Wedding Fair Season (or, Marketing Mayhem)

{By Mel Sharpe, Marketing Manager for Oak Ridge Hotels}

As anyone who has ever tried to call me at either of the hotels will know, I am the elusive one.  Sometimes at the Ashbourne, sometimes at the Brackenborough, but mostly on the road – it’s always best to drop me an email instead!

It’s fair to say no two days are ever the same for me; one day I’ll be at a speed networking event, the next listening to an inspiring key note speaker from a large renewable energy company, followed by a night of tapas with my women’s marketing club.  But the thing that keeps the marketing department (aka Cagney & Lacey to the rest of the Oak Ridge Hotels staff!) really busy at this time of the year, is wedding fair season.  Choosing which ones to attend, booking exhibitor space at them, planning the layout of the stand, getting brochures tweaked, flyers sorted, and generally dashing about like lunatics in the run up.  Then come the day, you’ll find me on the stand, spending the whole day chatting to excited brides and grooms-to-be, which has to be one of the most favourite parts of my job.  The Grimsby Auditorium wedding fair is considered by most to be the biggest in the area, and the marketing team plus Assistant Manager – and Wedding Co-ordinator – Rob Walton from the Ashbourne have spent a large amount of time the past few weeks putting the stand together.

We always like to do something a bit different, so this year, we (ok, Rob – he’ll kill me if I take the credit for this one) decided on a Christmas theme – mostly to coincide with the launch of our Win a Wedding competition in conjunction with the Grimsby Telegraph. (Read more about that here.) The wedding package that is up for grabs is a “Winter Wonderland” themed wedding next November, to be held at the Ashbourne – so we thought the theme was perfect.

Christmas tree, props and decorations were kindly supplied by Brigg Garden Centre, and I spent a good few hours decorating the tree the day before the wedding fair, which was great practice for Christmas, though sadly lacking a warm mince pie and a drop of mulled wine!  On the day of the wedding fair itself, with the Christmas tree providing an interesting talking point, our lovely new eye-catching banner which we LOVE, and our brand new wedding brochures and packages, we had a lot to chat about with all the lovely people who came to see us.  What makes me really excited is seeing the wedding team from each hotel make new connections, lots of whom will then go on to be happy couples getting hitched at one of our two hotels.  That’s real job satisfaction.

So, if you’re looking to get married, or just want to see what we’re all about, get in touch and find out which wedding fair we’re attending next; we go to quite a few, and we also hold a lot of our own.  We’re very friendly and approachable…and promise not to bite – or operate the “hard sell”.  And if you bring me a coffee while I’m standing there on a Sunday morning with my brochures in hand, you’ll be a friend for life!

WF1WF3

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