Here’s your weekly tip on how to empower your millennial interns (ahem, apprentices) as a wedding planner. So many times, we are go-go-going and we forget to slow down and delegate tasks to our team that could actually be useful learning opportunities.
It’s not about giving them busy-work.
Who likes that? Neither the apprentice (who doesn’t understand the WHY behind it) nor you (the person who’s gotta come up with the task and then, somehow grade it)…what a waste of time!
Do this instead:
TASK: create a new blog series called “Venue Spotlight”
what they do:
Once you’ve trained your team on venue site selection, the very best way they can put into action what they’ve learned is by going out and doing venue site visits. And the rate of new venues that are opening up in Austin, Texas (and the surrounding Hill Country area) for example, is staggering!
You as one person, one event planner, couldn’t possibly keep up with all the new venues that are out there for your brides.
Therefore, you assign your apprentices 4-5 venues for them to visit, do a walk-thru and then later write a blog post that features details all about the space…and do it every semester!
why it’s a great idea:
- Your team gets great experience managing this mini-project all on their own, sending them into the field as an extension of your team.
- Your blog gets fresh, new content that is meta-tagged to not only this venue (which means, its fresh, new, searchable content on Google – bringing your blog to the top of the page when people search for this venue) but also tagged to your firm.
- Your firm captures walk-thru images of the space for your own venue database, to refer to with your brides, as you need it.
- The venue is pleased to have a planning firm come see their space and blog about it. And you and your firm look like EXPERTS on all the latest and greatest event spaces in your area. Win-win-win-win!
get on their preferred vendor list!
And what’s better…you can follow-up with these venues after the blog post publishes to confirm that your firm is on their preferred vendors list. It gives you an IN to ask this ever-important question…which, in the end, drives more traffic to you and you (say it with me)…
book more brides.
what it could look like:
Here’s a sample of some of the Venue Spotlight posts that The Simplifiers have created over the years…all written by former apprentices:
how to do it:
- give your apprentices 3-4 weeks to complete this task, assigning 4-5 venues per person
- choose venues that are nearby to where they live, to minimize the travel time
- make sure they track their mileage and/or gas, so your firm can reimburse them for their travel and/or so they can redeem the miles in their own personal tax return at the end of the year
- have your apprentices own this mini-project fully, with you checking in on the status at your weekly team meeting. If you know one of your planners is already visiting one of the assigned venues, you could have your apprentice tag along. Otherwise, I think it’s best that the apprentice goes alone so they can really step up, set the appointment, ask all the questions while on the tour and be the lead on this project to boost their vendor relation skills. Do your apprentices wish they got more hands-on experience? Problem solved.
- have your apprentices take pictures and 360-view videos of the venue while on the walk-thru. The venue will also be able to provide a few gorgeous venue photos to use on the blog…just make sure they get the photographer’s name for each photo, to properly credit them on your blog. Try to avoid using photos that are weddings produced by a competitor wedding planner. Save your own photos/videos on your company’s files, in a venue database. (psst, we use Flickr for this)
- when they write the blog post, make sure they capture the basic details:
- square footage
- how many seated can fit for dinner + dance floor in main hall
- amenities and features of the space
- link to price sheet, etc, etc.
- ALWAYS, always, always make sure the venue rep proofreads the blog post BEFORE you publish it. This ensures the apprentice is reporting the correct details on the venue and further affirms your firm’s great relationship with this venue. Make sure the blog post states the DATE this article was published and that “prices may vary”.
- choose venues that are aligned with your firm’s brand style, target demographic and one you actually want to work in. So, if your firm is known for producing non-traditional weddings, focus on barns, warehouses, mansions as venues to spotlight.
what skills the apprentice learns:
venue site selection + walk-thru site visit strategies…what to look for when choosing a wedding venue
blogging + SEO back links
organizational and project management skills – managing venue walk-thru appointments, follow-up calls and emails, proofreading
working on a deadline – time management
When your team has written their own Venue Spotlight posts, please send us the URL to this content by leaving a comment below! We’d love to read them…
Looking for an online training solution that’ll help you become a better mentor for your apprentices? Look no further…apply today to take part in the 6-week onboarding course with The Apprentice Program. Start the program any time, whenever works best for your firm! Easy peasy, simple.