When it comes to planning their wedding, Hong Kong couples do not hesitate to splurge. Monica Ng, wedding sales manager at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, says market research shows that local couples spend an average HK$200,000 to HK$300,000 on weddings.
Hosting weddings in hotels has become a popular choice and an increasingly important part of the business.
"For the moment, not many hotels have a wedding sales manager. The duty is usually handled by the sales manager but as weddings continue to add up to the hotel's revenue, I predict the openings for such a post will go up," Ng says.
To be accepted as a wedding sales manager, basic knowledge of the hotel facilities is not enough. One must have experience in event management and catering. "I think one should have at least three years of such experience," she says. "Clients want to know about the transport arrangement for guests, or whether guests can play mahjong. Their questions are down to every small detail. Without practical experience, those questions cannot be answered. My duty is to persuade them to use our hotel as the venue for their big day. A wedding is a one-time event so I try my best to answer whatever their questions are."
After the initial meeting with clients to discuss the theme and date, Ng takes clients to site visits. "Saturday is the best day for site inspection. From Monday to Friday, the rooms are used for various banquets and clients may be engaged at work. After the site inspection, we talk about the details before closing the deal," she says.
Ng says it is important for the job-seeker to have the heart for service and an in-depth market knowledge. "You have to love weddings to do the job. Before you make any sales pitch to clients, try to get to know them through a friendly conversation, which certainly helps in meeting their needs. A wedding is a special event and clients want every dollar to be well spent. Try to put yourself in their shoes and there is a high chance you can close the deal."
Wedding sales managers are in charge of designing wedding package deals and they have to be up to date. "For example, the trend now is to have buffet instead of a Chinese-style banquet so I have to adjust accordingly," Ng says.
She works five days a week and sometimes hosts wedding expos.