By: Danielle Andrews and Tracey Manailescu, WPIC Co-founders
When you’re taking your wedding business globally, everyone wants to be an international success. But what a lot of people don’t realize is it doesn’t just happen. It’s not just luck that makes it happen. It takes planning, strategy and marketing.
*You can learn so much more by enrolling in our Destination Wedding Planning and Coordinator Certification
“The man who is at the top of the mountain did not fall there.”
Your potential market
We’re going to talk about business analysis, customized online marketing, thinking like a local and adapting your business for local acceptance.
Do you have a loyal social media following in the area already?
Perhaps you were a speaker or have had your work published in that location. Check your Google stats or Instagram insights to see where your followers are from.
Is There a Demand for Your Services?
Is there a demand that you can fill that is not being satisfied by local companies succeeding globally? This doesn’t mean just changing the language in your promotional material. Your marketing plan needs to be consistent with your brand, but it will also need to adapt to fit in and be accepted elsewhere around the globe.
- Why are you expanding your company to other places? Is it to share your passion and knowledge with others?
- What outcome are you hoping to get?
- Who is your target market? Are they large corporations, smaller private companies or charities or a group of people?
- How are you going to measure your success? Is it for personal growth brand recognition, fame, or for monetary reasons?
Customized online marketing
Your marketing efforts will definitely need to include an online promotion. Please remember that what worked locally for reaching your local clients may not translate well in other locations. Be sure to focus your marketing initiatives to fit the clients that you are trying to reach so that you can create a customized experience for them.
Who are these clients that you want to work with?
Are they large corporate companies, local associations, hospitals, smaller boutique hotels, villas, or local charities? It’s not all about weddings and graduations, birthdays or anniversary parties. What holidays do they celebrate? What are the local flowers and decor items popular in the area? Use this to tap into the heart and souls of the people who view your work before they ever get to experience it, or meet you for the first time.
Show examples of what you could do for them in relevant events
Remember, what works well in one state, province, or country is not usually relevant or important to another. An example would be using more local wood products in the decor instead of over-the-top florals and fabric that will possibly be thrown out afterwards. We as North Americans are notoriously known for this.
Start thinking like a local
When you are taking your company to other States, provinces and countries, you will need to take into consideration how others do things around the world. This applies specifically to the region that you are going to target for business. Just because you do things a certain way, where you’re from does not mean they do or, will even want to.
Do your research
Have an understanding of the cultural and language barriers, and then adapt your approach for each. It’s also important to understand cultural references and be aware of upcoming events and holidays. Example: Does your company name or marketing material become offensive when translated?
Adapting your business for local acceptance
You can’t just pick a place on a map without having a basic understanding of how things work, what interests, the people who live there and why they love where they live.
- Do you already know the language or have you worked with locals who are familiar with the cultural language concerns?
- Perhaps they have recently moved to the US or Canada or studied in the state province or country. Use them.
- Do you speak the language or does someone on your team? Are you going to be joining forces with local companies and forming partnerships instead?
- Why not take a vacation or two or three to these places attend a conference or a trade show. Shop in the stores, eat the foods, talk to people and attend events to see what is the norm. You need your business to have local acceptance and of course growth.
Create a personalized experience
To connect with clients and their guests and everyone wins. The companies that successfully bridged the gap of global marketing have a local brand identity but remain consistent in their values and execution across the borders.
Danielle Andrews and Tracey Manailescu are the Co-Founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc. They have been professional, certified wedding planners since 1999, and were licensed to open WPIC Inc. in 2003.
In addition to working on hundreds of weddings and events each, they are also the co-producers of international Wedding Professional Conferences which have taken place in Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, etc.
You have seen both of them (separate or together) quoted in major publications across the globe, giving interviews on television, and on stage at countless international Wedding and Event Conferences.
Over the past 20+ years, Tracey and Danielle have devoted themselves to the improvement of the Wedding Industry and the continuous education of Wedding and Event Professionals