Gain profitable and repeated business by learning the tricks and tools of wedding lighting. Leverage your Christmas light installation skills into generating a new revenue stream.
Up your Off-Season with Wedding Lighting Installations
The Christmas light season is over, the lights are all down, and perhaps you’ve just returned to work re-energized after a well-deserved vacation. But the phones are uncomfortably quiet, cash flow is well...not flowing (at least not into the coffers), and the next Chrstmas light installation season seems beyond the distant horizon. It’s time to get creative! Using the exact same infrastructure, tools, and staff, you can easily supplement the Christmas off-season with wedding light installation services. Wedding lighting is traditionally done by either the wedding parties themselves or the venues but often reluctantly because they are so busy with other wedding matters. However, with your ample experience hanging Christmas lights, you’ll be much more successful and find yourself gaining profitable and repeatable business. Here are 5 ways to get there:
1. Focus your marketing efforts toward wedding industry professionals. Your time will be better spent talking to other professionals in the business. These include DJ’s, florists, wedding planners, and in particular, the handful of venues in your city. We’re not saying ignore the wedding parties. We’re just saying the professionals have considerably better ROI, are less personally connected to the event, and you’ll likely work with them again, whereas wedding parties only get married once (hopefully!). Consider offering a small commission on your sales.
2. Learn the venues’ existing lighting. Visit the venues at the same time of day as the wedding events. You’ll get a better idea of how bright the afternoon sun is or how dark certain areas are at night. You also need to consider how much built-in lighting already exists. If there is built-in lighting, you’ll need to decide if you include it or simply turn it off and light the space with only decorative lighting. Ensure there is enough light to keep the reception safe while at the same time setting the mood for the guests.
3. Learn the venues’ electrical. It is equally important to note where the electrical outlets are, learn their limitations, and find out where the DJ will set up and plug in. You don’t want to risk popping a breaker and stopping the dance music. If there’s a chance this may happen, consider bringing in a generator, which should be kept well out of earshot.
4. Offer two or three options per venue. Decorative wedding lighting is very creative and there are infinite options, which can mean a lot of back and forth. To limit this, pick a small number of design packages for each venue. These may include “Rustic”, “Romantic”, or “Modern”. You may consider a few options based on budget too. Once you’ve installed an option for the first time, ensure you get a photographer in (or hire the wedding photographer if you’re able) to take great pictures that you can use in your marketing. Create venue-specific brochures and leave copies with the venue organizer to pass on to future wedding parties or wedding planners.
5. Set yourself up for repeatable business. We suggest creating lighting packages and then renting them out. Most lighting companies charge a rental fee that is 25% to 50% of the product purchase price, so you’ll be breaking even very quickly. Also draw a detailed schematic for each lighting option and venue that your installers can clearly understand. You may also want to consider labeling the lights accordingly for quicker installation. Make notes on the location off the venue’s lighting attachment points, tricky areas, and use annotated photos to assist the installers as much as possible. Once the venues see just how proficient you are, you can expect to be at some venues almost every weekend.
Wedding and event lighting is a terrific way to supplement your off-season revenue. It’s a relatively untapped niche. Though it will never be as busy as the holidays, it could help keep your best installers employed year-round, reduce turnover, and maintain that valuable continuity in your peak-season. Many venues also host Christmas parties and your light designs can easily work for both, so you could expect additional business there too.
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