» WeddingWire CEO Keynote at Tech Cocktail’s Sessions DC!

WeddingWire was thrilled to be part of Tech Cocktail’s Sessions DC – Start Up Inspiration: Turning Ideas into Action on Wednesday evening! The goal of Tech Cocktail Sessions is to inspire and educate people on how to start and run a business with experienced entrepreneurs sharing their personal stories. Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Founder and CEO, was honored to be a keynote speaker at the kickoff to the series.

Tim, along with Shane Green, Co-founder and CEO of Personal, provided insight on their journeys to building successful start-ups, and the lessons they learned as entrepreneurs. The event was hosted at The Water Street Project, a unique temporary arts space and gallery created by local arts and design group, No Kings Collective, showcasing the original works of 13 featured visual artists.

Tech Cocktail is a media company that covers the latest tech innovations across the globe. Tech Cocktail hosts mixer events around the country; check out the upcoming event schedule to see if they will be in a city near you!

Check out a photo from the event below, thanks to Frank Gruber of Tech Cocktail!

» Join the ISS Experience in the Dominican Republic!

The ISS Experience is bringing the 2012 tour to the beaches of the Dominican Republic! Experience 4 days full of exciting networking opportunities and inspirational and educational seminars designed specifically for wedding industry entrepreneurs at a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic from May 6-9th!

WeddingWire understands the power of education, and so we’re eager to share the opportunity to learn proven tips and techniques for growing a successful business from a dozen successful entrepreneurs in the wedding industry, including leaders in everything from event design to bridal gowns, blogging and photography.

Register today and you will have the opportunity to learn from experts like Preston Bailey, Stacie Francombe and more! Sessions include:

  • Effective Goal Setting & Selling Your Value
  • Defining your Identity and Perfecting Your Brand
  • Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creating that Work/Life Balance
  • Staying Relevant through Social Media & Mobile Outreach
  • Elements and Designs for Stylized Photography
  • Behind the Scenes of Wedding Planning
  • The Secrets of Successful Blogging

Registration closes tomorrow, so be sure to sign up today!

Click here to learn more!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Denver

Last evening was our WeddingWire Networking Night Denver at the Willow Ridge Manor. Similar to past events in Orlando, Austin, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Raleigh, Seattle and Dallas, local Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other area Pros across all service categories. Additionally, we provided a bit of education to help grow your business from WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, who presented on upcoming Social and Mobile trends.

We would like to take a moment to thank the wonderful partners who helped make the event possible:

Congratulations to our drawing winner, Cate Malone from the Little White Dress Bridal Shop! Cate will receive a WeddingWire prize pack and HD flip video camera.

 

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» Announcing WeddingWire World!

We are very excited to announce the inaugural WeddingWire World conference!

Exclusively for WeddingWire members, attendees will have the opportunity to join the WeddingWire team and guest speakers for a full day of education, networking and fun on July 23rd at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC!

Please stay tuned for more details!


» How To Leverage Facebook Insights for Your Business

Did you know that 1 out of every 8 minutes online is spent on Facebook? The new Facebook Insights is an invaluable tool for your business to gain insight into how to maximize your exposure for your business page and effectively engage with your audience.

Facebook Insights allow you to:

  • Understand the performance of your business page
  • Optimize how you publish to your audience so that your followers will share with their friends
  • Learn more about who you audience is, and how to best connect with them!

To view your Insights page, click on the Insights tab on the top left hand side of your page. The four metrics at the top of your Insights tab allow you to quickly understand the size and engagement of your audience through the following:

  • Total Likes: number of unique people who Like your page
  • Friends of Fans: number of unique people who are friends with your current fans
  • People Talking About This: number of unique people who have created a story about your Page in the last week
  • Total Reach: number of unique people who have seen any content associated with your page

Keep in mind that posting to your page regularly with engaging content encourages more people to talk about your business and share it with their friends, which means you will reach more people! Need ideas for content that will interest your audience and encourage sharing? Post unique wedding ideas, links to industry events in your area, photos from a recent event, inspiration you love, or wedding tips and advice for your audience!

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» Top Tools to Help You Work Less!

On Tuesday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘Top Tools to Help You Work Less’ as part of our monthly webinar series. Each one hour webinar for upgraded WeddingWire Pros is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This week Sonny helped listeners learn:

  • Top online tools to help businesses stay organized, engaged with audiences and working effectively
  • Website tips, small business insight and analytics, social media management tools, and more to market your business’ services and maximize online exposure

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. Register for May’s webinar, ‘WeddingWire Turns 5: Our Lessons Learned‘ today!

» WeddingWire Happy Hour South Florida

On Monday, we were excited to return to South Florida for another WeddingWire Networking Event!

Members of the WeddingWire team gathered at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale with Wedding Pros from the South Florida area for a Happy Hour. Similar to our past WeddingWire Happy Hour events in North Jersey, Philadelphia, San Diego and Richmond, South Florida Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other local Pros across all service categories and meet members of the WeddingWire team.

A special thanks to Morton’s The Steakhouse for the hospitality, and UDS Photo for capturing wonderful photo highlights from the evening, as seen below!

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» Social Media Guide #5: Google+

The final installment in our blog post series breaking down Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide for Creating Social Media Buttons is Google+.  Google+ aims to make sharing on the web more personal, and more like real life. As Google’s New Search Results indicate, Google+ will likely play a large role in web search results as search becomes more personalized. Be sure to sign up for an account if you do not already have one, and add these social media buttons to your website and blog!

Google+ Page/Profile Button

What It’s For: This is Google+’s version of other social networks’ follow buttons. The only caveat is that it’s not a slick, one-click follow button. Rather, users have to click to your Google+ business page and then manually add your page to one of their Circles in order to follow you. However, displaying this button on your website is a great way to promote your business’ presence on Google+ and generate more followers for your page, increasing the reach of the content you promote there.

How to Implement It: To create a Google+ Page Button, visit http://www.google.com/webmasters/profilebutton/, enter your Google+ Page’s URL, choose an image size, and copy/paste the HTML code onto your website where you’d like the button to appear.

+1 Button

What It’s For: The +1 Button is Google’s version of Facebook’s Like Button. Adding this button to your website and content provides an easy way for visitors to +1 (or vote for/endorse) your content, recommend it in search results, and share it with their connections on Google+, expanding the reach of your content and increasing traffic back to your business’ website. Hubspot’s research shows that websites that use Google’s +1 button generate 3.5x more website visits from Google+ than websites that don’t use the +1 button.

How to Implement It: Visit http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1/button/ to customize your +1 button and generate its embed code.

Google+ Share Link

What It’s For: Like Facebook’s share links, you can easily generate a link that visitors can click to share content to their Google+ page. The only difference between this link and the +1 button is that it appears as a link rather than a button, similar to the way a ‘Tweet This’ link works for Twitter. The benefit of using this is to enable visitors to share a specific piece of content within a larger piece of content, as exemplified in this blog post.

How to Implement It: To create a Google+ share link, replace the red highlighted URL with the URL you want people to share. Then hyperlink your desired anchor text using the full link.

https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/confirm?hl=en&url=http%3A%2F%2F%20http://bit.ly/vOKpgC

When a visitor clicks the link, they will have automatically +1’ed the content. In addition, like the +1 button, they will have the opportunity to click “Add a comment” to customize a message and share the content with their Google+ connections.

 

Read all entries in the Social Media Button Guide series and check out previous posts: follow vs. share buttons, twitter, facebook and LinkedIn.

» We’re an Official Honoree of the Webby Awards!

We are very excited to announce that WeddingWire has been selected as an Official Honoree of the 16th Annual Webby Awards in the Guides/Ratings/Reviews category for the 2nd year in a row!

The Webby Awards were named “the Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, and is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.

WeddingWire is honored to be part of the Official Honoree distinction, which is awarded to the top 10% of all 10,000 entries submitted to the 16th Annual Webby Awards from all 50 states and 60 countries.

The Webbys is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a global organization whose newest members include CEO of Skype, Tony Bates, shft.com co-founder Adrian Grenier, CEO of Rovio Mikael Hed, and co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom, as well as director Darren AronofskyMartha Stewart, Huffington Post Media Group President Arianna Huffington, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, musician David Bowie, Internet co-creator Vint Cerf, Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson, and R/GA Chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg.

Winners are selected for recognition based on excellence in the following criteria for Websites & Mobile: content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience.

Past winners include Twitter, Google, eBay, Yahoo!, iTunes, Skype, FedEx, BBC News, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, Aol, Tumblr, Wikipedia, ESPN, Funny or Die, Comedy Central, PBS, The Huffington Post, the Sundance Channel, and The Onion.

» WeddingWire Takes Part in the TechCrunch DC Mini Meet-Up!

TechCrunch hosted their first Mini Meet-Up in Washington, DC last evening, an exciting event established to bring members of the local technology community together to share ideas and network with one another.

WeddingWire was thrilled to have members of our Executive, Sales and Marketing teams attend, and to have the opportunity to sponsor this kick-off event! It was great to meet other local entrepreneurs, startup employees, journalists and members of the tech community in DC!

Similar TechCrunch Mini Meet-Ups will be taking place in other cities in the near future including Richmond, Raleigh, Durham, Chicago, Atlanta and more.

Read more about the TechCrunch DC Mini Meet-Up here, and check out some photos below!

» Inside WeddingWire: Q1 Celebration!

At WeddingWire, we believe in “working hard and playing hard!” At the end of every business quarter, we  look forward to bringing the full company together to celebrate all the hard work and accomplishments from the past few months, and spend time enjoying great company, food and drinks!

Recently, we held our annual Quarter 1 party at Cafe Asia in downtown Washington, DC, which has become our traditional location over the years. Check out some photos below of the WeddingWire team celebrating the end of an excellent start to the year!

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» WeddingWire to Feature Alan Berg as an Education Expert

The team here at WeddingWire is always looking for new ways to expand our education (EDU) program to bring you the latest and greatest information to grow your business.  We have featured well known industry experts and leaders, along with our executives here at WeddingWire, to build a valuable resource for you.

We are excited to announce that WeddingWire EDU will feature Alan Berg as one of our Education Experts! Alan has more than 20 years in wedding and event related sales and marketing experience, ranging from selling wedding advertising, to publishing two wedding magazines, to serving as an executive in the wedding industry. Alan is uniquely qualified to help event professionals achieve their goals and we are delighted to include him in our education program.

If you don’t know Alan already, he is the founder of the Wedding Industry Leaders Conference, an organization dedicated to educating and consulting highly motivated individuals and businesses.  In addition, he is an author of numerous books, including “If your website was an employee, would you fire it?,” the mini-book “Don’t Paint the House” and his new book, “Your Attitude for Success.” As a member of the National Speakers Association, Alan speaks to thousands of local business professionals every year through webinars, live presentations, DVDs and online videos.

WeddingWire is committed to providing wedding professionals with educational resources to help grow their business, by way of the WeddingWire Pro Blog, Education Center, webinars, and more. WeddingWire EDU is powered by numerous Education Experts, including Jayne Hallock from Wedlock, Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com and Stacie Francombe of Inspire Smart Success. As an Education Expert, Alan Berg will share articles, lead webinars and provide advice to local wedding professionals.  Alan is a leading industry expert that has a wealth of knowledge across business practices, sales techniques, marketing and more.

Please join us in welcoming Alan as an Education Expert!