Venues and Creating a Whole Experience For Indian Weddings…Beyond The Wedding Day; Applying Arne Sorenson’s Concept For The Future of Hospitality

I recently read about Arne Sorenson’s talk at the NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference and something he talked about struck a chord – when he talked about creating an entire experience beyond just hotel stays.

That idea is completely applicable to Indian weddings as couples have needs beyond the wedding day. And those needs are opportunities to increase revenue and loyalty.


Most Indian weddings have a 10-12 month booking window. So during the time from when they sign the contract to the wedding day what can you do to increase revenue and customer affinity?


Increase utilization of existing assets. Full service hotels, resorts, and other venues have a lot of assets: function space, restaurant, bar, pool and cabanas, some have a spa, or a golf course. But they don’t capitalize on these assets when they’re selling weddings.

There are several opportunities to capture revenue and build affinity for your property and brand as a whole. An additional positive externality is the word-of-mouth marketing. 

{Innovative Indian Wedding Ideas}

Bridal Shower. How about offering a space to do the bridal shower at your property or a sister property? A lot of brides might not want to do their bridal shower at the venue where they’re getting married. They might want something different but then how about setting them up at a sister property?

Spa Day. Offer a special rate on a spa day a few months before the wedding for the bride and her mom, sister, friends. This is something they’re probably going to do at some point anyway so why not capture that revenue at your venue? 

High Tea. Does your venue serve high tea? Brides love doing this with their girlfriends and spend anywhere from $75+ per person. Why not capture that revenue too?

Build a combo package. Spa day + lunch, or Spa day + tea

Beer Tasting. For the groom and the groomsmen. One day before the wedding arrange a time for the groom and his buddies to do a beer tasting.

Cabana Pool Party. For the spring or summer before their wedding offer them a special rate on a cabana pool party. This is a great way to build affinity with that couple as well as market the venue to the friends they bring along.

Round of Golf. This is another revenue opportunity as after they play they’ll probably have lunch. Build a package for them so that they stay for lunch.

In-house catered hospitality room. Every Indian wedding has a hospitality room. What can you do to capture that revenue in-house? The rub with most Indian weddings is that the venue’s offerings are a lot more expensive than what an outside caterer can provide (and they’re providing Indian food). So where can you bring costs down? According to several articles on Hospitality.net, to-go boxes is an idea.

Market research. As the vegetarian and plant based movements gain traction around the country, more and more venues are adding these options to their menus. The Indian market is a great one to test new dishes on as many Indians and South Asians are already vegetarian and/or vegan. Invite past clients to come in for taste tests. This is a GREAT way to build affinity and get feedback from the customers. 

You could even offer paid tastings -with great value. Personally as a vegetarian who always has difficulty with options at hotel restaurants, I’d be thrilled that a hotel was doing this and {more importantly} I’d tell people about it. 


{Conclusion}

This article is all about innovative ideas to lead revenue growth and fuel brand affinity.  There are real opportunities with venues when it comes to Indian weddings and the best part is that all of our ideas capitalize on resources and assets that the venues already have. 

Most Indian weddings have a 10-12 month booking window. During that time there are several opportunities to capture more value from your clients. And the beauty about all of this is that they’re warm leads. They already know you and have a relationship with you.

I hope this article stimulates creativity and leads to new and additional growth for your venue. 

All the best!


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Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues

{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 image: ShaadiShop mascots: Shyam and Shikha excited for post-wedding fun in their venue’s awesome pool!

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