Over the weekend, I attended a wedding reception at a facility that specializes in hosting weddings.  Whereas many banquet facilities or hotels are venues for a wide variety of events, this place was the wedding reception mecca.  

Because they specialize in weddings, the facility is set up for them and decorated in such a way that brides favor, with no need to regard that conferences or other business meetings might not find some of the decor to be attractive.  It is floor to ceiling white satin, with pillars covered in mirror titles, little white lights sparkling everywhere, a head table on a stage and ready-made dance floor.  Tables remain set with covered chairs, mirror centerpieces, about a hundred tea light candles lining the entrance hallway, etc.

There are dressing rooms for the women, complete with make-up mirrors, full-length mirrors and couches.  The dressing room for the men is equipped with a large screen TV tuned to ESPN.  

Need a steamer for the dresses?  Got it.  Want candelabra centerpieces?  Done.  Photo booth set-up?  Check.  Separate play room for the kids?  Yep.  It was a finely tuned wedding machine.

Not all venues have the luxury to focus on just one type of event, and a narrow business plan is not always wise.  But for those who can make the economics work, having a specialty provides a deep level of understanding about what your customer really wants.  You can anticipate their needs because you have probably been asked for it before.  You can cater (no pun intended) to a targeted audience and know where to reach them.  You can make the complicated easy for those who are going through the process, many for the first time.

Even if you can’t limit your line to only one audience, think about whether there is an area where you can go deep.  Being all things to all people doesn’t allow you to create a fairy tale setting like a one-audience venue does.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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