Wedding and Private Events Sales & Marketing Manager
Job type: Full-time, on-site at RSA House
Reporting to: Head of Sales
Company of Cooks is the RSA’s chosen contract catering partner and in December 2022 won a five year contract extension to run the hospitality business and Coffee House at RSA House.
Company of Cooks have been working with some of the UK’s most cherished venues since 1996, delighting customers and clients alike with great food and drinks, brilliant service and an absolute focus on the details that make good restaurants, cafes and bars, great ones. We operate all restaurants, bars, events and staff catering at the Royal Opera House, the restaurant and café at the National Portrait Gallery, and are being invited to return to the Royal Academy of Arts in Burlington Gardens after their 250th anniversary redevelopment. We are excited to be recruiting for a Wedding Executive based at The Royal Society of Arts.
The Client (the venue, RSA House)
The RSA is the royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce, a charity committed to a future that works for everyone. A future where we can all participate in its creation. The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years. Their proven change process, rigorous research, innovative ideas platforms and diverse global community of over 30,000 problem-solvers, deliver solutions for lasting change.
The RSA is dependent on revenue from external events, fellowship subscriptions, sponsorship and donations in order to carry out this important work. The profits generated from hospitality business are fed back into the charity to fund the RSA’s programmes of work such as Education and Learning, Sustainability and The Future of Work.
In 2018, RSA House went through a nine-month partial redevelopment which included closure of four of the 11 spaces, including refreshing our fabulous and historic vaults. In 2019 we rebuilt the events business with a refreshed product including a new Coffee House with an all-day dining menu. In 2020, the venue proudly picked up three awards; Best Wedding Venue at the Hire Space Awards and Best Historic Venue and Silver for Best Venue Customer Service at the London Venue Awards. In 2020 seven event spaces were refurbished during the pandemic and the RSA has heavily invested in advanced digital technology and hybrid capabilities, to enhance the event experience and to ensure the venue has market leading facilities for the return to live events.
In 2021 RSA House won Most Versatile London Venue at the London Venue & Catering Awards and made the shortlist for Best Client Support During Covid-19 and Best London Venue Covid-19 Response. In 2022 the venue picked up the silver award at the London Venue and Catering Awards for ‘Best Wedding Venue’. In 2023 the venue is shortlisted for three awards; Best Wedding Venue, Venue of the Year and Best Catering at a London Venue. In 2023 and into 2024 there are large growth plans in place to develop the venue sales, a big part of which is driving the wedding and private business forward and putting RSA House on the map as a destination wedding venue. Other recent exciting projects include the newly refurbished coffee house, the introduction of an outdoor seating area and revamped reception spaces.
What makes us different?
RSA House offers an eclectic mix of 11 unique and atmospheric events spaces including the Great Room , Benjamin Franklin, Durham Street Auditorium and Vaults, providing rooms for use for all types of events including conferences and meetings, product launches and press days, screenings, Christmas parties, fashion shows, gala dinners, corporate receptions, weddings and private celebrations and show cases. At weekends the building can be hired for exclusive use.
We are known for our outstanding customer service, versatile facilities and friendly approach which is what makes us stand out from the competition and keeps customer retention high.
A key role within the sales and marketing department; responsible for managing the wedding private sales budget under the leadership of the Head of Sales and General Manager, with responsibility for selling and administrating to meet revenue targets. This role will oversee the management of a wedding coordinator.
Weddings and private events are a growing segment at the RSA, accounting for 18% of the overall budget in 2023. Having previously accounted for 25% of the overall budget, the aim is to continue to grow the wedding and private event business to exceed this position. The role allows the successful candidate to maintain and strengthen the strong reputation of RSA House within this important market and establish RSA House as a destination wedding venue.
The role requires an understanding of marketing approaches and channels. Full responsibility for managing our supplier relationships, negotiating preferred agreements, and renewing all online listings and content as well as managing our social media platforms, is key. There are also opportunities to attend industry exhibitions, plan showcases with our sister venues and network within the events managed by the wider team.
This position is full-time 5 days out of 7 and flexibility is expected to meet with the business needs. The ability to work weekends is essential and the role is full-time venue based. This includes operational responsibilities for weddings on the day, working in conjunction with the operations team and/or hosting site visits and client meetings during evenings, weekends and possibly bank holidays.
Sales, Administration and Organisation
Responsible for managing and delivering the wedding and private event sales budget of circa £863k in revenue per year which is forecast to grow to £1m+ in the next five years
Work on sales plan with financial targets for weddings alongside guidance from Head of Sales and input into the annual sales budget
To identify lower demand dates in the diary where lower rates could be offered to generate sales and to highlight peak dates where rack rates should be sought
Convert wedding and private bookings and improve conversion rates through effective communication and rapport with client
Have excellent knowledge of venue capabilities, capacities, unique selling points and pricing
Follow up on all enquiries within 4 hours and record in the system with follow up activities
Timely preparation of quotations, contracts and function sheets
To accurately create contracts and raise invoices
Conduct show rounds and assist with familiarisation trips and menu tastings
Meet and greet clients and suppliers at events as agreed
Use the Venue Management System to accurately record client data and requirements
To maintain and develop relationships with existing and new clients with focus on wedding and private bookers including third party agents/bloggers/vloggers
Attend all wedding menu tastings with focus on service, upselling and building rapport with wedding couples/private events.
Manage administration of event sheets for your own bookings as well as assisting the wider team when required. Communicate accurate event operational information to Company of Cooks and RSA operations
Accurately raise invoices and take responsibility for ensuring all deposit payments are made on time
Respond to enquiries in a timely manner, ensuring your own and the RSA Weddings inboxes are maintained each day
Maintain and update venue sales database; regularly increasing the quantity of contacts and improving quality
Production of monthly reports and statistics relating to sales activity and revenue for weddings and private events
Follow up and gain feedback within one day post-event, to continue to improve products and services for wedding and private events at RSA House
Refer enquiries across our group of venues when appropriate
To create objectives and creative plans to develop/grow the weddings business, alongside the Marketing Manager and Head of Sales
To keep all online listings up to date and manage subscription renewals
Complete competitor analysis every six months
To promote Company of Cooks partnership within the venue
Take initiative and lead on keeping collateral up to date and creating new collateral for offers and promotions when needed
Represent venue at trade shows and exhibitions and support Company of Cooks family- led hospitality
To plan and host wedding show case events at the venue
Being an ambassador for weddings at RSA House and keeping the rest of the sales team up to date with wedding processes, sales and trends
Responsible for feeding in any updates to the weddings and private section of the RSA website
To actively contribute to the monthly newsletter content.
Work with the Marketing Manager to keep the weddings social media channels and provide plans and content for the channels
To research new, and attend, networking and promotional hospitality events
To keep up to date with market trends; identifying potential areas of business growth, contributing to the development of sales initiatives to increase business
To draft applications for relevant wedding industry awards and attend related events
Focusing on establishing good working relationships with our clients and agents, dealing with their bookings from enquiry to event date
Participate in events meetings with the operations teams and maintain a good working relationship with all teams and colleagues
Lead by example to the rest of the team
To maintain and develop relationships with suppliers
Health & Safety
To keep up to date with all COSHH and HACCP procedures and methods
To report any equipment and/or building fabric faults and any hygiene, health and safety hazard to the Compliance Director
Personal development to expand knowledge of industry trends in food, food service and creative selling
Attend relevant training courses and Company of Cooks meetings when necessary
Support to the sales team when needed to handle corporate and internal booking enquiries and administration
The ideal candidate:
Has a minimum of two years’ previous experience in wedding planning and event sales and marketing, preferably in a 5-star hotel or unique venue
Is passionate about wedding sales and wedding planning
Is extremely customer focused
Is personable, friendly and approachable
Has meticulous attention to detail
Is proactive and self-motivated
Is able to work well under pressure
Is a team player
Is enthusiastic and committed to the job and brings creative new ideas to the table
Is passionate about food
Has digital marketing and social media experience
Has refined oral and written communication skills
Has strong negotiation skills
Has excellent organisation and time management skills
Has excellent numeracy skills
Is highly competent in use of MS Office and diary management system Rendezvous (or similar)
*All Applicants must be eligible to live and work in the UK**
Please send your CV and a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining your suitability for the role.