifically. Check your business and property insurance policies and see if they have interruption and/or contingent business interruption coverage policies that can help cover you until things get back to normal. Definitely reach out to your insurance agent if you have any questions and are unsure if you are covered. Here is a great article with more details.

Cutting Costs

I know what you are thinking, “No Events = No Money for Payroll”. If you, like many others, are thinking about cutting hours or giving unpaid time off during the crisis, you could actually be helping your employees by laying them off temporarily. Many states are opening up quick access to unemployment benefits, which would give your employees some income until this situation settles. In Michigan, “workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures also are covered by unemployment benefits up to 26 weeks.” This is a great time to let parents take the time off they need to take care of their families, and it can help your business by getting them off your payroll for the time being.

Be Creative

There has never been a better time to look at your business to see if there is another way you can make money. A couple of random ideas come to mind:

  • Photographers: Families are all home — there has never been a better time to get a new family photo. Do a special offer: take your show on the road by offering your service in the comfort of your customers’ homes. This will be a time in all of our lives that we will never forget, and now your customers will have a beautiful photo to look back on, and remind them to smile!
  • DJs & Bands: Keep the party alive! Set up your DJ equipment and do a live stream party. Tell families to bring out the snacks and “sodas” and have a dance party with your customers right at home… trust me, as a mother of 5, my kids are already going stir crazy and God only knows they need to dance off all of their energy. #sendhelp
  • Venues: Do a flash sale for upcoming events. Offer 20%, 30%, or 40% off new “virtual bookings” if they book and put a deposit down online now. There’s no need to have them do a walk-through of your venue… they can put the deposit down online, and when they come to do the tour, if it was not what they expected they can get their money back.

Advertise & Be Social (Virtually)

Don’t stop marketing yourself! If you stop advertising, current and future customers may wonder if this hit has put your company out of business. You need to do everything in your power to continue to be present so people know they can still hire you moving forward. Families are staying at home, yes, but now they have tons of time to plan their future events. We know from our user base that people are absolutely not stopping planning and looking for vendors for their events later this year and even next year.

Keep advertising, your future customers are planning now! While you also are working from home, talk to your customers online — use a service like Whereby or Google Hangouts to get the face-to-face interaction everyone needs right now. Post often, do live videos, share great advice and positive messages…. All of this is good for business, so take the time each day to do your part to help your business thrive.

Spring Clean Your Business

When was the last time you took a long hard look at your website, your email signature, or your Facebook “about” section? Here is a to-do list of things that you should get into tip-top shape during this time:

  • Facebook 
      • Update Header Image
      • Update Profile Image
      • Update About Section
      • Find new popular groups in your area you should join (like our quince & wedding groups)
  • Instagram
      • Update Profile Image
      • Update About Section
  • Emails
      • Organize your inbox (aka delete all the junk)
      • Unsubscribe to unwanted emails. One of my favorite tools is Unroll.Me. You can get rid of thousands of unwanted emails in a matter of seconds and it’s FREE!
      • Make yourself a new signature line — feel free to copy/paste the one below, update your information (and links to social media) and update your signature via your settings in your email.
        • Name, Title 
          COMPANY NAME
          (123) 456-7890 | youremail@company.com |
          www.website.com | Anywhere, USA
          (Facebook Link) (LinkedIn Link) (Featured in Forbes)
  • Website
      • Current logo
      • Updated images and videos
      • Make sure you have a clean layout
      • Make sure your call to action — a contact form or phone number — is easy to find on EVERY PAGE
      • Update and organize each page (it’s March, Christmas and New Year’s promos should have been gone a long time ago!)
      • Create a blog section — SEO can bring free traffic to your site
      • Need a new website? Let us know!

 

I’ve spent the last 20+ years as a small business owner and have lived through 9/11 and the last market crash. You can’t give up. Your family, employees, and your customers are counting on you to be there when this is all over. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to leave a comment below.

Best Regards & Healthy Wishes,

Kim Gamez, CEO Mi Padrino

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