How the wedding industry is navigating through the impact of COVID19: Shikha Nahata, Co-Founder, Espousal and Partner, Zeroin
From online wedding exhibitions to virtual planning, the wedding industry has identified new ways to steer through the pandemic.
Like every other sector, the wedding industry has been severely affected by the pandemic. Big fat Indian weddings have now become small intimate gatherings with just a handful of people. Lavish wedding venues are now replaced with small spaces with limited seating. The 1000+ guest list is now trimmed down to less than 30 people. The $50 Billion dollar wedding industry which was once considered recession proof has been stalled by the COVID19 pandemic. The wedding industry which feeds a number of other businesses like catering, mehendi artists, florists, photographers are bearing the brunt of pandemic.
In the pre covid era, planning a wedding was nothing less than a festival. From innumerable market visits to face to face invites, wedding preparations were an occasion for interactions, gatherings, travel and a lot more. Over the last few months, the way weddings are planned and executed has seen a complete shift. Each aspect of wedding planning is now adapted to suit the regulations and restrictions in the COVID world. From sanitization protocols to socially distanced seating arrangements, a whole bunch of new trends are now a part of the new normal. Some of these trends are:
● Open air venues: Most people would want to avoid enclosed spaces with air conditioning. There will be more inclination towards opting for open spaces where it’s easier to set up socially distanced seating arrangements.
● Focus on digital: From wedding invites to interactions with planners, digital is the way to go. With many still skeptical about stepping out, interactions on video calls will be preferred. In addition to this, a lot of guests would prefer to attend a wedding over video calls.
● Home weddings over destination weddings: With fewer people being able to travel, many soon-to-wed couples are leaning towards having smaller intimate weddings in their hometowns.
Having closely observed these trends in the last few months, the wedding industry is slowly starting to navigate through the challenges of COVID19. Though wedding celebrations are now conducted on a much smaller scale, it still requires a whole lot of planning and meticulous execution. There are many in the industry who are looking at innovative avenues to support the wedding sector to adapt to the new normal. For example, at Zeroin, we have curated an online wedding exhibition that can help wedding planners, photographers, caterers, make up artists, fashion designers and many others in the wedding industry to directly interact with prospective customers. During a lean period like this where it’s difficult to even find prospective customers, an online platform like this can provide the required visibility for vendors. With over 200 online stalls, Espousal offers visitors a chance to interact with their vendor of choice. Visitors can watch video presentations by vendors that they are interested to know more about, participate in a virtual tour of products, interact with service providers in separate meeting rooms and get samples of products physically delivered.
In addition to this, the event will have a host of experts from the wedding industry across the globe who will conduct sessions on the future of the global wedding industry and the emerging trends. These sessions will help vendors to get an overview of the challenges and the new trends that will be a part of the global wedding industry.
There’s no doubt that weddings in a post covid world are going to be different. The only way for the wedding industry to emerge stronger from the impact is to adapt and innovate.
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