When a call went out for ideas to save the ailing UK wedding industry, Bradford Radio, TV and Film celebrity Raj was ready with “I do!”
Now the entrepreneur and erstwhile ambassador of the city has taken up arms against a new sea of troubles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s come up with a simple plan to help the plight of small independent businesses supplying the devastated UK wedding industry – a nominal subscription Wedding Showcase Directory.
While the wedding industry generally in this country has been knocked for six due to the outbreak, with many event suppliers and hosts losing contracts, even going bust, it’s the big event Asian weddings, with 200 plus guests as the norm, that have probably suffered the most.
Raj should know. As an owner host of many such events at Regency Hall, his converted Grade II listed Victorian church on the fringes of the city centre, he says his company Spice Entertainment has lost over £60,000 in bookings and entertainment contracts since the pandemic began. It’s been a similar tale of financial woe by his colleagues in Yorkshire and elsewhere, which is why he’s taken the initiative to set up the Wedding Showcase Directory website.
“Something had to be done to try to turn the tide, at least for the future of the industry,” explains Raj. “The whole concept of this directory for me is not to make money but provide a platform.”
Businesses can even be listed for free.
He added: “It’s a way to attempt to save the industry I love and give the smaller guys a chance as they have little or no budget available for marketing or advertising to get back on their feet once this pandemic is over.”
Raj echoed the sentiments of many involved in the wedding events business that the Government has only contributed to their problems by not coming up with any definitive timings for when the events industry and wider scale hospitality industry catering for large gatherings can get going again.
“We’re hoping that it’s September or October, but we just can’t risk planning anything until firm dates are given,” added a frustrated Raj.
The Wedding Showcase Directory has been created by and for people in the wedding industry. Just launched, it aims to attract about 400 subscribers and will be a definitive go-to website destination for couples planning their own big day and discover the best services in the wedding business. Raj sees it as the “ultimate tool” for would be brides and grooms planning their important event and is excited to soon be launching the app version of the directory so it can be accessed anywhere.
The website itself can be accessed 24/7 and it will be marketed throughout the rest of this year through advertising campaigns and social media. It will also be available via wedding fairs across the country, if and when they happen. Raj’s own Asian Wedding Showcase 2020 event last March in Bradford had to be cancelled literally hours before lockdown measures were introduced.
Each subscriber business will be given its own small portal within the Wedding Showcase Directory related to its particular service, from wedding car hires to personalised napkin suppliers.
Four different packages are available to directory advertisers to promote their services, ranging from Diamond at top level for just £25 down through Gold, Silver and Bronze options, and they will be able to interact with potential clients via the software facility. Basic free listings are guaranteed to those feeling the pinch.
Wedding Showcase Directory
142 East Parade
Bradford BD1 5EE
Phone: 0800 6785418
Raj Parmar has been involved in the media and entertainment industry for almost 30 years. Working as an actor, performer and choreographer until 2014. He has taught dance and been in a number of Bollywood style productions across the UK. Raj has appeared in episodes of India's longest running soap Saraswatichandra and had a starring role in Big Ballet which was first aired on Channel Four and later on Netflix.
As a director of the independent Asian Radio Station, Sunrise Radio, Raj has vast experience in broadcasting, events and marketing and has himself hosted and organised over a hundred events. More recently Raj, who confesses to being passionate about the arts, was awarded the honour of being an official Ambassador for the City of Bradford. He is also owner and performer at Spice Entertainment in South Yorks.
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