» Pro Forum Buzz: Best of 2014

Every day, wedding professionals are talking about a variety of topics in the WeddingWire Pro Forums. We regularly read these conversations to see what’s trending in the industry and how we can help our community of Pros. Some conversations attract Pros from all categories to weigh in on important topics and offer advice where possible – those are our favorite discussions!

Below we’ve identified some of the best WeddingWire Pro Forums conversations of 2014 – join in on these now or create your own to start preparing for 2015.

Pro Forum Buzz: Best of 2014Working without a guest list

What do you do when your clients won’t provide you with a clear (or at least estimated) guest count? Pros weigh in with their opinions on handling the situation and provide advice for explaining why a guest list is so important for wedding professionals.

Join the conversation >>

Accepting final payments

When do you accept final payments from your clients? Some Pros add a specific date in their contracts, while others accept final payments within a certain time frame such as the month or week before.

Share your experiences >> 

How to coexist with photographers

For DJs, caterers and wedding planners, it’s important that the newlyweds stick to a schedule for the reception, but often photographers need more time than allotted to get all the right shots. What suggestions can you offer to ease this type of situation?

Offer your suggestions >>

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» Top 10 WeddingWireEDU Posts of 2014

Top 10 WeddingWireEDU Posts of 2014Throughout 2014, we’ve shared the latest news and advice to apply to your wedding and events business. We always hope our posts are helpful, but it’s great when we reflect on the year and look at which articles our community of wedding professionals enjoyed the most!

Check out our countdown of the top WeddingWireEDU posts of 2014 based on your views, comments and shares:

10.  How to Build Strong SEO in 4 Ways

Building strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important for your wedding business’ online exposure. But, there’s so much information available about SEO that it may be difficult to know what you should (or should not) be doing for your business. We break down what you need to know to build strong SEO with tips for how to optimize your website, blog, social networks and online listings.

9.  3 Unique Ways to Collect More Reviews

Building online credibility by collecting reviews from past clients is an important aspect of your business’ marketing. While your clients probably tell you they are going to write you a review, you may find getting them to follow through is time consuming and difficult. We’ve got three unique ways you may not have tried to reach out and collect more reviews from your clients!

8.  Pro Tips: Auto-Reply Email Best Practices

For many wedding professionals, email auto-replies are the simplest (and quickest) way to respond while you are out and about. Make sure your business is putting its best foot forward right away by following these five best practices for crafting your auto-reply emails.

7.  5 Ways to Improve Your Communication with Clients

Wedding Pros are often juggling busy schedules. All the phone conversations, emails, and in-person meetings with both prospective and booked clients can feel overwhelming, but effective client communication is key for your business’ success. These tips from Education Expert Jennifer Reitmeyer will help set the tone for a strong first impression from first contact with the client to the event itself!

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» WeddingWire Workshop New York City

Yesterday, local New York City Wedding Pros gathered at the 3 West Club for one of our WeddingWire Workshop events, focused on managing your business!

At the WeddingWire Workshop, Pros gathered for a comprehensive training on the tools available within the Clients Tab of premium members’ WeddingWire account. In addition to receiving hands-on WeddingWire account training, attendees also learned more about eventOS tools, met their local WeddingWire representatives, and enjoyed light snacks and beverages while networking with other local Pros after the training session.

WeddingWire Workshops are the newest addition to our variety of educational events and networking opportunities created for Wedding Pros, which include our annual user’s conference WeddingWire World, networking events such as WeddingWire Mix & Mingles, WeddingWire Networking Nights and more. We look forward to hosting more local WeddingWire Workshops in the near future!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us and participated in the Workshop. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Workshop New York City board in the Pro Forums and our new WeddingWire Greater New York City Facebook community!

We’re excited to share some highlights from the event and additional resources including access to our Clients tab Quick Start Guides, the WeddingWire Education Guide for more business tips, and great photos from the evening (as seen below).

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

  • The fantastic event space, and delicious snacks and refreshments provided by the 3 West Club
  • The wonderful photos as seen below from Olli Studio

Finally, congrats to Rudy Valme of Crossing Midnight Entertainment, the winner of the WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Workshop New York City

WeddingWire Workshop New York City

WeddingWire Workshop New York City

WeddingWire Workshop New York City Continue reading

» We’ve Officially Reached Over Two Million WeddingWire Reviews!

We’ve Officially Reached Over Two Million WeddingWire Reviews!We are thrilled to announce that newlyweds and professional peers have submitted more than two million vendor reviews, the largest number of reviews on any wedding and event industry site!

As the necessity of reviews continues to build across the wedding and events industry, reaching two million WeddingWire reviews is a huge milestone. These reviews represent experiences in working with wedding professionals in the United States and Canada, across more than 20 service categories.

As we continue to grow, don’t forget about the many ways we reward you for new reviews! Our December Reviews sweepstakes, where each review written on WeddingWire during the month of December enters that the couple AND their reviewed vendor to each win one of two $1,000 Amazon gift cards. Also, the  WeddingWire Rated™ program continuously recognizes wedding professionals across the country for their commitment to providing quality service with various badges, based on their number of reviews.

We’ll also soon announce the winners of the annual WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®! Couples’ Choice Awards® winners, distinguished as the top 5% of local wedding professionals in more than 20 service categories based on their quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism, are determined specifically by engaged couple and newlywed reviews.

This achievement signals a major trend in the wedding space where engaged couples are not only relying on reviews to help make their critical wedding decisions, but are actively giving back to all engaged couples in the future. The collective 2,000,000 vendor reviews help engaged couples find their perfect wedding vendor team and strengthen the online reputation and credibility of our community of wedding professionals, which ultimately helps them grow their businesses.

Thank you to all of our Pros for being so dedicated in collecting reviews for your business!

» Customer Success Profile: Melanie D.

Did you know that all premium WeddingWire Pros have access to a dedicated Customer Success representative?

Our Customer Success Team is there to share ideas and tips to help you get the most out of your account. No matter if you have a specific question or you’d like recommendations on best practices, the WeddingWire Customer Success team is dedicated to helping you grow your business.

In our Customer Success Profile series, we interview a member of our Customer Success team each month. Get to know your Customer Success representative and learn more about how they can help your wedding business!

Customer Success Profile: Melanie D.Name: Melanie D.

How long have you worked for WeddingWire?

A little over 2 years. Time flies!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love that every day I get to speak with new Pros and hear about their businesses and offer advice on the best way to maximize their online marketing. I am lucky to learn something new every day – from the Pros I speak with or from my coworkers. I’m also lucky to build strong relationships with our advertisers and love the feeling of getting to help someone grow their business! I absolutely love hearing from my advertisers that their investment in WeddingWire has paid off.

What’s your favorite tip to help Pros?

I always encourage advertisers to visit the catalog from a couples’ perspective. Not only is it a good idea to see how your listing looks from a user’s perspective, but it’s important to be knowledgeable about the other advertisers as well. This is a great way to remain competitive!  Check out your main image, is it something that jumps out at you? Is it something you would click on? These are great questions to ask yourself. Also, take a look at the average amount of reviews in the catalog. Always strive to be above the average to make sure your listing is as competitive as possible!

How do you keep up with technology trends?

I love to read Mashable on a weekly basis. They have so many great articles that pertain to my job and keep me on top of everything new in the tech world!

If you’d like to learn more about the WeddingWire Customer Success Team or find out who your Customer Success representative is, please email pros@weddingwire.com!

» Give a Little, Get a Lot in Our December Reviews Contest!

Give a Little, Get a Lot in Our December Reviews Contest!With the holiday season upon us, we know it can be hard to focus on your business. That’s why this month WeddingWire is helping your business collect as many reviews as possible by the end of the year with our December reviews contest!

For each review written on WeddingWire during the month of December, the couple AND their reviewed vendor will be automatically entered to win one of two $1,000 Amazon gift cards.

In addition to the prospect of winning $1,000 for you and your client, here are a few ways WeddingWire can help you collect and manage reviews from your past clients:

Remember, the biggest obstacle for receiving reviews is not asking! To make it easy, we’ve added pre-populated messaging in the Review Collector to help you spread the word when you request reviews. Additionally, you can share with your clients on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest, as well as within your emails and more. Each review written is another chance to win, so start collecting now!

If you have any additional questions regarding our December reviews contest, please see our Official Rules.

Interested in increasing your online reviews? Find out how WeddingWire can help your wedding business manage your online reputation.

» Latest Updates to WeddingWire Analytics Beta

WeddingWire is excited to introduce new updates to our Analytics beta tool!

Since launching last April, we’ve been collecting feedback and improvement requests, and we’re thrilled to add some exciting new features as we continue to work on future updates to the tool.

Check out the newest features added to Analytics beta:

  • Reviews Analytics: Cumulative monthly reviews written about your business. Compare your reviews to the median number collected by all Pros and premium Pros in your region and category.
  • Table View: Cumulative monthly data in table form for easy comparison and analysis.
  • Export All: Download your Traffic and Reviews Analytics for all your listed regions and categories.

As of today, these Analytics beta updates are now available within the Advertising tab of your WeddingWire account. You can read more about WeddingWire Analytics in the Education Center of your account. We’ve also updated our Knowledge Base with tips for understanding your new insights!

These updates were based on feedback from our community of Pros! If you have more feedback about future Analytics enhancements, please provide us with your feedback here and how you’d like to see it grow in the future.

WeddingWire Traffic Analytics, along with guaranteed directory placement, is only available to Premium WeddingWire members. Learn more about upgrading at vendors.weddingwire.com or get started by contacting us at sales@weddingwire.com.

» Pro Forum Buzz: Raw Video Footage, Declining Weddings & More

The WeddingWire Pro Forums are a great place to meet and connect with other Wedding Pros across the country to grow your network. Every day, wedding professionals are talking about a variety of topics, from client concerns to professional advice and best practices.

Here’s what Pros are talking about this month in the WeddingWire Pro Forums!

Pro Forum Buzz: Raw Video Footage, Declining Weddings & MoreProviding raw footage to clients

Videographers: do you provide unedited, raw video footage to your clients? Do you charge a fee? Professionals discuss the possible pros and cons of selling raw footage of a client’s wedding day and how to handle any backlash.

Share your ideas >>

Declining weddings

When is it acceptable to decline working or performing at someone’s wedding? Wedding professionals discuss this topic as it relates to situations like prison weddings and how discrimination laws come into play.

See what Pros are saying >>

Attracting destination wedding couples

Destination Pros: How do you attract couples shopping for destination wedding? Join the conversation and exchange marketing tips from both vendor and consumer points of view.

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» WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

Earlier this week, Wedding Pros gathered at The Hermitage Hotel for WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville!

At the Networking Night, Pros from the Nashville area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville board in the Pro Forums!

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

And finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack! Congrats to Amy Grooms of Fabulous Frocks of Nashville!

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

WeddingWire Networking Night Nashville

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» WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

Tuesday afternoon, Wedding Pros gathered at Keeneland for WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington!

At the Mix & Mingle, Pros from the Lexington area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington board in the Pro Forums!

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

And finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack! Congrats to Jeana Pillion of 2 Cool Band!

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Lexington

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» WeddingWire World Tour 2014: SoCal

We had a great time at WeddingWire World SoCal!

The WeddingWire team was thrilled to come together one last time with hundreds of wedding and event professionals for a day of education from industry experts, along with networking and fun surprises. This event was the last stop on the WeddingWire World Tour 2014, with earlier stops in Miami, DC, Chicago and Houston. Thanks to all our Pros who attended our SoCal event!

Our guests received great educational information to power their businesses from our team of presenters. Sessions included main stage presentations from WeddingWire Education Experts Alan Berg, Andy Ebon, and Kathryn Hamm in addition to two presentations from WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly.

We were also pleased to include a panel of local wedding professionals, featuring Scott Nelson of Scott A. Nelson Photography, Tina Moran of Oh So Swank!, Krissi Trevino of Lomas Santa Fe Country Club and Bethel Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel.

WeddingWire World SoCal also featured two breakout session tracks, which gave attendees the option to choose between sessions on a variety of topics, including a deeper dive into WeddingWire tools, blogging, and same-sex weddings skill sets.

We hope all our Pros enjoyed the day as much as we did! In addition to the main presentations and educational sessions, some highlights from the day include:

  • Starting the day at the Networking Breakfast by learning more about Pros in attendance with a special version of bingo
  • Awesome tweets from attendees throughout the day to @WeddingWireEDU using the hashtag #wwworld
  • The opportunity for Pros to meet with our Customer Success team members one-on-one to discuss their WeddingWire accounts
  • Our networking roundtable breakout session to facilitate new connections both within Pros’ service category and with other types of local professionals
  • Announcing the winners to our raffle prize drawings, including an iPad mini, Amazon gift card and tickets to WeddingWire World 2015 in DC
  • Free t-shirts and luggage tags for all attendees

Finally, a big thank you to our fantastic partners who helped make this event a success: fantastic event photos by Scott A. Nelson Photography, exciting event music by Special Occasions DJ & Lighting, photobooth fun from Open Air Photobooth and beautiful mood music during our reception from Payam Larijani of WeLoveGuitar!

Although SoCal was the last stop on the WeddingWire World Tour 2014, we’re already busy preparing for WeddingWire World 2015! We’re happy to announce that our award-winning conference will extend to two full days in Washington, DC on March 16-17.

Check out some of the photos below, and see our full event album on the WeddingWire Greater LA Facebook community!

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

WeddingWire World SoCal

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» Today is WeddingWire World SoCal!

Today is WeddingWire World SoCal!WeddingWire World SoCal is the final stop on the WeddingWire World Tour 2014! Previous stops include Miami, DC, Chicago and Houston.

Today, at the Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, wedding and event professionals from southern California will learn about the latest in the wedding industry and how to keep their businesses on top of all the most important channels, including sales, reviews, marketing, business management, networking, and more!

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to hear from leading wedding industry professionals and special guest speakers, and our Customer Success team will be available all day for on-site consultations to answer questions and help our members take advantage of everything their WeddingWire account has to offer.

Below are a few other helpful notes for WeddingWire World SoCal attendees:

  • Check in and start the day on the second floor foyer, where WeddingWire staff will be ready and waiting to assist you.
  • Download theProWire mobile app on iTunes or Google Play and select WeddingWire World SoCal so that you’re able to access everything you need to know, on the go!
  • Catch up and create new connections with your fellow Wedding Pros at our Networking Breakfast from 9am-10am.
  • Earn raffle tickets throughout the day to be entered in our drawing to win an iPad Mini, $100 Amazon gift card or tickets to WeddingWire World 2015!
  • Tweet your own takeaways and follow along with the hashtag #wwworld on Twitter, where @WeddingWireEDU will be live tweeting and responding to Pro feedback and more! We’ll also post some behind-the-scenes photos on the WeddingWireEDU Instagram account.

Be sure to check back later this week as we continue to share photos and highlights from the event.

Thanks to all the Pros joining us today!

Missed the 2014 WeddingWire World Tour? Don’t worry! Join us March 16-17 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor in Washington, DC for WeddingWire World 2015!