Our client the Priory Hospitality Group experienced a difficult sales challenge for years.
Like most banquet and special event facilities, they could not sell weddings for their primary event space – Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory – in the winter months of January, February and March. Seemingly, every bride wants to get married the second Saturday in June and since the Priory had only one large event space they had no problem selling it out.
Brides offered several reasons why they did not want to marry in the Winter, but the main one was ugly bad weather! And, for the Priory having poor sales in Q1 often meant that they had to let go well trained service staff, poor clash flow and a lack of sales momentum to build referential business.
After researching the general wedding business, we believed that the Priory – and brides – had been looking at winter weddings all wrong! We recommended that they flip winter weddings upside down, focus on the beauty of winter and retool their marketing pitch and value! For example,
- The Grand Hall is a beautiful, unique space, but let’s make it more spectacular such as Dr. Zhivago (ice palace) meets the Grand Hall!
- It’s easy to schedule winter weddings most people are home vs. summer (vacations, kids’ sports activities etc.)
- Couples will escape cold weather and honeymoon in warm weather
- And, The Priory will provide a special “Winter White Wedding*” value package (see below)
As a result of the Priory’s Winter White Weddings,
- Brides and the media enthusiastically responded and sales increased over 400%
- The Priory’s Q1 success drove referential business throughout the year
- New seasonal value packages were created (i.e., April Showers, Fall for Love) and drove additional sales
Note: the only advertising was an already magazine ad. Primary promotion channels were email,Website and public relations.
*The Priory’s Grand Hall Winter White Wedding™ Package includes the following amenities:
- Distinctive Winter White Decor
- Specially created interior decorations
- Winter White Centerpieces
- White floor-length linens and chair covers
- Winter White Weather Guarantee*
- Elegant four-course plated dinner
- Wedding Cake by Priory Fine Pastries
- Four Hours of Premium Open Bar Service
- Skirted Head and Accessory Tables
- Valet Parking for All Guests
- Dedicated Bridal Butler
- Coat Check (in-season)
- Overnight Accommodations: One Priory Hotel “Wedding Package”** and two standard rooms