Many times, team members find themselves in situations they would never expect and were never trained for. I've spoken to managers who have been approached by guests expressing frustration at LGBTQ clientele in a hotel. For example, I trained a sales manager who struggled with how to respond to a guest complaining about a drag queen convention at a hotel. I've personally experienced guests at same-sex weddings come up to my team to vent and discuss their conflicted feelings about being present. Is your team prepared to respond to such bias?
Is your team prepared to comfortably interact with a guest whose gender is nonconforming?
I've trained directors who want to be prepared to answer questions from LGBTQ clients about how to ensure safety during a ceremony in a public area (such as a beach). Can you answer this question?
The good news is that our team is skilled in facilitating trainings to empower your team to manage these situations. Our interactive trainings with ample role plays and mock scenarios ensure that each team member has the space to keep it real and ask questions. We are not afraid to create discomfort because we know that's where the truth is, and when we uncover truths, we can create change and empower everyone. That's our goal.
The virtual summit is called Over the Rainbow: How to Truly Understand the LGBT Wedding Market and you can attend for free the week of October 12. Here's how it works: you sign up here and each day beginning on October 12, you'll get a video to my interview with other experts. You have access to that video for two weeks.
I'm so proud to be interviewing the following amazing folks who will share their own perspective on marketing your business to same-sex couples:
- Kathryn Hamm (LGBT wedding pioneer and publisher of GayWeddings.com)
- David Paisley (LGBT marketing expert who will share the latest travel data and trends)
- Kirsten Ott (Founder of EquallyWed.com and noted writer)
- Bethel Nathan (Wedding officiant and business coach)
- Kathy DalPra (SEO and online marketing expert)
I received the following question from Michelle at Memorable Events:
I am designing a folder and business card for same sex couples. My folder will have my business name on one side and my motto on the other. I am not sure what to do for a design for my card. I have a bride on my cards now. I hope that you can help me with this.
Michelle, great question. My first piece of advice is to create a folder and a business card that you can use for ALL couples, not just same-sex couples. Create something that is your new standard, instead of having a straight and a gay version. Trust me, if you have two versions, you'll get them confused and have the wrong ones at the wrong time. Keep it simple with one version.
As far as imagery goes, you can choose any neutral wedding-related image so you can appeal to all couples. Maybe a wedding cake, champagne flutes, two intertwined wedding rings or similar. Those images would work for all couples. Keep it elegant and classy, though - of course!
If you have a question for an upcoming blog post or newsletter, drop a note!
Last week I spent the day in Atlanta with Catering Sales Managers from a variety of area Marriott Hotels. Kristin, the area sales leader brought me in for a day of training and community building. We went through all the elements of a typical training but I was particularly impressed by Kristin's commitment to follow through. She set dates by which the "homework" assignments/action steps would be due and the group would get back together to debrief. The training was the same day as a Marriott One evening event, during which their LGBTQ and allied employees were getting together in community.
The GM of the beautiful Renaissance Atlanta (which hosted the event) told me that Marriott will be a top sponsor of Atlanta Pride in 2015. In this case, Pride is a great idea for Marriott and now any sales leads that come from Pride will go directly to employees who've been trained by the Gay Wedding Institute. I have no doubt that these CSMs and Event Leaders will thrive with their new LGBTQ client base. I'm excited for them and really impressed by their commitment to training.