» Off-Season Tips for Solidifying Vendor Relationships

Photo by Anchor & Pine Collective

We’ll never stop saying it – your success in the events industry is grounded in the relationships you form and maintain. This is a people-centric business so developing ties to like-minded professionals is a critical pillar in the foundation of every strong event company.

During the busy season, the efforts that are necessary to finesse relationships are limited by your time and energy. However, the off-season provides not only opportunities to meet new people, but also an opportunity to circle back to those you’ve wanted to get to know better and find new ways to leverage your strongest ties; it is also the perfect time of year to put into place systems that will make it look like you’re the king or queen of networking the rest of the year!

Here are just a few ways you can solidify your vendor relationships during your off-season.

Maximize your attendance and participation in associations
It’s hard to participate and be present during peak season, because you simply can’t be in two (or three, or five) places at once. So during your next lull, double-down on your commitment to attending all available networking and educational events.

Look for opportunities to attend meetings, deliver professional development as a speaker to your peers, and contribute your time, product and services whenever the opportunity arises to the organizations you support with your membership. Make a big impression now to stay on your colleagues’ radar when you can’t actually attend.

The off-season is also a great time to vet new associations or positively respond to invitations to be a guest or guest speaker at new groups. You may or may not ultimately join, but your willingness to support other professionals will someday be returned in kind.

Be strategic
Think about the ways that you can be relevant to others when you can’t actually be face-to-face with them. Do you have a blog or active social media platforms? During the off-season, work with your colleagues to exchange content and pre-schedule posts that offer valuable information to each other’s audiences. You’ll each benefit from fresh and useful entries on your feeds, and will demonstrate to others how much faith you have in your business relationship.

I always advocate for generosity, believing that paying it forward is one of our strongest business-building policies. The off-season is a great time to look for creative ways to share referrals and help nudge the professionals you trust towards their own new successes. It’s also the right time to thank those businesses that have referred you during the year for their generosity. Send handwritten thank you notes, fun tokens of appreciation, and drop in for personal visits and expressions of gratitude.

Use technology to plan for the next busy season
There are apps for everything, and we strongly believe in using them to work smarter. A good to-do list or calendar app can help you create reminders of important dates like colleague birthdays, anniversaries or business milestones. Use a drop-ship service during the off-season to pre-schedule little tokens and gifts to arrive with personal notes of appreciation. In our fast-paced industry, thoughtfulness stands out more than any ad campaign or promotion.

Whether you’re at the top of your game, or just starting out, nothing is more integral to the success of your events business than your connections. Use the gift of the slow season to find new and innovative ways to extend your network and solidify your highly valuable vendor relationships.


Kevin Dennis is the editor of
WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.

 

» WeddingWire Networking Night Chicago

This Monday, we hosted our WeddingWire Networking Night Chicago for local wedding professionals at the art-deco Walnut Room at the Hotel Allegro.

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy this roaring 20s inspired space that fulfilled our Gatsby decor dreams!
Guests sipped on wine and enjoyed delicious appetizers including a shrimp cocktail bar and pork loin carving station! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and tips for improving your SEO, presented by WeddingWire’s Associate Director of SEO, Mike Anderson!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! 

We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below. Check out the full gallery of photos!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

» WeddingWire Networking Night Boston

This Tuesday, we hosted our WeddingWire Networking Night Boston for local wedding professionals at the beautiful Boston Park Plaza Hotel‘s Avenue 34 space.

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy this unique and sophisticated new space that gives off a loft-like vibe with exposed beams and an industrial feel.
Guests sipped on cocktails and enjoyed delicious appetizers at the start of the event and ended with a mini ice cream bar! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and tip for handing pricing conversations, presented by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! 

We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below. Check out the full photo gallery on our Facebook!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

» WeddingWire Networking Night Portland

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at Union/Pine for our WeddingWire Networking Night Portland!

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a mid-century modern dream venue, while sipping on scratch-made sangria and delicious appetizers! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and tip for handing pricing conversations, presented by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! 

We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below. Check out the full photo gallery on our Facebook!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

» WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at block 41 for our WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle!

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning industrial venue in Belltown! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and tip for handing pricing conversations, presented by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below.

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

» WeddingWire World DC 2018

The biggest ‘thank you’ goes out to everyone who joined us this year for WeddingWire World D.C.!

On July 30, we brought WeddingWire World back to DC The event was hosted at the gleaming Mead Center for American Theatre and was a fabulous success! Between the insightful educational sessions with passionate speakers and networking, we loved spending the day with all of you. As we look back on World D.C., we can’t help but share some of our favorite moments.


Twelve presentations

Thank you to our incredible presenters Tim Chi, Sonny Ganguly, Alan Berg, Kat Schmoyer, Mike Anderson, Kathryn Hamm, Lauren Goodson, Jeffra Trumpower, Kyle Mihalcoe and Meghan Ely. Their insightful presentations covered a range of topics, from SEO and marketing, to building your brand and utilizing this year’s wedding trends for your business.

1:1 meetings with Customer Success Managers and complimentary headshots
We were so happy to have our WeddingWire Customer Success Managers available to meet with attendees 1:1. The team provided personalized tips to help maximize listing value and boost Storefront performance. We also had a dedicated station for professional headshots!

NetWORKing

Bringing wedding professionals of all types together to share ideas and resources elevates not only their businesses, but the industry as a whole! From chatting over coffee to participating in networking activities at lunch – we loved seeing both new and old friends connect!

Cocktail reception
Tasty food was provided by Spilled Milk catering, and attendees showed off their best dance moves on the dance floor – moving and grooving to DJ Jason Jani. Networking on and off the dance floor was the best way to end the day!

Our team was so excited to bring WeddingWire World back to DC, where we began, and were elated by the amount active participation and love we received. We can always count on DC for an amazing time — so thank you to everyone who made the event such a success!

Enjoy the Facebook album of some of our favorite moments, and be sure to check out #WeDoWorld on Instagram and Twitter for some other moments you may have missed!

A special thank you to our partners, the day wouldn’t have been the same without you!

Mead Center for American Theater
Bokeh Lane Photography
Movoly Wedding Films
I Do Event Decals
Enchanting Designs and Event Rental
SCE Event Group
Type E Design
Taylor Street Favors

» WeddingWire Networking Night Minneapolis

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at the Lumber Exchange Event Center for our WeddingWire Networking Night Minneapolis!

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue right in the center of Minneapolis! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and tips for being inclusive of all couples, presented by WeddingWire Education Expert, Kathryn Hamm!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below. You can also see the entire album on our WeddingWire EDU Facebook page!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:


» WeddingWire Networking Night Hartford

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Society Room of Hartford for our WeddingWire Networking Night Hartford!

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a classic venue in downtown Hartford! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and tips on working with millennial couples, presented by Associate Director of Customer Success, Megan Hayes!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below. You can also see the entire album on our WeddingWire EDU Facebook page!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

» Summer in the City with WeddingWire: See the Recap!

Hundreds of NYC wedding professionals enjoyed a tropical oasis in Manhattan designed by BLB Events in partnership with WeddingWire at our Summer in the City event. Guests mingled and networked their way through the evening in the modern event space (PUBLIC Hotel) with a spacious terrace. We couldn’t get over the way that our bright, tropical event looked with the city’s skyline at sunset, and the warm up-lighting (Dash of Class Platinum Entertainment) made the inside just as scenic!

BLB Events placed a heavy emphasis on incorporating florals and potted plants (Bride & Blossom) into the design —. including gorgeous arrangements throughout the space and fresh florals tucked into a wooden geometric bar and large macrame curtain (Patina Rentals). Guests enjoyed the floral studded macrame curtain as a photobooth backdrop (sharingbox, Bride & Blossom), fit with a millennial pink velvet couch and banana leaf printed pillows. Check out the gallery (Use the code: yT*2u) After a snapshot in the photobooth, guests also were invited to get palm readings and mini-manicures. On the terrace, guests indulged in a fruity specialty cocktail “The Royale”, and boozy ice cream (Tipsy Scoop) —all while listening to custom mixes by Jason Jani & SCE Event Group.

A huge thank you to all of our partners for making this event not only possible, but a huge success:

Venue: PUBLIC Hotel
Planning: BLB Events 
Florist: Bride & Blossom
DJ: Jason Jani & SCE Event Group
Rentals: Patina Rentals
Lighting: Dash of Class Platinum Entertainment
Photo: Steven Rosen Photography
Photobooth: sharingbox
Ice Cream Cart: Tipsy Scoop
Palm Readings: Tarot Society
Manicures: ManiCare

Check out more of the details from our fun-in-the-sun event captured by Steven Rosen Photography.

» Networking Etiquette for Conference Season

Photo by Catherine Lea Photography

This article was written by Education Expert, Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

We’re in the business of people. I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say this. Conference season is no different – from speaking to spectating to traveling and anything in between, we’re constantly sharing our expertise, chit-chatting with the flight attendant (maybe even calling down to the hotel desk to ask for another sleep mask?), and networking with all of the pros we get to reunite with from across the country.

Networking itself is an amazing way to maintain professional relationships and market yourself in the industry, especially when a rare in-person opportunity comes along in the midst of exchanging emails on top of emails. Putting in that face time is crucial! That being said, let’s dig into the etiquette of networking, namely during conference season.

Be mindful of investment

While this is an amazing time to introduce yourself in person rather than e-meet a fellow industry pro, remember that you’ll probably encounter a lot of jet-lagged faces and some potentially overwhelmed if they have upcoming topics or panels they’ll be speaking on. Don’t let this deter you by any means, just remember that they’re eager to meet people as well, so don’t monopolize anyone’s time.

Kylie Carlson of International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning says, “You definitely want to incorporate continuing education into your trip. But while you’re there, be mindful of the fact that people have paid to attend the conference and want to learn. Take note of their investment.”

Continuing professional relationships (the right way)

This goes for jumping back into professional relationships you might be currently cultivating as well. Kevin Dennis of WeddingIQ notes that if you’re looking to take it the extra mile by being referral-worthy, you’ll want to put in the legwork without being pushy. “Directly asking to be on the preferred vendor list will have the opposite desired outcome. You must give to receive, so boost fellow creative partners with whom you would love to work, and give out their names whenever you have the opportunity. The more you refer, the more referrals you will ultimately receive. That partnership will flourish faster than you think.”

Follow up!

Bill Tzizik, CEO of Classic Photographers, knows that following up (and following through) is the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success. “Everyone says that they’re going to follow up, but few do so in a timely manner. Have a system that works for you for collecting information on site – not just grabbing business cards.”

Do yourself this favor during the conference you’re attending – take note of those speaking on topics relative to your business and the goals you’re pursuing. This builds up for a wonderful segue into a conversation, especially if you’re growing a professional relationship and looking for a topic opening, especially for your follow-up.

Note that while they seem like great people to flock to during networking time in between sessions, the event organizers themselves are going to be the busiest people at the event. It’s better to say a quick hello to them (and any other panelists who may have tight schedules) and follow-up after. I promise they’ll be much happier you did and that phone call or email will be more memorable to them after a whirlwind conference.

The key to etiquette is to simply be respectful of time and money. Even speakers invest their own money into travel and accommodations, so you don’t want to crowd them in their downtime.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

» WeddingWire Networking Night Denver

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Maven Hotel for our WeddingWire Networking Night Denver!

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful new venue right in the heart of Denver! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as  members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and how to maximize your SEO to attract more couples, presented by Associate Director of SEO, Mike Anderson!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below. You can also see the entire album on our WeddingWire EDU Facebook page!

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible:

» WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Holly Vault for our WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit!

Wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful venue, transformed from a bank vault! Guests met with other local vendors across all service categories as well as  members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned local-industry statistics and how couples budget and plan, presented by Director of Insights, Lauren Goodson!

Thank you to all the wonderful wedding professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation,  the latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the lovely evening below.

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the evening possible: