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Old October 1st, 2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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Your bookings for Jan and Feb question

For those of you who have a lot of weddings during the busy season, how many weddings do you have for Jan and Feb now? What is your experience with these two months? Do you offer a discount to help drive business?

I did over 45 weddings in my first season of 2010, but I started in January and only got one that month and none in Feb. Is this typical or are you working every Saturday during those months?

What has been your experience and what would you suggest to get those Saturdays filled?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:01 AM   #2
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It's typical where I'm from (Michigan) for the winter months to be SUPER slow. Not too many people get married in the winter months.

I've found it works well to be a bit more fluid with how you bill your clients throughout the year.

For example:

A) If you book a couple in June 2010 for a Sept 2011 wedding with a $2000 budget, you can have them pay:

1) 400 deposit in June
2) 1,000 in a winter month of your choice
3) 600 at the time of the wedding in Sept 2011

B) If you book a couple in December 2010 for a Sept 2011 wedding with a $2000 budget, you can have them pay:

1) 800 deposit in December
2) 600 in April
3) 600 at the time of the wedding in Sept 2011


If you plan ahead, you can better prepare yourself for months that are naturally slower, and you won't have to do the same amount of work at a discount! If you and all your competitors offer big winter discounts, you're only racing yourselves to the bottom. Earlier this week, we got an email from a bride that another other videographer was offering a 40%(!!!) winter discount. What's the point of that?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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It's been my experience that, in my area at least, January and February are traditionally slow months. I generally take my vacation in January. Having said that, I have done up to 4 in January and 4 in February but historically (at least as best I can remember) I typically average 1 or 2 in Jan and 2 or 3 in Feb. I fill in with AV and some corporate work in those months. Things really pickup in March.
As for what to do in those months well it starts much earlier like June, July August and September. Shows and networking work the best although I haven't done a show for about 2 years and then I only did 2. I just got a looping demo and cardds into the beauty shop my wife has been going to for about 5 years and it has actually paid off already, I've gotten 5 referrals and booked 4 but none for January or February.
Around Chicago those months can be brutal weather and a lot of bries and grooms don't want to take a chance of weather related problems that can really mess up a day. Of course I done weddings here in January when it's been 60 degrees and sunny and when it's been 0 with a wind chill that was about 20 below. I prefer the other.
You just need to keep talking to everyone and network. Tough months.
No, I don't discount. All it does is lower the value of your work. Instead of discount spread their payments out.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Mayberry View Post
(snipped)

Earlier this week, we got an email from a bride that another other videographer was offering a 40%(!!!) winter discount. What's the point of that?
The point may be a simple one Aaron, 60% may not be profitable but it might well pay the mortgage, the lease purchase and keep the lights on.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 01:06 AM   #5
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Philip, that was my whole point! Proper planning will keep your lights on!

Since we had planned accordingly, we were unwavering and more confident when discussing prices with that potential client.


For what it's worth, we booked that wedding with our 0% winter discount and they went with a package that was even more than the original price we sent them.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 01:30 AM   #6
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Aaron, I'm not commenting on either your marketing or your product, both of which seem effective, merely your economics. When times are tough, the most important thing is to maintain an income flow. Your "planning" is, in economic terms, merely paying the monthly bills from savings. That's a short cut to business oblivion.

In those circumstances your income stream should be enough to cover the basics whilst you do your obviously excellent marketing.

Ideally there would be an extension to that - to concentrate on your regular customers rather than trying to expand your market base - but in our business, events and especially weddings, repeat business isn't a major feature of our business plan.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 03:38 AM   #7
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WOW 45 weddings and you want more.
Much as I enjoy weddings, or more realistically, recording and editing them. If I did them every week of the year I'd go nuts. The quiet months are when we go away. The whole of November we head for a sunny place - November's always been a quiet month for me. December is one of my busiest months with school/dance productions as well as weddings. First week in January until Easter spent in our house in southern France. I can take December's work with me. April until October is enough wedding time for me.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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your january is our june/july here in australia since we have hot christmas in here. My bookings goes downfal in winter with only 1 or 2 per month, which I totally don't mind... I use this chance to catch up with my editing, and also to do things I couldn't have done in any other months

- make showreel
- create creative marketing strategy
- take bookings overseas where usually you have to sacrifice your whole weekend to book that one overseas wedding, this time its ok. big chance we will be able to book it because it is a big wedding season in overseas e.g. indonesia, singapore, malaysia.
- have holiday!

its not that bad to have a quiet month once in a while :)
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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If your business plan is to rely on deeply discounting your product for winter weddings, in my opinion, you are just spinning your wheels. No matter how much you discount, a winter wedding is still rare. With the planning I suggested, you're not digging into your savings per se but "normalizing" your cash flow throughout the year and being in a position of not being in desperation and thus being more firm in your pricing with your clients.

Like I said, it's just a race to the bottom.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 05:09 PM   #10
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Aaron, I didn't intend to mean what you've understood but let's just agree that we have different views on economics. Good luck.
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