What’s working in hospitality sales right now.

We have had the honor of working with hospitality rock star, Denielle Godwin who is the current Director of Sales & Marketing at The Bowden Events & Weddings located in Keller, Texas. As the nation began to shut down due to the pandemic earlier this year, Denielle and her team were not afraid to redefine their business model to adjust to the changing times. We were struck by how adaptable she and her team were and wanted to learn more about they were able to help The Bowden thrive during a down time.

Cory Falter, Principal of Lure Agency recently sat down with Denielle. Here is what she had to say.

Hospitality Sales – Small Wins with The Bowden Events & Weddings

The Bowden | Small Wins Series from Lure Agency on Vimeo.

Video Transcript

Cory

Thanks for joining us for a new series called the Small Win Series, and what we want to share with you a couple of things that are working right now in hospitality sales, and for our first edition I’d like to welcome Danielle Godwin. She’s the Director of Sales and Marketing at The Bowden, an event and wedding venue in Keller, Texas and a current partner of Lure Agency.

We’re honored to have her with us. Thank you for joining, Denielle!

Danielle

Thank you Cory for having me. 

Cory

You bet. Can you give us a overview of yourself your roles and responsibilities and maybe a little bit about The Bowden?

Danielle

I have the pleasure of being a Director of Sales & Marketing at a beautiful venue in the Dallas metropolitan area. Our wheelhouse is events with anywhere from 25 to 550 guests, large gatherings and celebrations with a major focus on giving back to the community through our partnership through The Greater Keller Women’s Club Foundation. All the funds that we generate from these events are distributed back to the club and they share them with the community. So that every time our groups have an event here it has a greater meaning because their proceeds will be supporting the community in many ways.

The Foundation does things like feeding the hungry, helping the elderly,  building houses …. whatever the community needs! It gives me great joy to know that we have a bigger purpose beyond the wonderful events that we host, to serve the community I love, it’s great. 

Cory

Without question 2020 is probably going to go down as one of the most difficult years in history, so what specific challenges did you face in coming into this year?

Danielle

Well Cory, the biggest challenges have been really that COVID restrictions began just as we were coming into our busiest season. It was really about finding that balance between how do we continue to support our employees and protect this asset, as well as continue to support the community. Nobody knew what it was going to look like and we had to to find that balance. We have responsibility to the Bowden and our guests, many of our repeat guests and we support them in many ways not just having their daughters weddings but other gala functions anniversaries all kinds of things. 

Cory

Maybe to dive a little bit deeper on that, what are specific changes that you really had to make in order to navigate the difficult circumstances that we have?

Denielle

We had to meet lots of changes and redefine what we were. Being an event center that can facilitate large gatherings that are not happening or they’re being limited, we had to figure out really who we weren’t. We had to start each day with a fresh perspective. The world as we knew it was changing every day and and very different, so we started focusing on today’s business in an industry that were used to focusing on our pace for the next 6, 12, 18 months especially being a large event business. We started thinking about today’s lost business in and really pivot to support that as well as protecting or business down the road, because the leads fell apart. They stopped inquiring because people froze. So we just started focusing on what should we do today.

Cory

So what would be your single best piece of advice you could pass along to a fellow DOSM at them that is struggling right now? 

Denielle

For us it was don’t be afraid to redefine your business. Don’t be afraid to turn everything upside down and change you are because, for us, that meant now we’re going to be partners for a really long time. We really started digging deep about how we can become a partner to businesses that were also suffering like us. So now we have partnerships in churches with memorial services and funeral homes and different types of businesses that we might not have been thinking about. I like to think about the many great things that came out of the great depression and other difficult times that our country has gone through and that’s when great growth happens. We were willing to shake it up and not get to hung up, because today looks different than last year and it might look different in another year and that’s ok.

Cory

So as of today how are you succeeding this week right now?

Denielle

With our great partnership with Lure and putting our heads together and really shifting our focus, with finding those new partnerships, we’ve been able to identify other ways to do business. We started thinking about our team how to keep our operations team busy when we don’t have events, so we we came up with meal plans that we were packaging and selling and sharing with the community. We feed our first responders and we love doing that, the officers and fire department come tp our doorstep every every Tuesday and Thursday and are excited to see what chef made for them.

Figuring out partnerships through, like I said, churches, funeral homes, various organizations in the industry that were space limited, that needed space to do Saturday gatherings here. We put some great packages together that would be really easy for customers to say yes to be able to really extend there you know Townhall meetings our their church gatherings or whatever it might be even the wedding. You know in the beginning our large weddings became smaller and aunts and uncles and family members and even friends that were in other states I couldn’t travel in or you know we’re really saddened by that but we were able to include them by by offering the satellite gatherings or intimate events and it’s now a thing and now that person who can’t travel can join via satellite and it can it can be personal and it could be fun but I can also make sure that those important moments don’t get missed.

Cory

Good stuff. Thank. Anything else you want to add or pass along?

It’s been a great few minutes. Sounds like you’ve been able to navigate with creative ideas and it’s been great you passing along some secret sauce along.

Denielle

First thing is to get out there. Lure Agency has helped us identify some new target markets and make sure it’s relevant and fresh. At the end of the day just remember that we’re in the hospitality industry, we can shift or whatever the needs are today or tomorrow, that’s what we do. We love to serve people and we do it well and by nature we are on not just hospitable that were we love those gatherings by nature so to be able to be willing to look different out today.

This industry is strong and we will find new ways to provide hospitality because that’s what we love.

Cory

I thank you so much for joining us and for the great discussion on fantastic things you’re doing at The Bowden appreciate the partnership you guys been fantastic to work with and we’re excited to continue our growth our relationship and I’ll be looking to brighter pastors ahead. 

Denielle

We love your work and appreciate all your support it’s been fun run I’ll keep it goin and more to follow.

Cory

Thank you. Very thankful to have Denielle on for our first roiund and we’re here to share and help each of us to get through this and I think there are some people going some great things.

Denielle

I’m looking forward to exploring further and leaning from other colleagues. Enjoy your days.

Cory

You too and bye-bye 

Denielle

Bye.

About Lure Agency

Lure Agency is a full-service hospitality sales and marketing agency with an emphasis on helping hospitality brands grow by identifying and converting group and B2B revenue. The company has provided services for upscale and luxury hotels for over eight years under the leadership of founder and San Diego native, Cory Falter.

Lure Agency has associates in San Diego, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Boulder, CO, and Anchorage AK.  Learn more at www.lureagency.com. For direct-sales-support, email Teresa.Holden@LureAgency.com or call 323-460-4545.

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