VENUES DON’T OWE YOU ANYTHING
In fact, the truth is, you owe them… A LOT. Why is that? Let me break it down so you can understand the real business scenario that is played out for every wedding booking.
- Venue invests money to market their business and attract couples to book with them.
- Couples tour and enjoy the venue and book their wedding.
- Venue shares their “Preferred Vendors” list with the couple to choose a vendor.
- The VENDOR’S business has been handed to a potential new couple for FREE (no cost to the vendor).
- Couple choose a Preferred Vendor and that Vendor gets paid to do the wedding and it cost them ZERO DOLLARS to acquire that booking.
So, let’s reiterate the insanity of this business arrangement. A venue GIVES… for FREE, the opportunity for a Vendor to do a wedding at their establishment and isn’t asking for a dollar in return. And when you truly break it down…the venue had the client first. Meaning, the vendor didn’t provide any value at all, in exchange for the booking.
What does this all mean? It means that vendors draft off of venues and don’t stand on their own. They need the venue to keep passing them business. If they don’t, most vendors would go out of business.
Why the warning? There are a lot of venues moving to a mode of “it’s time to shake things up a bit.” I’ve been asked how they should go about firing all of their Preferred Vendors and establishing a new policy. Possibly even charging referral fees. The reason is simple, Venues are tired of how vendors just suck up free referrals and do nothing in return.
I believe we will see a market shift as the economy softens and venues wise up to understand that they can, in fact, charge a vendor for a lead. I believe it’s a far better model and will result in the cream of the crop rising to the top. I truly believe that because I witness the struggle of venues and the high risk they have in their business, yet vendors come and just take from them without any value exchange. A true business model where there is a transaction of value for the leads is imperative and it’s coming.
What will that mean for Vendors?
Vendors will be forced to operate a business and learn marketing and sales. There won’t be a free ride anymore. This is good for the industry overall and it will help weed out every friend of a friend who thinks they are a vendor.
The industry is due for a cleansing and this economic slow down will be the start of it. If you’re a vendor, you better gear up and learn how to generate your own new business.