In the Hermon Wouk’s 1965 novel “Don’t Stop the Carnival”, the writer humorously captures the unpredictable life of a Caribbean resort manager. As the main character Norman Paperman finds out, managing a resort is not always a picnic in paradise. The challenges seem endless and finding the time to focus on one thing always seems interrupted by the most bizarre events. In-house guests, employees, and the hotel itself always take priority over all other things including a future booking, which is risky. For best practices in management, when is it time to outsource a task and what task should you outsource? Marilyn Cairo of AskMeInc, a Florida based hospitality solutions company, suggests outsourcing the weddings.
“For many hotels, coordinating the details of a wedding that is a year away is just not a priority,” stated Marilyn Cairo of AskMeInc, “But not making weddings, or a bride’s question of the day, a priority may mean losing the business. That is when it’s time to outsource the task.”
Destination weddings mean big business even to boutique hotels. They tend to be recession proof, often result in return (anniversary) trips, and multiple departments benefit from the wedding including the spa and F&B operations. “Weddings can provide a healthy revenue stream for hotels,” says Cairo, “They are extremely time consuming in the planning process and that is where our company comes into the equation.”
AskMeInc, which has consumer sites AskMeWeddings and AskMeHoneymoons, works directly with couples and travel agents to coordinate all the details of the wedding. They block off the dates and rooms as soon as the couple makes the deposit and then assist the couple with all their questions, curiosities and concerns. The hotel team always has access to the status of the wedding and plans, but it’s the month of the event that the hotel gets back involved in time to pre-order food and other special requests. “We coordinate everything ahead of time so when it comes to the week-of the wedding, the on-site coordinator has all the details needed to ensure a picture perfect wedding.”
When deciding what drama to focus on and which ones to pass on, Cairo suggests to always take care of what truly demands your attention and expertise. Planning a wedding a year away can be best managed by a destination wedding company. In addition to managing booked weddings, successful destination wedding companies like AskMeInc, represent their clients at wedding events across the country, proactively reach out to travel agents who specialize in weddings, hold monthly webinars providing tips and advice to both consumers and agents, and find new, innovative ways to reach the target market. Taking all those tasks off your management plate will allow you to let go of some of the issues that haunted Norman Paperman.