Start networking, yesterday!!

start networkingMy friends who work at wedding venues are losing jobs at an alarming rate. Their job tenure appears to have no relation to their departure.

In some cases the person with the most experience (and highest paycheck) is let go in a ‘cost-cutting move.’ In other situations, a job is eliminated, due lack of event activity, and one or more people absorb the work until ‘business picks up.’ In yet other cases, business close down altogether.

Here’s the thing: If you slave away as an event or catering manager for a wedding venue, it’s easy to never leave the premises. Bad idea.

It’s always important to attend industry networking events at other properties. There are two good reasons. First, see what cool things other venues are doing. Second, meet other industry people and develop personal relationships.

Today’s competitor may be your next employer, should you get laid off. Also, vendors do business in many places. They could be the source of your next job opening.

Vendors like to brag about their relationships with ‘big name businesses.’ They name drop an event at the Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton¬†(went out of business at Lake Las Vegas – sold to Ravella Hotel).¬†

The fact is, too often, vendors don’t have a relationship with ‘the venue,’ they have a relationship with ‘one person at the venue.’

So the question becomes: If that venue contact is transferred or laid off, how solid is the relationship, in real terms?

Relationship building means more than attending industry organization meetings. It means becoming familiar with everyone in a department. It means having friendly relationships with competitors.

There is nothing more sad than seeing a member of organization who has been MIA for a year, suddenly show up after he or she has been laid off. It’s a little late, at that point.

Networking should not be situational or calendar-based. It should be part of everyone’s personal and business marketing plan.

The value of real interpersonal business relationships is priceless.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog