» Don’t Miss Wedding MBA!

Are you registered for the Wedding Merchant Business Academy (Wedding MBA) from October 2-4 in Las Vegas? WeddingWire CEO, Timothy Chi, and CMO, Sonny Ganguly, are excited to be speaking for our 5th year, with five new presentations!

Don’t miss out! As a WeddingWire member, receive an exclusive discount of $120 off the current list price, so register today!

Wedding MBA is the nation’s largest educational event dedicated to the business side of the wedding industry. The conference is full of great educational seminars on pressing industry topics including WeddingWire seminars: What’s Next in Tech, Big Business Ideas for Small Business, Making Mobile Yours, What Happens in Vegas Stays #Social and Get Your Head into the Clouds: Top Marketing Resolutions!

» Vote for WeddingWire to be at SXSW!

South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the most diverse and well-known festivals in the country, provides attendees with nine days at the forefront of music, film and technology every year in Austin, TX. Members of the WeddingWire team were lucky enough to attend the interactive portion of the festival last year, and got to experience a sea of awe-inspiring ideas, presentations and products that were a sneak-peek into the future of tech and media. This year, we hope to be more involved in the action by having our very own Chief Marketing Officer, Sonny Ganguly, as a featured presenter, and you can help!

Always the progressive thinkers, SXSW has a “by the people, for the people” process for picking their presenters, and creating the most relevant programming. Submit a speaker and an idea, and the most votes gets you noticed!

How can you help Sonny stand out? Here’s what to do:

1. Create a quick and free SXSW PanelPicker Sign-up
2.  Cast your vote  for Sonny’s presentation, “What the Tech?! BIG Technology for Small Business.”

Voting ends tomorrow, August 31st, at Midnight, so vote now!

» Build Your Reputation: One Review at a Time

Yesterday, WeddingWire Education Expert, Alan Berg,  joined Wedding Wire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, to present ‘Build Your Online Reputation: One Review at a Time’ 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 month’s webinar focused on:

  • The elements that create your online reputation from social media to your business website
  • The impact of reviews for building your business and developing your brand
  • How to effectively request reviews and professional endorsements using the Review Collector Tool
  • The positive side of negative reviews!

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. Learn more about and register for our next webinar in September, Get Social: Whether You #Like It or Not!

» ADJA Presents: The Las Vegas DJ Show!

This year, American Disc Jockey Association (ADJA) has announced its third annual educational conference, newly named The Las Vegas DJ Show. Scheduled to take place September 10th-12th at the Las Vegas Resort Hotel and CasinoThe Las Vegas DJ Show offers the best and brightest in DJ education to all attendees. Meet and network with other DJs, attend seminars, discover new technology and equipment that can help keep your DJ business at the cutting edge of the industry, and learn how to add power to your business!

WeddingWire understands the value of industry education, so we’re eager to share this exciting opportunity! At The Las Vegas DJ Show, both WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, as well as WeddingWire Education Expert, Alan Berg, will be presenting—in addition to many other informative and fun presentations from industry experts. Event highlights include developing successful strategies to build your brand, strengthening your business practice, and the opportunity to network with other DJs in order to boost your spirits, and boost your business!

Interested in attending The Las Vegas DJ Show? Click Here to learn more!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Houston

Yesterday evening, we had the pleasure of holding our WeddingWire Networking Night Houston at the House of Blues. Similar to past events in Portland, Nashville, Tampa, Phoenix, Denver, Orlando, Austin, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Raleigh, Seattle, Dallas, and New Orleans, local Houston Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other area Pros across all service categories.

We had such a great time mixing and mingling with all the wonderful Houston Pros!

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

Congrats to Erin Peters, of Change Your Latitude Travel, who is the lucky winner of a WeddingWire prize pack, including a mini Andriod tablet!

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» Join WeddingWire at NAWP Connect: Destination Miami!

National Assocation of Wedding Professionals (NAWP) is holding its 2012 Conference, NAWP Connect in Miami, FL this year! Taking place at the Westin Colonnade in the Coral Gables area of Miami, September 9th-11th, NAWP Connect is an opportunity for wedding professionals to get together in sunny South Florida, meet and network with other Pros, and experience educational presentations from industry experts!

WeddingWire knows the power of education, so we’re excited to share this unique opportunity with you to grow a more successful business. WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, will be presenting “Get Social, Go Mobile” at the conference, and will provide insight on how to keep your business current and stay ahead of technology trends. Additionally, you’ll develop successful strategies to build your brand, and have informative breakout sessions with Sonny and other great speakers!

Interested in attending? Registration ends September 3rd, so get on board and sign up for NAWP Connect today! Learn more about how to register.

» Inside the Inbox: Bridal Show Email List Dos and Don’ts

This post was written by Matt Byrd, WeddingWire’s Email Marketing Specialist. WeddingWire was recently recognized by the Email Institute as one of the best brands for email marketing, alongside companies such as Amazon, J.Crew and Starbucks.
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One of the perks of exhibiting at bridal shows is that you get to collect email addresses from the potential clients you meet. To get the most out of your bridal show experience, focus on making email address collection as easy as possible, and then create effective messages to reach out to those bridal show clients.

Some email service providers make email collection on-the-go a snap. For example, MailChimp has a handy iPad app (Chimpadeedoo) that lets you easily collect addresses and sync them automatically to your MailChimp database. Some bridal shows make it even easier for you by supplying a list of registrants’ contact information at the conclusion of the event, so you don’t have to worry about collecting their emails at your booth.

Once the event is over, here are a few suggestions for maximizing on your new list of contacts:

  • Timeliness: Make sure you follow-up with potential clients quickly after the event. As time passes between the event and when you actually send your follow-up emails, attendees could potentially forget who you were and that they gave their email address to you.
  • Relationship: In your email, mention that you are contacting them because of the specific bridal show they attended. This establishes that you already have a relationship, which will lend credibility to your message and keep it from seeming like Spam. While it’s tempting to lump several bridal show lists together and send one email, you should create different messages that contain the different names of the bridal shows. Personalization will pay off!
  • Relevance: All of these new potential clients are not the same! They should get specific messages tailored to their event needs. When you meet a potential new client, in addition to their email address, collect some basic information about their event, such as the date or location, and then group them into buckets based on shared characteristics. You can send an email with a photo of a winter wedding to couples with winter wedding dates, or offer a “Spring Fever” discount to couples with April and May wedding dates.
  • Privacy: If you are using your regular email account to send your emails instead of an email service provider (like MailChimp or ConstantContact), make sure that you don’t just copy and paste the list of email addresses into the “To:” field. Aside from looking unprofessional, this violates the privacy of everyone you’re emailing. Use the “BCC:” field to hide all of your recipients’ addresses. (We definitely encourage you to switch to an email service provider, though, as it will offer you many great features and allow you to track your emails’ performance!)

Email is a strong tool to move potential clients to booked events! Get started with Matt’s tips today, and check back soon for more top email marketing strategies for your business.

» Inside WeddingWire: Meet Our Email Specialist, Matt!

In our Inside WeddingWire series, we love giving you a glimpse into the WeddingWire Headquarters and what makes our company so unique!

Today, we would like to introduce you to a member of our team, our email marketing expert, Matt Byrd!

Matt is an Email Marketing Specialist, leading our email marketing team (which—trust us—is no small task!), and is passionate and knowledgeable about all things email! We are excited to announce that he will be joining us on the Pro Blog in a new series, Inside the Inbox, where he will take a look at email marketing trends and best practices, and most importantly, how to apply them for your business.

Be sure to check back soon for the new Inside the Inbox series! If you have any specific email marketing topic ideas that you would like to see covered, please leave a comment for Matt!

» Best (and Worst) Times for Social Engagement

Being active on social media is a great way for your business to connect with your audiences, and engage with potential clients while sharing your business personality and industry expertise.

However, it is important to keep social media best practices in mind when you are posting, commenting, tweeting and connecting!

Here is a quick list of findings on the best and worst times to be posting on Twitter and Facebook (in Eastern Standard Time), based on a recent study from link shortening service, Bitly.

Twitter Best Practices

  • When tweeting with links that you want followers to open, the best time is early afternoon from 1:00—3:00pm
  • The best days for tweeting are Monday through Thursday
  • It is not very effective to tweet after 8:00pm during the week for high levels of engagement
  • Tweets after 3:00pm on Fridays do not perform well

Facebook Best Practices

  • Wednesday at 3:00pm is the highest time for clicks on links in your posts
  • Generally, links posted mid-week from 1:00—4:00pm drive the highest engagement
  • Facebook traffic is highest between 9:00am and 4:00pm
  • 11:00am is a high engagement time period, so aim to post anything with links at this time during the work week (for example, if you would like to drive to a specific blog post)

As always, we encourage our Pros to Get Social, and be smart for the biggest impact!

» WeddingWire Ranked #309 in the Inc. 500|5000 for 2012!

We are excited to announce, WeddingWire is recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., ranked #309 in the Inc. 500 | 5000 for 2012!

WeddingWire is honored to be included in this prestigious list of companies, and could never have done it in our five short years without the support of our valued members like you! Thank you for your help in reaching this incredible milestone.

The Inc. 500 | 5000 list celebrates the fastest growing, privately-held U.S. companies each year. At WeddingWire, our main goal is to provide wedding and event professionals with the latest technology, including the top advertising, networking, marketing and management tools to power your business. We look forward to our continued growth together for many years to come!

Interested in learning more? Read the official announcement in our Press Center.

» Top 4 Tips for Effective Client Email Pitches

Turn more of your inquires into meetings and new clients!  Follow these top 4 tips for effective email pitches to your potential clients, and be on your way to booking more weddings and events.

 1. Be Personal

Your emails to your potential clients should be personalized. Be sure to reference them by name, and ask questions about their wedding or event. Engaged couples want personal attention for their special day, and asking the right questions can help you to stand out among the rest!  Express that you would love the opportunity to connect on the phone or in person, and hear more about their wedding plans, how they met, and how they are envisioning their perfect day—so you can be sure to help them create a meaningful and memorable wedding.

2. Be Purposeful

Creating a specific call to action is key.  It isn’t enough to just send availabilities, costs or work examples. Be sure to make the ask for an appointment, and the more specific you are the better. For example: “I would love the opportunity to hear more about what you envision for your perfect day, and discuss ways I could assist to make your wedding as special as possible. Are you available for an appointment next Monday?”

3. Be Persistent

It is okay to politely follow up on any messages that were not returned. This shows the engaged couple that you are interested and committed to their event, even before you are officially one of their Wedding Pros! It is best to give them a few days to get back to you, and follow up in about 3 days if you have not heard back to check in. This shows that you are confident in your business, but be careful to not appear overly pushy. Couples want Pros who are on top of their game, and who follow up on details for their behalf, so never be afraid to follow up. It sets a good precedent for your work ethic and attention to detail.

 4. Be Polite

Always say “thank you.” In your initial email, thank the engaged couple for their interest and express that you are honored they are considering your service for their wedding. Even if you hear that the couple is going with an alternative Pro, always reply to thank them for their time and consideration and send them best wishes. You never know, they may refer you to others or use you for a future event! Plus, this will help solidify your professional, courteous reputation in the industry.

» Inside WeddingWire: Company Culture

One of my favorite things about working at WeddingWire (and I think a majority of our employees would agree) is our amazing company culture.

From our “take what you need” buzzed about vacation policy, to exciting company-wide events and parties to celebrate important milestones, there are a long list of reasons that make working at WeddingWire a positive and fun environment! That, combined with the fact that we get to develop great products and provide education to grow the businesses of wonderful Wedding Pros like you every day, makes us a very lucky team!

Check out a few examples of how some of our employees let their personalities shine through at their desks!