When a prospective bride and groom fill out your online hotel request for proposal to decide if your hotel is right for their wedding, they have a vision of the perfect day – not the myriad things that could go wrong.
Even the best hotels can’t be completely prepared for every possible mishap, misstep, or miscommunication, but here are a few common problems for which you can have a back-up plan in place.
- On-Site Maintenance and Renovation
Regularly scheduled maintenance that affects any visible part of the hotel or the grounds should be scheduled around a wedding event, or simply do not book a wedding or event on those dates. Even if renovation does not impact guest areas directly, be aware that dust and paint fumes travel, and some guests may be sensitive enough that they require relocation.
For unplanned, emergency construction, such as after a flood or storm, it’s a good idea to develop a partnership with other local hotels. An agreement to transfer guests for unexpected disasters could save the couple’s day, and earn your hotel points for customer service.
Make sure all elevators, sprinkler systems, and other safety features are inspected and functioning properly.
- Nearby Construction
Dust, noise, and unsightly road or building construction nearby can disrupt a wedding event, even if it doesn’t directly involve your hotel. Pay attention to city, county, and state construction plans so you can offer guests alternate routes, or alternate dates, if necessary.
- Local Events That Draw Crowds
Be aware of local events that could impact a wedding. Location near a major convention center, NASCAR track, or venue for an annual event that draws large crowds could impact a couple’s plans for an intimate destination wedding. Make sure you inform the couple, especially if they’re not from the area, of popular local events that could affect availability of rooms, car rentals, restaurant table availability, and even traffic on the streets and at local tourist attractions.
- Personnel changes
Your hotel wedding and event coordinator should have a back-up plan in place and a fully informed back-up person on standby if he or she must leave the site for any reason. Few things stress a bride out more than having to deal with a new and possibly uninformed event contact when she arrives at your hotel for her big day.
- Not Enough Hands on Deck
Make sure you have enough staff scheduled to help wedding guests and vendors with extra luggage, equipment, and decorations. If you have a security guard, consider scheduling an extra one to keep an eye on all the additional guests and vendors on site.
- Heath Emergencies
A hotel wedding party is bound to include a number of out-of-town guests who don’t know the local lay of the land. In addition to informing guests of the nearest medical facilities, someone on your staff should be trained in CPR and first aid. It’s also not a bad idea to keep an AED device on the premises, and train your staff how to use it.
- Accidental Overbooking
Even with modern technology, unintentional overbooking will probably happen at some point. Work with your partner hotels in the area to handle the overflow – and try not to let the wedding party be the ones to relocate. Business and just-passing-through travelers will be less picky about relocating to another hotel, particularly if you offer them a restaurant voucher or a free night at another time.
- Power Outages
Few things will panic a bride more than a power outage in the middle of her blow-dry. A back-up generator could save the day – and perhaps a kitchen full of reception food!
- Weather Emergencies
Always have a guest evacuation plan, and have periodic practice runs. For the minor rain shower that could potentially ruin a bride’s dress, simply keep a supply of large golf umbrellas stashed in a closet. Brides will be “singing in the rain”, and singing your praises to other potential customers.
Even the greatest hotel marketing plan might not help you avoid a wedding disaster, but we can! Contact Smart eHotels™ today.