The Differences Between the Buying Cycles of Wedding and Corporate Bookers

The Differences Between the Buying Cycles of Wedding and Corporate Bookers

Wedding and corporate bookers are very different animals to deal with. And it’s not just the nature of their events that’s like chalk and cheese. Their buying triggers and buying cycles are also dissimilar. Buying cycles are defined as “a process with well-defined stages, aimed at turning prospects into leads, leads into opportunities, and opportunities into customers” (Profitwell).

This means getting your head around two distinct ways of dealing with wedding and corporate clients to get the best of both worlds.

In this article, we’re looking at how and why wedding and corporate bookers need different interactions with you at different places in the sales funnel.

Corporate Bookers

There’s always wriggle room for the many variable components of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) market. But the corporate buying cycle often looks like this –

Need – The need arises for them to source a venue

Specify – They decide what they need to meet their desired outcomes

Evaluate – They gather options from potentially suitable venues. Different corporate bookers have different ways of handling this, which you also need to understand. For example, they might –

  • Re-approach existing suppliers (particularly if their specific location is a key factor and/or they’re incentivised by preferred rates for repeat bulk business)
  • Generate an RFP (request for proposal) via an online portal or venue finding website
  • Use a third-party venue finding agent or event management company to do the legwork for them

Whichever way the sourcing happens, it’s the norm to draw up a shortlist based on factors like –

  • Availability
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Trustworthiness

And they often conduct site visits (especially when larger events are at stake).

Select – Book a venue based on the previous evaluation stage.

Assess – Carry out a ‘round up’ of results and successes after the event has taken place.

Wedding Bookers

Wedding bookers have a cycle of ‘awareness / consideration / purchase’ that’s approaching it from a different place to corporate bookers.

For example, their need is pretty self-explanatory. But their buying cycle starts to diverge at this point –

Specify – It’s normal for wedding bookers not to be dictated by specificity in the way that corporates are. They usually have guest numbers in mind. But they’re looking for inspiration rather than being dictated to by a clearcut set of non-negotiables

Evaluate – Their evaluation process isn’t dissimilar to corporates. For example, happy couples might do the venue sourcing themselves, via a wedding planner, or use an online venue finding tool. But, they’re likely to cast their net much wider than corporate bookers, because of the lack of specificity we’ve already mentioned. For this reason, the evaluation process can take weeks or months, whilst they compare and contrast a number of sometimes wildly different options

Select – The selection process shares similarities with corporates. But the process to get wedding bookers to this stage can be much more long-winded and involved (which isn’t to suggest that corporate bookers are child’s play!).

At Selling Savvy, our buying cycle and consultative selling workshops are purpose designed to help sales teams establish strong relationships with different types of bookers who want and need very different approaches. Get in touch at kate@sellingsavvy.co.uk about uplevelling your team’s conversion rates through taking a consultative approach to their dealings with wedding and corporate bookers.

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