Readers' Lives: Andrew Rowdon

Readers' Lives: Andrew Rowdon

Andrew Rowdon set up a wedding gift list service, Panndorah – The Perfect Gift List, for honeymoon clients five years ago. It is working so well he is now selling the service to other agents.

Q: What inspired you to set up a wedding gift list service?
A: I registered the trading name Wedding & Honeymoon Escapes as I thought it was a great sector to get into. I met a guy who sets up websites and I said it would be nice to do a gift list for those who want more than pots, pans and tea towels.

Q: How does it work?
A: Couples can ask guests for contributions towards their honeymoon. I create a bespoke gift list so wedding guests could, for example, pay for excursions or towards the cost of the flight. I don’t charge for the list. We create a QR code and password for guests to access the list and when they purchase a gift they can leave a message. Clients can see what money is coming in from guests and they get an email every time someone buys a gift. Q: What do your clients think of it?

Q: What do your clients think of it?
A: Being able to offer the service through a smartphone via a QR code is really ‘techie’ and couples love it. They want the money to help with their honeymoon but this way they don't have to ask guests for money. Couples can also create e-postcards to send to guests to say thank you. In this day and age of social media and the internet it is a welcome addition as it feels like they are really interacting with guests.

Q: What’s the quirkiest thing couples have asked guests to pay for?
A: One couple asked for 20 bottles of champagne to be on their list – they were only going away for a one-week honeymoon!

Q: Have you got examples of any unusual messages left for a couple?
A: One person booked an all-day catamaran cruise and in his message he said he wanted to make sure that the couple left their room at least once on their honeymoon.

Q: What’s the most a guest has paid for a gift on a couple’s wedding list?
A: One guest paid for flights to Singapore, worth £1,600. Another paid £450 so the couple could buy the camera they wanted for their safari.

Q: How has setting up this service helped increase your business?
A: I have done about 10 wedding fairs and got 30 new bookings. Nine times out of 10 by offering the gift list first, it’s what people are looking for. Q: How much money is usually spent on a wedding gift list?

Q: How much money is usually spent on a wedding gift list?
A: The average is about £1,500. If you have 100 people on average coming to a wedding and 60 gifts and each is about £25 then it’s £1,500. That tends to be what we give as a guideline.

Q: How do you plan to partner with other agents on this?
A: I attended The Travel Network Group Conference to offer the product to other agents. I have developed it and branded it Panndorah, The Perfect Gift List. We give agents their own login for their gift list facility. It’s data protected and secure. It has their own agency branding on it but is part of Panndorah. We might copyright the Panndorah name. I have talked to about seven interested agents; one has signed up and it looks like another group of agents may be signing up too. We charge the group’s members £39 per list. We give agents the system and the first one is free.

Andrew's sales tips

  • Get out and promote yourself.
  • Host client evenings and lunches. We host a summer barbecue as a thank you for 60 clients.
  • Maintain client relationships. I visit some of customers in their homes.
  • Comments

    This is a community-moderated forum.
    All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
    By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.

    More in readers-lives