What an incredible honor it is to be invited by Catersource Magazine’s 2024 Winter Edition to contribute to their “25 Positive Predictions for 2024” alongside some of the top professionals in the catering and event industry. As the CEO and founder of Rainmaker Sales & Marketing, I’m thrilled to bring a dose of positivity and insight into the new year, especially in a field as dynamic and ever-evolving as ours.

In this article, I shared my prediction for the catering industry in 2024, focusing on the significant changes we can expect in the booking window for events, particularly weddings. This shift reflects not just a change in timelines but also a broader evolution in how we approach and manage client expectations and bookings.

Here’s my HOT TAKE:

Catersource Magazine 2024 Prediction: The Evolution of the Booking Window

As we stand on the cusp of 2024, I foresee a transformative shift in the world of catering bookings, particularly for weddings. The middle, that familiar 12-14 month booking window we’ve grown accustomed to, we are poised to see less of.

But here’s the twist: it’s not just about shorter timelines; it’s also about looking further ahead.

On one end of the spectrum, we’ll witness a surge in “in the month for the month” bookings. Think of it as the corporate business model making its way into the wedding scene. The instant gratification of the “add to cart” mindset is upon us. These short-term wedding bookings will demand our immediate attention, agility, and intention. We’ll need to approach them with the same fervor we reserve for corporate clients.

Here’s a pro tip: Let’s make the revision process an integral part of our SOPs. Send out a proposal, and simultaneously, pencil in a revision consultation. This ensures we’re not just in the race but leading it, tailoring our offerings precisely to our clients’ needs.

Conversely, the pendulum also swings towards long-term bookings. We’re talking about leads that stretch deep into 2025 and beyond. Now, I’ve heard the whispers and the reservations. “They’re just shopping because they have time,” or “How can we possibly lock in prices that far out?”

Here’s some straight talk: These aren’t lukewarm leads; they’re genuine opportunities. These clients are ready to commit, ready to sign on that dotted line. The real question is, are you ready to work with them? If you’re tending to these long-term bookings now, I predict a moment of relaxation in the future when your 2025 calendar is set for success.

In essence, 2024 is set to be a year of duality for catering sales. We’ll be sprinting for those immediate bookings while also setting our sights on the horizon. It’s a delicate balance, but with eagerness, adaptability, and a dash of foresight, we can navigate this evolving landscape with grace and success.

Read full article here.

Margaret Brower
Schedule a chat with Margaret Brower

My specialty is hospitality sales, but my passion has always been the psychology of sales. I have loved and lived the life of a results-driven Director of Sales, and in that time developed a sales program with a two-fold leadership approach, skill development and human development.

Schedule a call with Margaret and learn how Rainmaker will bring that know-how and strategy to your company.