During the COVID-19 pandemic, many entrepreneurs realized that they needed to rapidly pivot their business strategies online in order to keep operating during the lockdown. You may have launched an ecommerce store so that your customers could continue to patronize your business while staying home.
But if you rushed to launch your online store, you may need to make some changes in order to bring in more sales and create a better customer experience after the pandemic. From revising your marketing strategy with Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, to investing in better customer service, here’s how you can grow your ecommerce business during the pandemic recovery period.
Boost Your Business Skills
Maybe you’ve realized that you need to brush up on some important business skills, and trying to learn certain aspects of entrepreneurship on your own isn’t getting you quite the results you want. Heading back to school for an MBA program could be a great investment.
By enrolling in an online MBA program you can expand your general business knowledge, learn more about strategy and management, become a better leader, and master the arts of self-awareness and self-assessment.
Optimize Your Website
If you quickly developed a basic ecommerce website, now is the time to take a look at your site’s design and determine if there is anything you need to change. Constant Contact recommends highlighting your most popular products on the home page, using a pop-up sign-up sheet to encourage people to join your mailing list, and using big, scannable headers and bright images. You can also work on improving your search engine optimization strategy.
Expand Your Digital Marketing Efforts
When your business is online, you need to focus heavily on digital marketing! You can incorporate everything from email marketing campaigns to social media advertising on platforms like Facebook into your strategy. But you don’t have to master every aspect of digital marketing on your own. Instead, you can hire an expert to help.
For instance, if you run a lifestyle business, you may want to work with a lifestyle public relations agency to expand your reach. If you run a travel-related business, you’ll definitely want to invest in digital marketing during the recovery period, and working with a boutique travel public relations agency can be a great choice.
Improve Your Customer Service
When your customers are shopping online, concentrating on outstanding customer service is the best way to create a genuine connection, despite the lack of face-to-face communication. To give your customers the best service possible, Business recommends offering communication channel options like video chat, phone calls, or a live chat tool; following up after solving problems for customers; and giving them the opportunity to provide feedback.
Launch a Mobile App
As we move into the recovery period, your customers will be spending more time on the go. How can you make it easier for them to shop at your ecommerce store? Develop and release a mobile app that customers can download for their smartphones!
If you know your way around app development, you can design the program yourself, but if not, you can always hire a freelance mobile app developer. Before hiring anyone, make sure to check out their portfolio for examples of their previous work.
Shifting from running a brick-and-mortar business to managing an ecommerce store is challenging! But as an entrepreneur, you know how to think on your feet and adapt to overcome obstacles. With these tips, your ecommerce store will thrive after the pandemic.
Ready to invest in a new PR strategy for your brand? Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, can support you with everything from media relations to social media marketing to hosting events!
We are here to help. Give us a call.
Guest post by Chelsea Lamb at Businesspop.net
Photo via Pexels
Flexcation, a new Covid-19 pandemic family travel trend, allows families to escape for three to four weeks or longer, with parents working remotely and children enrolled in virtual classes anywhere in the world. Families embrace new ways to mix business with pleasure by traveling during the off- and shoulder season during the calendar school year.
A nationwide Vrbo survey of families revealed that 50 percent of those surveyed agreed that flexible school schedules provide more flexibility in vacationing, while 48 percent said they can work from anywhere. And 21 percent of respondents said that working from anywhere creates big opportunities for travel.
Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, spotlights key tips for destination marketers, hoteliers, and vacation hotel rentals to inspire families to book a flexcation with their establishment.
WiFi is Key
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed our lives forcing many parents to become digital nomads and their children to embrace online learning. It is important for hoteliers and vacation rental owners to showcase WiFi access throughout the property. Connectivity is key since many family members will need access to WiFi often at the same time.
Zoom meetings are the new normal to keep managers in touch to their team, as well as teachers connected to their students.
Showcase Shoulder and Off-Season Travel Savings
By traveling during the shoulder and off-season, families will reap huge savings, on average, for a family of four. Every destination has a shoulder and off-season travel period and savvy travelers can reap substantial savings, 20 percent or more, on airfare, hotel, car rentals.
“Flexcationers who wait until later in the season to visit sought-after destinations are also experiencing more attractive prices, with drops of at least 20 per cent in average nightly rates and lighter crowds from August to October, compared to prime summer travel dates. Prices for vacation rentals typically drop during off-peak seasons, which will appeal most to families who are not tied to strict in-person school or office commitments,” according to Short Term Rentals.
Shoulder and off-season packages showcase deep discounts will inspire parents looking for a change of scenery to book a flexcation at your establishment.
Location is Key
Flexcation presents an excellent opportunity to check off a bucket list destination. It is important for destination marketers, hoteliers and vacation rental owners to showcase the endless adventures for parents with younger children, teenagers, and college students.
Families will have a chance to live like a local and explore hidden treasures in a particular location. Family packages for local tourist attractions will inspire parents to venture with their children during their free time.
The Covid-19 vaccines are injecting a new lifeline into travel and inspire many families to escape for an adventure of lifetime. Although the number of Covid-19 cases are declining in the U.S., it is still important for families to book travel insurance during the pandemic.
Travel insurance will also give families an additional protection should things change unexpectedly before family getaway.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help. Give us a call.
By Joanna Allen, chief executive officer, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Opening a new restaurant is a notoriously stressful affair. Securing the proper licenses and permits, finding equipment, hiring staff, and thinking about how to draw in customers are typical stressors — and we didn’t even mention making sure the food is great!
Much of the underlying stress that unites all restaurant tasks has to do with money. With that in mind, here are some ways to cut costs during the first few phases of your project, courtesy of Allen Marketing Communications, Inc, a boutique travel, food and beverage and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City
Test Your Concept Through Pop-Ups
One of the hottest ways to bring your restaurant business to life is the pop-up. By taking advantage of bars and restaurants that will host your idea, you can create a clientele prior to ever opening a restaurant, cafe, or food truck. You will also have the flexibility to choose which neighborhood you want to be a part of.
Though the traditional reasons a chef or restauranteur would want to stage a pop-up are exposure and attracting investors, nowadays, pop-ups can be a solid way to generate buzz while also being a semi-permanent strategy. Organizing a well-prepared pop-up allows you to place your “restaurant” close to the action — a brewery, street fair, or other event. The overhead is also very low, which can help immensely in the beginning stages of your concept.
The best things you can do after you get your idea together is to ensure your business will be a legal entity and secure a free EIN number. Make sure that you check with your state and local authorities about how a pop-up should operate in your area. You will also want to plan for the future by creating a business model that you can use to expand when you are ready. Choosing a business service will help greatly with making your dream a reality.
Don’t Blow Your Budget On Marketing
Public relations is an effective marketing tool to generate credible third party stories about a new restaurant. By incorporating the SEO keywords into all press materials, then you will increase your visibility in online searches and drive traffic to your restaurant.
Blogs are another effective low cost marketing strategy to enhance your restaurant’s visibility. It is important to blog at least two times a week. Content is key to increase your online visibility.
Social media is another low cost marketing tool. Develop a content calendar. Post at least two to three times a week on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Snapchat to build loyal first time and repeat customers. It is also important to respond to any posts on your social media feeds.
Free advertising is always the best advertising. One of the biggest things new restaurant owners overspend on, in the beginning, is marketing.
There’s really no reason for a new restaurant to sink thousands of dollars into traditional marketing campaigns anymore — at least, not at first. Radio, print, and TV campaigns can be of use, but those should wait.
Let Technology Help
You surely know about low-cost point-of-sale systems and how they can lower your restaurant’s initial (and long-term) operating costs. But there are so many more apps and technologies that can not only help you trim costs, but also analyze your business and tell you where you should trim costs in the future. Some of these include inventory management, cost analytics, invoicing control, and automated payroll software.
Don’t Staff Up Too Quickly
It’s tempting to want to hire a full, quality staff from day one, but that might not be the best thing financially. It’s better to err on the side of understaffing rather than overstaffing as those payroll costs can be brutal at the beginning of your venture.
“Paying a large workforce can cause a strain … when you’re not bringing in a lot of money. Start by hiring for the most crucial positions and try to design a schedule that maximizes each employee’s productivity,” suggests Silverchef.
Once you have your staff set, you can reduce labor costs by reducing turnover, being smart and flexible with your scheduling, making changes to your menu, and streamlining your floor setup to minimize back- and front-of-house labor excess. You’ll also need to get very familiar with the world of payroll, which will require a bit of paperwork on its own.
For example, you’ll need to collect W-4 forms, make sure you have a pay schedule set up that everyone understands, and pay taxes on time to avoid any penalties or fines. Fortunately, you can outsource this work to payroll for startup services, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
When you break down all the costs associated with opening a restaurant, you’ll find that a $250,000+ price tag isn’t that rare. No matter how much you get through loans, investors, and your own savings, you’re going to want to do everything you can to trim the fat. Every little bit counts, as the restaurant game is a game of inches.
For professional guidance on successfully marketing your venture, connect with Allen Marketing Communications.
By Tina Martin, Life Coach and Creator, Ideas Inspired.com
Clubhouse, a new social media platform that sells itself as a podcast with audience participation. It aims to disrupt the social media scene with something completely new.
Clubhouse is generating a buzz at the moment -- it is a new social platform for business owners and marketers to find new customers and spread the word about their company, product or service. It also provides an opportunity to work with social media influencers and celebrities to move the need on a company’s product or service..
Let Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, share fun and exciting facts on a new social media platform!
What is Clubhouse?
Founded one year ago, Clubhouse is a new, completely auditory social media network. Users take part in conversations, debates, or interviews that happen live based on their interests -- upcoming events to controversial topics to book recommendations.
We’ll start from the beginning - joining - to best explain the app. Firstly, it is in its beta stages, so the app is invite-only. Existing users can send you one of their two invites, but only if you have an iPhone. Unfortunately, the app isn’t available on Android yet, but beta testing began last month.
Once you’ve joined, you’ll pick out a few of your favorite topics so that the app can best connect you to like-minded people and discussions. Like most other social media platforms, you can choose a profile picture and bio to present to the world, as well as connect your contacts to follow friends and family. Clubhouse also offers the option to share content through text or other social media platforms as well.
It’s as simple as that, now you’re ready to join or even start your own conversation! All of these discussions happen in ‘rooms,’ which you can find in the feed of content you have followed or indicated your interest in, or through the calendar feature, which holds every planned event on the app.
Within a room, there are speakers and listeners. If you did not start the chat, you are automatically made a listener unless the speaker dictates otherwise. To participate as a listener, you must raise your hand and state your question if the speaker calls on you, just like an old-fashioned, in-person Q&A session.
Once you’re done, you’re free to leave a room whenever you want. If you’re the speaker, you’re free to close the room whenever you please and the conversation will end for everyone. Clubhouse doesn’t record anything, so the discussions disappear forever once they’re over. This doesn’t mean that participants can’t record the conversations on their own, however.
Who’s On It?
One of the reasons for the app’s quick rise to popularity is the number of celebrities and influencers on the social media platform. The accessibility to these celebrities is much higher than on other platforms. You’re given the chance to speak directly to the stars, something that doesn’t always exist on other social media networks.
Clubhouse also feels more intimate than other social media platforms, especially when it comes to celebrities, but even when you’re interacting with friends or random strangers. Conversations that happen in real-time allow for deeper connections, which is important when considering the common criticism of social media - that it encourages solely superficial connections.
Should I Try It?
Now that you know what Clubhouse is, there’s really only one question left: should you try it? Well, that’s up to you and whether you can get an invite! It’s a good platform to find and converse with other like-minded individuals, so if that sounds like something you want, it’s definitely worth it!
The creators are also working on a monetary portion of the app, whether that is subscriptions, tipping, or something else entirely, which will make it easier to work and make money on the app as well!
In the end, Clubhouse is a new, interesting social media platform that breaks from the rest. While it still has to undergo beta testing and more development, it seems to be gaining popularity and here to stay.
Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, can help you navigate this new social media platform!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. “More than 2.7 billion people use the platform every month,” according to Statista, “giving it a lot of power when it comes to marketing your business.”
Recently, Facebook has made a few changes to the social media platform -- new algorithms, email marketing capabilities, Collab, a new app similar to TikTok, just to name a few enhancements. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique NYC travel and lifestyle PR agency, guides marketers through the new changes/
Facebook Business Suite
Facebook Business Suite streamlines content -- create, schedule, post -- on Facebook and Instagram, while also creating one interface for all of Facebook’s companies, such as Messenger and WhatsApp. This allows users to access all of these platforms in one place.
This new feature promises to save businesses and influencers time, as they are able to post on multiple platforms at once. In addition, Business Suite insights can help you learn what your customers are looking for and tailor your content to that vision!
Individual posts can now be assessed with less difficulty using analytics integration as well.
Email Marketing Tools
While they are still being tested in a smaller group of Facebook users, new email marketing tools should be coming to the platform for everyone soon. These tools are intended to help businesses and pages reach customers - both new and existing - through digital marketing.
As Facebook has access to multitudes of user data, business can utilize it to create extremely helpful tools. While we’re still waiting for Facebook to reveal more about this new feature, it appears to be a big benefit for businesses.
Currently, Facebook’s algorithm tailors your News Feed to best fit your interests based on the accounts and posts you interact with the most frequently. As of March, users are gaining more control over their own feed.
There will now be a “feed filter bar” that will allow users to change the order in which they see posts. The bar offers three options:
Integrating with Shopify
Shopify helps businesses or individuals sell their products. Anyone is able to make an account - after paying for the subscription - and set up their shop.
One of the largest benefits that Shopify supplies is Shop Pay, which is one of the quickest ways to check out while still keeping your information secure. In fact, Shop Pay is about 70 percent faster than the typical online checkout.
Now that Shopify is integrating with Facebook, it’ll be much easier to purchase products on the platform, making it an even better place to market and sell.
TikTok has become increasingly popular over the past year, and it has been proven to be a great place to market and advertise products. Facebook has been watching, and now they’re working on a similar app: Collab.
While Collab is only in the beta stages right now, so users require an invite to join. While it might be a little while before it’s widely available, it’s worth paying attention to, especially if it has a similar impact to TikTok.
Facebook has made many changes in the recent past that make it the ideal place to market and sell goods, and it looks like they’ll only continue to do so.
Let Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique NYC travel and lifestyle public relations agency, help you navigate these changes.
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Culinary travel, also known as food tourism, enables food lovers to get an authentic experience and explore a culture through food. A recent study by World Food Travel reports “the global culinary tourism market is expected to grow by nine percent between 2019 and 2023.
Did you know . . .
Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel, food, and lifestyle PR agency, spotlights the top five food tourism this year.
Authentic and Local Food Tourism
We all know about the long-standing, most famous foodie destinations, such as France and Italy. While these will hold onto their status, a large number of foodies are turning towards more authentic, regional experiences. Some of the new, popular destinations include Australia, the Philippines, and South Africa.
Tourists are doing more than just switching destinations in their search for local, authentic food. Instead of making reservations at high-class, fine-dining establishments, many are instead choosing street vendors, food festivals, and food halls. The preference has changed due to a want to not only learn about the food of a certain place, but to learn about its culture as well.
Now, this is not to say that sit-down meals at nice restaurants are a thing of the past, because that certainly is not the case. However, tourists still prefer local, fresh ingredients even then!
After being stuck at home for a year, people want more than the traditional foodie experience when engaging in culinary travel. For many, this means hands-on experiences, such as cooking classes, food festivals, food tours, vineyard and brewery tours.
They want more than to just taste the flavors, they want to learn about local ingredients and take part in the culture. Essentially, they want more than the traditional dining experience.
Travelers don’t want a standard, one-size-fits-all option for their vacations anymore. Instead, they are looking to individualized, unique, and memorable experiences. Private tastings are one of the ways in which tourists will accomplish this; the meal itself is catered to their preferences.
People are looking for experiences that go above and beyond. Research also shows “tourists are becoming more interested in trying home-cooked meals while getting the chance to interact with locals.”
Sharing Through Social Media
Social media gives us an easy way to stay connected with our friends and family, allowing us to share photos, thoughts, opinions, and more. So when people go on vacation, they utilize social media to show their loved ones what they’re up to.
This means plenty of pictures of food from vacation on Instagram, Facebook, and more. Because of this, restaurants have to focus on not only making their food delicious but well-presented. Unique and beautiful dishes are becoming increasingly popular to create a social media buzz.
Virtual Food Tourism
Virtual cooking classes gained popularity during the pandemic; people could buy a meal kit and prepare restaurant-quality food at home. We expect to see this taken to the next level for the remainder of 2021.
People are going to explore the flavors and cuisine of a destination without ever leaving their house. The ingredients are sent to them, and they participate in a virtual class with a teacher local to the region the food is from.
Additionally, activities like virtual food tours and wine tastings are expected to hold onto or even gain popularity in the upcoming year.
Food tourism has been gaining popularity steadily, and it’s not expected to slow down any time soon. Allen Marketing Communications will help you navigate these trends!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, inc.
Upcycled foods “use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment,” according to the Upcycled Food Association.
Did you know . . .
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a food and beverage public relations agency, explains some of the trends within Upcycled foods.
Help the Planet
With Earth Day just around the corner, many people are focusing on what they can do to help our planet. Upcycled food is the perfect way to make a small change in your life that has a large impact on the world.
According to the Upcycled Food Association, “30 percent to 40 percent of the food produced in the world is wasted, leading to an additional loss of all the resources (water, land, energy). Upcycled food combats this loss, therefore utilizing more resources as well.”
This means that by buying a pack of Upcycled fruit chips or pizza sauce, you’re working to fight climate change. In addition, many people are looking to brands that support a cause. They want to feel like they’re supporting a mission every time they go to the grocery store, and upcycled food provides the perfect cause.
Fighting Food Insecurity
Climate change isn’t the only problem that Upcycled food takes on. Food insecurity is a pertinent issue throughout the world, and utilizing what would be otherwise wasted helps to address the issue.
CNN points out that countries throughout the world, with the Philippines as an example, face food insecurity. By taking what would have been otherwise thrown out, we are able to create new, nutritious options that are able to feed more people. This becomes one of the many reasons that upcycled food is gaining popularity; it gives people another cause to support.
A Healthy Option
The ongoing pandemic has pushed people to focus more on their health; people are more concerned with eating better, exercising, and living healthily. Upcycled food is the perfect option for those looking to find nutritious, clean ingredients and products.
Bananas, peppers, milk, water, and other plant-based options are repurposed into the foods that we already love, like pizza sauce, chips, or desserts while still providing a healthy option. Since Upcycled food is plant-based, it offers an option for those looking to cut back on meat as well!
Not only are you keeping food out of a landfill, but you’re keeping your body strong and fit.
Another effect of the pandemic has to do with snacks. Because we’ve been confined to our homes for the past year, we’ve had more opportunities to wander over to the kitchen and grab something quick to eat.
People have been snacking more and becoming more adventurous with their options, with plant-based upcycled snacks as the perfect choice. In addition, people are looking towards healthier choices because they’re snacking more and more often.
Upcycled snacks such as fruit chips or protein bars are both healthy and convenient options. While we can’t tell for sure if this trend will continue after the pandemic ends and life returns to normal, we’re confident that upcycled food will maintain its popularity.
Plenty of Options
Because it is an up and coming field, many companies are entering the market and creating upcycled food products. Some of the new and most popular include Pulp Pantry, a chip company that utilizes vegetable juice pulp, and Barnana, a Californian company that buys bananas slated for the garbage and turns them into snacks such as Chocolate Banana Bites.
Snacks aren’t the only thing being made from food waste. WTRMLN WTR takes produce that would’ve been thrown out and turns them into flavored water, while Toast Ale makes beer from excess bread, and Lazy Bear Tea takes waste from coffee production to brew smooth black teas. These companies are just a few of many, but they are some of the trendiest right now.
It’s clear the Upcycled food is here to stay. It fits into trends such as supporting a cause in small ways and eating healthy, allowing it to gain recognition and popularity. While it is a newly defined concept, the experts at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., food and beverage public relations agency, can help you navigate all of the trends within Upcycled foods!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
With more and more people being vaccinated and pandemic restrictions easing, family travel will present a welcome escape after a year of Zoom meetings and remote learning towards the end of 2021. In fact, the Family Travel Association reports that “85 percent of parents anticipate traveling domestically in the next 12 months.”
Family travel has presented an opportunity to trace one’s ancestry, embark on a learning vacation and to truly immerse oneself into a local culture. It is a very lucrative segment for the travel industry since a “the family of four will spend on average $4,580 on a family vacation.”
To help marketers tap into reinvigorate the family travel market, Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle PR agency,highlights five popular family vacation trends for 2021.
Road trips, whether you take an SUV or an RV, have been a popular choice for families looking for a memorable vacation for years. This year doesn’t seem to be any different, and affordable gas prices have increased their popularity even more. There are plenty of breathtaking sights and desirable destinations just a car ride away, and families are taking advantage.
“Nearly 7 out of 10, or 67 percent, who want to take a vacation by year-end aren’t sure they’ll actually be able to travel, and 1 in 5 expect to book at the last minute, within a week of departure.” reports CNBC
“That’s according to a recent survey by AAA of traveler attitudes amid pandemic-era travel restrictions. The survey found that 80 percent of planned vacations will be road trips,” reports CNBC.
National parks are always a good choice for a trip. Other highly traveled and recommended routes include the San Juan Skyway in Colorado and Arizona’s Monument Valley. With plenty of options for destinations and stops along the way, road trips have established their appeal as a family vacation.
While we’ve been stuck inside with our immediate family for over a year, we haven’t seen our extended families in a long time. To solve this problem, many families are going on vacation with multiple generations, from grandparents to grandchildren.
Skips trips is a growing trend in the family travel industry. According to a recent AARP survey, more than a third of grandparents have taken their grandchildren on a skip-generation trip, leaving mom and dad at home. And industry experts predict those numbers will continue to climb once we’re back to traveling. (Source: Boston Globe)
Whether it’s a destination trip on a warm beach or renting a cabin in the great outdoors, families just want to reunite and spend time together.
Reconnecting with Nature
You can find some of the most breathtaking views and calming experiences out in nature, and many people are craving these things after a year spent cooped up in the house. Parents want to show their children everything they’ve been missing, and they want to escape and breathe some fresh air too.
On top of that, there are so many options that the great outdoors offer. Whether you want a tropical paradise, a snowy wonderland, or something in between, there’s a place for you. Some families opt for a stay in a treehouse (a popular option in California) while others go glamping and others choose a stay in the Caribbean. No matter your taste, you can reconnect with your family and nature this year.
Bucket List Trips
Now is the perfect time to cross something off of your bucket list. Why not a trip for the whole family that you’ve been wanting to take forever? Isn’t that the perfect way to celebrate making it through one of the most stressful years?
Besides, we’ve been stuck inside for so long, and we never know what’s going to happen next. Now is the time to spread your wings and explore all of the places you’ve been meaning to with the people you love by your side. This “why wait?” attitude is inspiring many families this year.
Maybe one of the spots on your bucket list is outside of the country. If it is, you wouldn’t be alone. Plenty of families are expected to travel internationally this year; other countries are lifting their restrictions and allowing Americans in, and many are finally being vaccinated. International travel is finally possible again.
Some destinations, such as Costa Rica and Aruba, are already accepting American visitors, making them the perfect option for families ready to escape on a vacation now. If you have another destination in mind, take the time to plan it and make it perfect for later in the year. Either way, this is the perfect year to book those international flights and take the trip of your life!
Family trips will increase this year as more individuals become vaccinated. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, can help you navigate the trends!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Planning a Destination Wedding During the Pandemic? Boutique NYC PR Agency Spotlights Five Key Trends
COVID-19 has added a number of obstacles to the already complicated process of planning a destination wedding: testing, quarantining, and contact tracing have to be considered on top of group flight bookings, reserving blocks of hotel rooms, and legal marriage requirements.
Wedding Insights reports, “couples worked tirelessly with their vendor teams to create a safe and memorable wedding day—from keeping guests socially distanced at the ceremony (62 percent) and hosting them outside (68 percent) to embracing technology, such as streaming, to allow for guests to witness the day from afar (43 percent).
To help navigate these challenges in a confusing and always-changing environment, Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, spotlights five trends to expect this year for destination weddings.
Deals to Encourage Weddings
You’re not the only one who misses destination weddings; hotels and resorts in popular locations are hurting without them as well. To attract couples, these resorts have begun offering accommodations and deals.
Testing for the coronavirus is absolutely essential for destination weddings, as it helps to ensure that nobody brings and spreads the respiratory virus. Armed with this information, certain hotels are now offering COVID-19 testing to make your trip and stay easier. In terms of deals, perks that were once reserved for the newlyweds are now available to all guests. Things such as resort credit, free excursions, and private transfers encourage people to attend the wedding.
Hotels are even making an effort to include guests who still don’t feel comfortable or cannot travel to the wedding. Many offer an option for virtual guests, who can then view and participate in the wedding even if they aren’t there physically. A number of resorts go the extra mile, gifting virtual guests with party favors and treats.
This trend has been gaining popularity for some time, and there is no near end in sight. Couples are consistently choosing options that minimize their impact on the planet, and it looks like they’re going to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As destination weddings tend to have a smaller effect on the environment, their popularity is surging as well. Otherwise, couples are making choices like Evites, biodegradable and natural decorations, and buying conflict-free, ethical jewelry.
The pandemic has made a lot of couples rethink what they want in a wedding. By not being able to travel or really go outside for a year has made people miss the great outdoors and faraway destinations. They want their wedding to be a truly special event that they can relive for years to follow.
This sentiment has led to a rise of weddings in neutral locations that are connected to neither person. This way, the married couple can revisit the spot on anniversaries or vacations. They can show the spot to their children, friends, and family on later trips as well. Overall, the pandemic has pushed couples towards destinations that will serve as the perfect spot to visit time and time again.
Popular Destinations for 2021 and On
There are a number of very popular destinations that are constantly busy with weddings, and these locations change over time. Before the pandemic, places such as Mexico have been very popular, according to The Destination Weddings Blog. Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Riviera Maya were in the top five, with Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Montego Bay in Jamaica rounding out the list.
Now, after a year of uncertainty and fear, we see new destinations jumping into the spotlight. These include St. Lucia, Ochos Rios and Negril in Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Livermore in California, the United Kingdom, and Iceland. If you have your eye on any of these places, you should know that you aren’t the only one.
Lots of Planning and Waiting
As much as we want to jump headfirst back into the wedding craze, the pandemic has thrown a wrench in all of our plans. For many, waiting for things to settle down is the best option.
This gives them more time to plan, save up money, and make sure the special day is absolutely perfect. High Emotion Weddings estimates “that we’ll see many of these weddings in 2022 and 2023, which is the same timeframe that they suggest if you’re planning your wedding right now.”
If you don’t want to wait, there are things you can do to make your life easier and less stressful, because we all know how hectic wedding planning can be. Firstly, go into everything with flexibility and be realistic. Things may change, get postponed, or even be cancelled. We’re in a crazy time and there’s little that can be done about it. If it does happen, be prepared and have a backup plan.
The next step would be to hire an experienced destination wedding planner, as they are best equipped to help you. The same goes for any business that you work with, and make sure to carefully read every contract you sign. Do plenty of research, too!
And if you don’t want to wait but also don’t want to plan your wedding around COVID-19 restrictions, you can always sign the papers now and celebrate later! A legal marriage requires no fanfare or planning, just a trip down to the courthouse to sign some papers. If you really want to marry your partner, that’s always an option. The fun part can always come later, because in the end, the love is what matters most. The destination isn’t going anywhere.
According to the Boston Globe, “the roughly $16 billion per year romance travel industry — an umbrella term for destination weddings, honeymoons, proposal travel, and babymoons — is holding its collective breath and chanting the mantra of “keep calm and carry on.”
While the pandemic has made it very difficult to plan a wedding, it has not made it impossible. As more people are vaccinated and we continue to fight the coronavirus, destination weddings will regain their popularity.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals at Allen Marketing Communications can always help you to navigate these confusing times in the destination weddings industry.
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
It goes without being said that COVID-19 turned life upside down about a year ago. No industry went untouched; there were adjustments and new trends launched in every field. Turning specifically to the beverage industry, we see a number of changes to keep an eye out for in the remainder of 2021.
From celebrity branding to hard seltzer to healthy choices, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, spotlights the current beverage trends.
A Focus on Healthy Living
If the pandemic has put an emphasis on anything, it is the importance of health and wellness. Many people have taken COVID-19 as a wake-up call, as it has spurred them to change their lives and make healthier choices. The beverage industry did not escape this trend, as we see a rise in healthy beverages such as kombucha. Consumers want to live healthier lives, and the drink industry is morphing to reflect it.
One example of this change is the fast-growing popularity of fermented drinks such as kombucha. As people look for nutritious beverages to fuel their bodies with, these drinks are appearing more frequently. Their growth is astonishing, and EHL Insights projects that kombucha and other probiotic beverages will make over $77 billion in sales by 2025. This is just one of many examples of a healthier industry.
Convenient and Ready-To-Go Drinks
Canned and ready-to-go drinks are expected to be one of the biggest trends of the year, with Nielsen Premium Panel data stating that the development of to-go drinks has accelerated by 171 percent during the course of 2020. The convenience and sanitation of these beverages makes them hard to resist. The rise in options, high-quality ingredients, low calorie, and tasty flavors don’t hurt either. Expect to see canned and convenient options everywhere this summer!
Celebrity Brands and Endorsements
Celebrity endorsements are not a new phenomenon, but they have become much more popular recently and are expected to continue growing throughout the year. Expect to see big names partner with vineyards and champagne houses and other beverage brands to produce new drinks. Not only does this provide a benefit for the brand and celebrity, but it introduces a product to a new group of consumers.
Brands With Purpose
In 2020, many brands were criticized for their role in or failure to speak out on issues from racism to climate change. Many companies faced backlash and felt the financial repercussions. This has led to the 2021 trend of choosing brands with a set purpose or value. Consumers want the companies they buy from to hold similar values, but even more so, they often do not want to support anyone with views that they find offensive or hurtful.
Take Purpose Purple Tea, a tea company, as an example. Their mission is to lift women throughout the world out of poverty, and if often draws in new customers. Consumers are more open to trying a new beverage if they know their money is also put towards a cause that they believe in.
Coffee at Home
People spent a lot more time at home last year, switching to working from home rather than an office. As a result, many coffee drinkers have begun to make their coffee at home rather than buy a cup on the way to the office. Social media has propelled the trend of at-home coffee, with many posting their creations online.
TikTok and Instagram are filled with videos of people trying to replicate the taste of coffee from their favorite shop, creating their own recipes, and more. These two factors have made coffee brewed at home much more appealing. Considering that many expect to continue working virtually for the foreseeable future and social media isn’t going anywhere, it looks like this trend is here to stay.
While the pandemic has shaken the beverage industry, the travel and lifestyle PR professionals at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc. can help you navigate the trends.
Let us help!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.