What does the wedding and event industry look like with Coronavirus currently tightening its grip on our collective necks? Well, it ain’t a pretty one, but it also ain’t time to remove our tiaras either.
This is the picture being painted of what the market looks like based on the current Coronavirus pandemic. This picture is based on a survey recently conducted by The Wedding Report. The results are from businesses and couples who are/were planning a wedding.
- 28% of couples are postponing to later in 2020—most of these weddings are from April, May, June weddings
- 22.5% are moving to 2021—these are weddings from April to December
- 6.5% of couples are canceling altogether (April and May weddings)
- 43% are holding the date
The Wedding Report is projecting that we will likely lose 25-30% of weddings in 2020.
This is a very scary time for anyone living through this monumental time in history. I can only assume it’s comparable to what my grandparents must have felt like during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
This is also a very scary time for anyone who works or makes a living in the wedding and event industry. We rely on other people celebrating life’s grandest moments in order to put food on our own families’ tables.
With the far-reaching effects of Covid-19, so much uncertainty is around us. This has left many of my small-business-owning friends and I in a state of panic and worry.
On one hand, the thought is that when we emerge from this, people will want to celebrate, and move around, and socialize—that life will even be more valued and treasured and respected than it was before—and that we will live more harmonious than we have in decades. A quick rebound will happen and our industry will thrive better than it ever has.
One the other hand, the thought is who will be able to afford luxuries like expensive parties for hundreds of people and who will even be in the mood? We’ll all be trying to find jobs, recoup losses, catch up on mortgages and car payments, dig our way out of deep depressions, and make normal trips to the grocery store again.
I’ve recently seen—and by “seen” I mean reading their posts on social media because I am practicing social distancing and I miss them—many of my industry friends doing things they have not had to do in a long time (or ever before), things like:
- fill out traditional job applications
- research small business loans and federal assistance programs
- apply for unemployment benefits
- lay off their most trusted personnel
- negotiate with creditors
- reschedule months’ worth of events (aka jobs)
- look into the future with complete reservation
However, I must also quickly add, I think this is also how virtual happy hours were born!
The Future with Coronavirus
If you’d like to do something to help myself and small business owners who are entrepreneurs just like me, I’ve put together a list of 23 things you can do today that will not cost you a penny, yet these are ALL things that have tremendous value and can have a meaningful impact on our future and longevity as well as increase the likelihood of our businesses being able to successfully recover from this mess.
So, how can you help?
- Any time someone asks about a particular category of wedding or event professional (photography, in my case), scream my name—okay, not literally SCREAM, but be really persuasive, but not like crazy Tiger King/Carole Baskin persuasive, just I know from experience persuasive
- Record a short video testimonial with your phone, post this video to your social platforms and tag them in it (something as short as 30 or 60 seconds is tremendously invaluable)
- Email the video to them so they can redistribute as needed
- Write a five-star Google review
- Strengthen their social proof by liking a few other reviewers’ five-star examinations on Google
- Leave a favorable Facebook review
- Write an appreciative followup on Wedding Wire or The Knot
- Post a complimentary recommendation on Linked In
- Post images with all of these reviews if you have them and refer to the business owner’s first name when you can (Mine’s Tammy)
- Follow their Instagram account and be sure to like, comment and share a few of their posts to your story (at least once a week)
- Pin a number of images from their Pinterest account to your own boards
- Subscribe to their YouTube channel
- Give a few videos some thumbs up, leave a few positive comments and share your favorite one
- Tweet about them
- On Instagram and Twitter, be sure to use their hashtags
- Sign up for their newsletter
- Share one of their blog posts every week
- Leave comments on those blogs posts
- Send them a DM, PM or email asking them (a) to answer a question about a certain dilemma you’re having, (b) for expert advice that they can give or (c) about a service that only they offer; ask them to answer the question publicly but to leave your anonymity intact
- Always take a second to interact or engage with their social media posts anytime you see one; it only takes a second to like, share, comment, retweet, repost or double-tap
- Mail them an actual thank you card in the snail mail (this can also be used as social proof on our media platforms)
- Send an email to them just letting them know you’re thinking about them; send a virtual hug, if you will
And a bonus request I’ll make that you can do help us… personally refer five of your very best friends to us or our social media platforms. Show them our Instagram feed, tell them about a blog you read, forward a video to them. Empathetically tell them that we are the photographer/florist/caterer that they can’t live without.
Please take a minute today or carve some time out over the course of the next couple of weeks and do as many items as you can on this list for me. I’ll never be able to properly repay you, but I’ll always and forever appreciate it.
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I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
The post, The Future with Coronavirus, first appeared on Ata-Girl Photography Co.’s website and blog. Please feel free to comment here, or share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please email me if you have any questions about this article or want to share a neat idea for a future blog post with me.