As wedding planners, we need to always be learning.
Our industry is constantly evolving, consistently reinventing itself. We need to make sure we’re staying on top of trends, best business practices, and fine-tuning our client processes. This year I had the incredible privilege of attending the Wedding MBA conference in Las Vegas. This event conference is a big deal in the wedding community, and it’s been on my bucket list for years. For once the stars ended up aligning just right, and off I went.
Wedding MBA Event Conference Takeaways
It was my first time going to Vegas, so I had no idea what to expect. If you’re thinking of attending this event conference next year, here’s a logistical tip. I recommend finding a hotel that’s on the monorail line. I stayed at the MGM Grand and it was super easy to get back and forth from the convention center. Also, get to the conference a little early. They have some fun backdrops you can take advantage of for those social media posts. All right, so here’s what I learned and want you to know.
2022 Wedding Trends
The Trends seminar taught by Meghan Ely (OFD Consulting) and Terica (Cocktails and Details) was really interesting and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it. They are two lovely ladies who really know their stuff. The really interesting thing I learned is that it can take 2-3 years for a trend to be implemented into everyday weddings. Regarding this upcoming year, you’ll likely see a rise in intimate celebrations. 2022 weddings will have more personal elements, be held at non-traditional venues, and won’t be so serious. You might have clients asking about cottage-core, grand millennial, or Japandi-style weddings. Elevated tents will be on the rise, and you should expect to see more color in suits and gowns.
SEO Keywords for Wedding Planners
SEO fascinates me and I’m always on the hunt for more insider knowledge. I’m glad Jason Hennessey was asked to speak on the subject because he is an SEO guru. There was a lot of great advice in this seminar, but the thing I thought stood out was the reason SEO fails for most people is because of the one and one mindset. Meaning, for SEO keywords to work for your business, you have to be posting several times a month. Jason also commented that to plan to strategize SEO you need to know who your audience is and where your audience is hanging out.
Wedding Planner Team Members
One of the best presentations I went to was the one on Hired Workers by Caroline of the Engaged Collective. Her talk was simply phenomenal and thorough. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding employees versus independent contractors, so she summarized everything in a clear and concise way. Be careful, people. There are huge ramifications for those who hire independent contractors but treat them like employees. Not only do you have to know the federal definition, you also need to know how your own state handles employment classification. Be sure to do your due diligence and take the ABC test. Minimize your liability by having a contract in place. Keep in mind that if you have independent contractors , you should not be training them. If you are and the the government catches you, you will be fined handsomely. You can get around this by having them take an Assistant Wedding Planner Course. See all the benefits of this course here.
Wedding Planner Client Experience
One of the most impactful seminars I took for creating a better client experience was called One of A Kind: Personalized Principles. Artem is a highly rated DJ who specializes in ways to customize his client experience with personal touches. He listens to the couple’s story and tries to find ways to bring meaning to the couple wherever he can. We can all take a page from his playbook. So often we feel pressured to hurry up and send a welcome gift because it’s what everyone else is doing. But oftentimes these gifts fall flat and are unappreciated. Instead, let the surprise happen naturally; get to know your couple and let their story speak to your gift-giving prowess.
Preparing for Hard Times
I’ve been in the wedding industry long enough to have seen two economic downturns. I started way back in 2012 during the economic recession. I was too new to really have been affected by it, but I do remember hearing from seasoned vendors how hard times were and new methods they were trying to invite brides to their doorstep. Then we had the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic where weddings actually stopped without any real warning. These incidents helped me realize how we need to have a contingency plan stored away for life’s little surprises. Susan Sutherland did a great job with her presentation on how to navigate through hard times. She suggested belonging to organizations like SCORE and the Chamber of Commerce. These organizations can really help you to figure out your next moves. She also gave us 3 steps to take to help prepare us for hard times. 1) Shore up a support system, 2) tighten up the finances, and 3) change up your offerings.
Wedding Planner Books to Read
It’s always fun hearing about new book to read. During this conference I heard about 2 new books I want to check out. The Obstacle is the Way and Giftology. It’s funny to me that over and over, everywhere I go, I hear about Profit First. Almost every presenter mentioned it at least once.
Event Conference Last Words
Every year I try to attend an event conference. I like to alternate between general business and wedding business. Though I love talking “weddings,” it’s a good idea to expose yourself to different operational methods and techniques. Sometimes we live in our echo chamber. We follow all the wedding groups, listen to all the wedding gurus, eat, sleep, and dream wedding planning so much it can make us think we know it all. That there is only one way to do things. That’s why being exposed to other ideas within the business realm is an opportunity you should consider. I had a blast at Wedding MBA, and you should go if you haven’t been, but be sure to consider other conferences as well.