How Consumers Compare/Contrast Venues For Indian Weddings; a Guide for Catering Sales Executives

The first thing to know is that venue competition is different for Indian weddings than it might be for other weddings. How?

{Range of Venues}

First, for Indian weddings couple consider anywhere between 15 and 40 venues, spanning 100 mile radius.

{Range of Types of Venues}

Also, at some point or another, couples consider a variety of types of venues ranging from resorts to banquet halls to yachts.

Why? Because a BIG part of planning a wedding is learning how to plan a wedding. Most people are doing this for the first time and don’t know what they don’t know. Indian consumers don’t hire wedding planners in the traditional sense like J. Lo in “The Wedding Planner”. Instead they hire day-of planners.

220px-The_Wedding_Planner_Poster

{Average Booking Window}

{So, How Are Venues Evaluated For An Indian Wedding}

The factors that influence how couples and their families buy their venue are:

  • catering sales team
  • aesthetics
  • cost
  • value
  • proximity to their home and/or airport
  • how the venue be perceived by their family/friends?

Like most consumers, the first thing they look at is the per person base price to determine if the venue is in the realm of possibilities. Upon gathering quotes they compare and contrast venues.

{Cost}

The costs are, of course, a big factor in steering couples towards venues. This is where the clarity of your outside catering package becomes really important. Remember: they’re doing this for the first time. They don’t know what an F&B minimum is, or how bar packages work. (That’s why we’ve written guides on all of these topics for consumers).

{Value}

As you know, it’s not just about cost but value as well. Again this is where clarity of the outside catering package is really important because a venue might offer amenities that another doesn’t and if that’s not clear then venues risk being removed from the consideration set prematurely.

Once they have all of the venue quotes, couples make elaborate spreadsheets to compare and contrast venues.

ProTip: If your venue offers amenities that are unique or add a lot of value repeat it over and over. Don’t assume that because it’s in your outside catering package, people will get it. They need to hear that you’re including non-alcoholic beverages or chiavari chairs or whatever – several times before it will sink in.

Where venues lose marketshare is when there’s a value perception misalignment. If a waterfront or oceanfront venue costs as much as a landlocked, all indoor venue, what do you think consumers are going to choose?

Venues that don’t take the time to study their offerings relative to others are losing marketshare in Indian weddings. Consumers think they ought to pay less for the landlocked venue which has perceived lower value and benefits compared to their waterfront counterparts. That landlocked venue, on the other hand, thinks their venue is worth the same $XYZ.

{Catering Sales Team}

Consumers expect Catering Sales Managers to know the basics of Indian weddings, especially in large or growing markets like SoCal, Houston, the SF Bay, NY/NJ, Chicago, Atlanta and other areas.

{Aesthetics}

Obviously couples want a nice looking venue that will make them feel excited about hosting such an important event. This is very subjective but that first impression is pretty important.

{Venue Perception by Guests}

Weddings are a time when most people in a family’s network gather. And just as you think about how outside caterers and vendors will reflect on your venue, families are thinking about how the venue and the entire event will reflect on them.

Weddings are a status symbol in Indian culture. Thus the host families do their best to impress their guests and the venue is a big part of that. So catering managers would do well to remember this on their site visits. Point out the finer details that the average consumer – err overwhelmed family might – not notice i.e. the modern lobby bar, the newly installed carpet etc.

Help your clients imagine what it will be like for them on the wedding day.

{Airport Proximity}

Since most Indian weddings have guests arriving from around the world, sometimes the proximity to an airport is important. And the reason is because often host families are on the hook for arranging transportation for their relatives from the airport to the venue or hotel where they’re staying.

{Take Aways}

Venue competition in the Indian wedding market is not the same as it is for Western weddings. Part of this is based on the consumer mindset and part is based on the logistics of an Indian wedding. Many venues traditionally think of their competition as their neighbors as well as the closest venues in their comp set.

For Indian weddings the geographic landscape under consideration spans 100 miles and across a variety of venue types – full service hotels, resorts, convention centers, banquet halls and golf clubs.

ProTips for Catering Sales Executives: 

  • repeat the value and benefits of your venue and service. Don’t assume that because it’s in your outside catering packet or that you said something once, that it registered.
  • emphasize value for the cost at your venue.
  • help clients envision what the wedding day will be like for them.
  • consumers want to work with venues that know Indian weddings.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have comments, questions or stories you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments below. Follow ShaadiShop on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles for venue sales and catering teams.

Schedule a demo to learn more about marketing your venue on ShaadiShop. We offer a variety of packages to suit venues at various stages of involvement in the Indian wedding market. From venues that are just starting out to venues that host several Indian weddings every year. Contact us for more info and to schedule a 10-minute demo.


samta-founder-signature
Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues

 Venues’ #1 Destination for Indian Wedding Leads

Contact us for our monthly and annual package options 


About ShaadiShop

  • over $3MM F&B + sleeping room revenue for venues in 2.5 years
  • over 6000 Facebook followers
  • RFP system built into website; leads sent directly to venues

We work with venues that are:

  • are just starting out in the Indian wedding market
  • host a few Indian weddings a year and want to increase marketshare
  • host several Indian weddings a year and need help with lead pre-qualification and personalization

Wherever you are with this market we have a unique solution designed for you.

Contact us for more information about our packages and services.


{ShaadiShop Testimonials}

“We just booked a full Indian wedding through ShaadiShop at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. In addition to the business, we appreciate the exposure ShaadiShop creates about our venue, as the couple didn’t know about our resort until ShaadiShop told them about us. Additionally, we appreciate the pre-qualification work that ShaadiShop does to match couples and venues that are a good fit for each other. We had all the info needed to conduct the initial meeting. What a great service for venues to market to the South Asian community!” Angie Florence, Catering Manager at The Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach, CA


“We’re so glad we joined ShaadiShop to market this hotel to the South Asian community in the Orange County area. Every wedding we close from their leads returns more than 3x our investment. Moreover, they pre-qualify leads and educate consumers creating a much better sales cycle for our catering team. Venues looking to reach this market, join ShaadiShop!” – Ryan Hurd, Catering Sales Manager, Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove


“Shaadishop helped me not only find venues but also understand how they work, the fees, and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Definitely a need service in the desi community. “ Hinna S., Bride


“Cannot say enough good things about the service from Samta and ShaadiShop who helped us research venues for our wedding this year. We wanted a non-hotel venue, and to get married within 6 months. ShaadiShop immediately found us venues, contacted them and educated us about all the things we needed to think about while selecting a venue. They put all the info together in a fabulous, super impressive, spreadsheet that helped us compare venues – seriously amazing and such a great help. Working with them made the whole stressful process MUCH easier and I can’t believe it was all free! ShaadiShop’s website is fantastic and such a great service for South Asians – so glad I found them!” Anjli S., Bride


“We’re so glad we used ShaadiShop to book our venue. The info on the website is amazing and then they gave us such personalized attention! They were such a valuable resource for selecting venues, helping us understand policies and logistics. Their suggestions saved us a lot money too! They really understood us, what we wanted and helped us get it. AND it’s free! So glad there’s a service like this for South Asians. Awesome that there’s something like this for South Asians!” Janki K, Bride


“I worked with ShaadiShop to find a venue for my daughter’s wedding. The website is easy to use and has so much useful information. ShaadiShop made everything easy for me – getting quotes, suggesting venues, explaining fees and policies. Most importantly, my daughter and son-in-law are happy with the venue. ShaadiShop is a great and service for our community. I’m so glad I found them!” Charu S., Bride’s Mother

 

Cover Images: Lin & Jirsa, Global Photography

 

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