Before I respond, allow me to give a little backstory to this question. We were contacted a few weeks ago about a casting call for the show “World’s Greatest.”
I researched to find out if “that” was a real thing. It turns out — it is a television show, and we had received a casting call. So here is what I found out:
“From Executive Producer Richard DiPilla, World’s Greatest TV Show features hidden gems to household names. World Greatest TV show has aired for the last 17 years taking you on a face-paced tour around the world. It has featured behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with some of the world’s most impressive and unique companies, products, people, and travel destinations. Does it cost to participate in World’s Greatest? There are no media buys, no sponsorship participation, or production fees. No one can pay or buy their way onto the show. It is earned media. “https://www.worldsgreatesttelevision.com/
Someone from the company called and spoke with my daughter-in-law, Lesley, our event manager. Lesley took down the information and said she would have the owner return the call. Please understand that we receive quite a few spam and get-rich-quick calls, as many people do. Of course, I was skeptical. After a couple of days, I decided to return the call.
Richard, whom I assume is the producer, answered the phone call. He gave a brief synopsis of the show and said that his assistant had been checking out wedding venues in the area, looking for candidates for a new episode focused on the world’s greatest wedding venues. She had found our website, reviewed the information we provide, and looked through our wedding photography. It was then that she submitted our name to Richard as a potential candidate for a casting call.
He summarized the info he received from his assistant and said we might be a candidate for the show as the World’s Greatest Wedding Venue. Then he asked, “do you consider your venue the world’s greatest?” Oh, my Lanta. I was trying to process the question and come up with a good response in a few seconds. As a retired entrepreneurship and marketing teacher, I always instructed my students who would be doing interviews to pause for a few seconds before responding to a question. I’m sure Richard expected me to respond, YES, most definitely! So put us on the show!
I believe I prefaced the response by stating that the interpretation of the world’s most extraordinary anything would be found in the perception of the client who chooses us. Could I honestly go on record and arrogantly respond, yes, we are the greatest? I probably should have. A defense followed us about why we were so good at what we did. I think I defended my stance pretty well. I explained that we are the greatest for the bride or client looking for our services and amenities. Our location is ideally located in a quiet hollow at the foothills of The Great Smoky Mountains. Our wedding coordinators are second to none in the quality of sincerely of their services to our clients. We have the most amazing panoramic views of the mountains. Our venue is on the family farm, documented as a Century-Old Farm in Tennessee. I was adamant in explaining to Richard that the signature for our wedding venue is centered on southern hospitality. We focus on the desire to serve. Do we offer everything that every bride would want?
That’s not possible.
It would be incredible to be that venue with every possible amenity for every client. I know venues that do their best to be that property. However, with every trend in the industry that changes almost every season, venues try to adjust what they offer to include more. Unfortunately, we cannot do that. It would not be cost-effective for us, and some of our services would suffer in quality if we tried. For someone who is looking for a lake feature – or water features — we do not have that. For another bride who might want an industrialized, old-city theme, we aren’t that either. Some clients need indoor seating for 200-plus guests, which we can’t offer. Our amenities do not include lodging or extended weekend packages with no restrictions. Ours is not an all-night party venue. Our pricing may be too high or too low. Indeed, some individuals judge the quality of a product by price. The expectation is the higher the price, the more luxury will be received. That most certainly doesn’t always prove to be the truth.
There are so many lovely venues in East Tennessee. We make it a rule never to say negative things about our competitors. Making negative comments about other venues when we tour with brides shows a lack of character and integrity. But, of course, we consider what services they offer when we evaluate what we do. And we are not so arrogant that we do not realize there’s always room for improvement. Any business must access its offerings and make adjustments as needed. New venues seem to pop up almost as often as Dollar Generals. Service has been our main product and central focus for almost eighteen years. We are stewards of our land and of our family values and traditions. We aim to go beyond providing service excellence. Are we perfect? No. Could I say we are the “world’s greatest?” Not at all.
We have exceptional reviews on Google. Our venue has been recognized with several awards and recognitions. Has every event been well executed? To this question, my response is yes. For those brides who selected our venue because they felt we were what they wanted. We were their choice. And we do our very best to be that greatest venue for them. Our brides deserve nothing less.
As for the World’s Greatest television show, Richard and I ended our call with pleasantries. He said that if I decided to pursue being considered and getting a casting call, to get in touch with them. I’m still pondering that, but the publicity sure would be excellent! And as they say, it’s an honor to be considered.
For more information about our wedding venue in the Great Smoky Mountains, please email us at 865.803.7075. We would be honored to be your choice for your upcoming wedding.