No business is an island. Regardless of the product or service offered to consumers, businesses need to connect and network, not just with customers and potential clients, but with other establishments, too, to work together and achieve a common goal.
Over the years, many brands have collaborated to create something extra special and led to increased sales. McDonald’s and Burger King, Doritos and Taco Bell, Uber and Spotify, and Louis Vuitton and Supreme are a few brand collaborations that have been incredibly successful in recent years.
Within the wedding industry, working together is even more crucial.
The Importance of Networking in the Wedding Industry
Other businesses mostly rely on social media and other forms of marketing to reach customers. However, in the wedding industry, referrals still influence how potential clients choose vendors.
In fact, in most categories, vendors still get a majority of their business through referrals. Like other industries, nowadays, more vendors are using social media and bolstering their online presence, especially for food, hair and makeup, flowers, and dresses. But referrals still play an important role in how couples find vendors to hire for the big day.
Couples who have never managed events before would not know where to look for vendors. They can attend trade shows, but most will ask other vendors for recommendations, such as the venue provider or their wedding planner.
In 2015, 26 percent of all couples decided to work with a wedding planner, up from just 19 five years before. Usually, wedding planners have their own network of vendors to recommend to clients. Couples are not required to hire whoever their events planner suggests, but most do because it is easier, and they trust the professional they hired to organize the wedding.
Many wedding venues also keep their own list of wedding vendors they have previously worked with and can vouch for.
The Necessity of Working Together for the Perfect Event
Moreover, vendors often have to work together. The perfect wedding does not happen when there is zero coordination between the vendors chosen by the couple. Each vendor should be communicating to exchange relevant information about the wedding and the services offered.
An event is separate moving parts moving as one.
Imagine what a mess it would be if the lights and sounds provider did not coordinate with the venue, photographer and videographer, and planner beforehand. If the makeup artist and hairstylist share ideas with the bride and the wedding photographer and videographer company, they can produce better photos and videos that are thematically consistent.
Basically, results are better when everyone is working together.
In addition, when something goes awry, which often happens, being friendly with other vendors would be an advantage. They could lend a helping hand and prevent the event from turning into a disaster.
Expanding Your Community
Now that we have established why wedding vendors need to get to know one another and work together, the next step is to get out there and meet other businesses.
The wedding itself is a great place to network because other vendors are present and there is no competition. Everyone would be willing to collaborate to make the wedding as perfect as the clients imagined it.
Plus, there is no good reason to see other vendors, including those in the same business, as competitors. There is value in being friends with anyone, including your so-called competitors in the market. If, for example, another caterer is fully-booked for the season, they can recommend your business to clients as an alternative.
It would not hurt to introduce yourself to other vendors, especially those whose services will impact your own. Share your plans to open opportunities for collaboration.
By the end of the event, exchange business cards and try to stay in touch. Days after, you can send everyone you have met an email, follow them on Instagram or Facebook, and maybe even meet them for coffee. Whenever you see them at trade shows, say hello. Promise to refer them to clients and ask them to refer your business to clients, too. Being friendly with everyone will help you create a network of vendors that you can recommend and who will recommend your business to clients looking to organize their weddings.
The wedding industry works with businesses all working together. Businesses cannot survive by snubbing other wedding vendors because, at the end of the day, everyone needs to find clients and make events as perfect as possible.