By: Brandi Zrallack, Director of Corporate Market Operations
Last week, I spent my days in our Las Vegas market. As you might expect, some of our time was spent on the Las Vegas strip as we navigated different venues meeting with wedding professionals. While we were making our way down the strip, it dawned on me that the largest of hotels encounter what the smallest of wedding businesses do; that is, constant new competitors.When I first visited Las Vegas, it was 1997. The Sands had just been demolished and the New York, New York was among the newest of hotels. I returned to Las Vegas in 1999. The Bellagio was open. On my next visit In 2001, the Paris and Venetian hotels were up and running. Since then, the Wynn, Encore, Aria, Cosmopolitan, and more have opened. With each opening, people flocked and were anxious to do business with the new property.
In addition, with each new hotel/casino opening, the once popular venues found themselves struggling to keep business coming through the doors. On my first visit, people were flocking to New York, New York, but today, you can tell the lack of newness and the lack of new desire has taken its toll.
So, I began to think about what has helped the many aging hotels stay popular. The MGM is still booming. In fact, it just hosted the Billboard Music Awards this week. However, the Luxor, that was a huge deal when it opened, is now definitely a less popular location. The Bellagio has remained a hot destination, possibly because of the Ocean’s 11 film or because of its entertaining fountains, while Treasure Island has lost some of its attraction.
What makes some stay hot while others falter? At MGM, they just opened a new club that is getting a lot of buzz. In fact, you can see a billboard advertising the club every time you turn a corner in Las Vegas. Caesar’s Palace is larger than ever. They are constantly building new structures and sell more rooms than any other resort. Is that due to the “Hangover” franchise? The Mirage has free entertainment as well as some big shows such as Love and Terry Fator.
There are two ingredients that can keep some venues, as well as small wedding businesses, hot while others begin to wane. What are they?
1. Creating desire for your products/services.
2. Marketing and advertising the desire to build awareness.
As in the case with MGM, an older property competing with newer resorts, they continuously add something to desire about their property. From the biggest fights in town to hosting huge celebrity events to the best new clubs to remodels and updated attractions, the MGM continues to draw people in with new, attractive entertainment. However, people wouldn’t be aware of the entertainment if the property didn’t create awareness by marketing and advertising.
You see, there will always be new, shiny objects that attract customers in the marketplace. Whether it’s a venue, a photographer, a DJ or a unique service, you will always have new competition trying to take your market share.
The key to your survival is to make sure you stay current, fresh, innovative, on top of trends, and always look to create desire for your products and/or services. Don’t allow the hungrier, newer competitor to come on to the scene with the latest technology, hottest new products, and services with which you can’t compete. And, be sure that you’re staying in front of prospects and other wedding professionals at every turn. From advertising to networking, bridal shows, online presence and more, you have worked to afford your marketing efforts and therefore, you should have more muscle to flex in the marketplace. Stay present so people can consider you.
We will always have new competition and we have two choices on how to handle it. One, we can stay fresh and desirable and ensure that our message and marketing is rock solid or we can grow old and tired, pull back on our marketing efforts, grow an ego and sit around and complain about all of the business competitors are taking from us.
The choice is yours; build and constantly rebuild or demolish the empire you’ve built and people can sit around and say, “Remember when they were in business? Whatever happened to them?”
We would love to help you shine! Contact Ed Kessler, publisher of Delaware Perfect Wedding Guide – firstname.lastname@example.org