» WeddingWire World 2016 is Almost Here!

WeddingWire World 2016 is Almost Here!We are so excited that WeddingWire World 2016 is this week! If you’ll be attending, be sure to review these key details below so you’re prepared for an awesome two and a half days of education, networking, and fun.

Travel Details to Get You There

The conference is being held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. If you are driving, on-site parking at the Gaylord is available, or park a block away at the St. George Garage. For additional information, review the full travel details.

Event Reminders and Recommendations

Come prepared for a great day! Breakfast and coffee is available for purchase at the hotel and at restaurants around National Harbor. We encourage comfortable business attire for the event. Wear walkable shoes and bring a sweater in case it gets cool. Don’t forget your business cards for networking!

There is a forecast for minor snowfall and potential accumulations affecting the Washington, DC area from Monday night into Tuesday. We are planning to proceed with the conference on schedule, but will be in touch with any updates via email and the website should they arise. Please travel safely, and allow for extra time if needed.

Save Time and Visit Registration Early

Early registration will be open today from 3:00-6:00pm, and registration opens tomorrow at 7:00am before the day starts at 9:30am. Registration is located outside of the main event space, Prince George’s Exhibit Hall D on the Atrium level. Look for WeddingWire World signage in the Gaylord National Resort® hotel to direct you.

Special Opportunities for VIP Guests

Take advantage of your VIP ticket holder benefits:

  • Breakfast will be provided to VIP guests on Tuesday in the Eastern Shore room from 7-9AM
  • Use the VIP ticket holder priority seating section in the main event space for a great view
  • Join the Weddi Awards™ ceremony and VIP reception for light fare and drinks Wednesday evening from 6:30-8pm in the Woodrow Wilson Ballroom
  • Pre-schedule your time to meet with a Customer Success Manager and discuss your account.

Don’t forget to share your favorite takeaways and moments with us on Twitter and Instagram by tagging @WeddingWireEDU using our official hashtag #wwworld! We’ll be reposting a few of our favorites for some special prizes (and bragging rights).

We can’t wait to see you all this week! If you haven’t attended a WeddingWire World event with us before, be sure to check out last year’s recap to see what to expect.

» WedInsights: Why Couples Prefer Online Payments

WedInsights: Why Couples Prefer Online PaymentsSmall and large businesses alike have an increasing number of options to collect digital payments from customers. Now that credit cards and online payments are more commonly being used in the wedding industry, it’s important for professionals to accept most forms of payment – especially the forms that are most convenient for your clients!*

Mobile payments are only expected to grow in prevalence – transforming the way consumers pay both online and offline in the coming years. Stay ahead of the trend and ensure you are collecting payment the fastest, and easiest, way for your clients! The stats below from Volume 9 of the WeddingWire WedInsights Series shed light on why couples prefer online payments.

More than 50% of couples prefer to pay their wedding vendors using an online payment method

Although 85% of couples pay for their products or services by personal check, writing a check has become a thing of the past in the minds of today’s couples. Just like you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your field, it’s important to do the same with your business practices so you aren’t perceived as outdated!

Online payments typically take less than one day to submit payment

Submitting a payment online is not only convenient for the client, but it also helps you get paid faster. Couples on average take less than one day to submit an online payment, whereas those required to mail in or drop off a check take 3 – 4 times longer. Why wait?

Continue reading

» Updates to Your WeddingWire Account: February 2016

This week we’ve introduced some important improvements and exciting updates to your WeddingWire account. Read more about these changes below!

	Updates to Your WeddingWire Account: February 2016A Better, Faster Vendor Directory

The vendor directory has had some work done! The updated design provides a refreshed look-and-feel to let your main image shine, plus it creates a more organic search experience to encourage couples to reach out to your business. Our goal is to drive more traffic to your Storefront so that users can find out everything they need to know about your wedding services!

Take a look »

Updated Review Gifts

WeddingWire is no longer offering a photo book or canvas print as a reward for couples who write two or four reviews. This information has been automatically removed from your Review Collector email template; however, if you have chosen to notify clients of this reward elsewhere, please make sure to update as needed. Stay tuned for new offers to encourage couples to write reviews, or invite your clients to enter our WeddingWire Rewards wedding giveaways!

The New Search Engine Optimizer

We’ve improved the Search Engine Optimizer to include even more functionality to boost your Storefront ranking! Check out the new sections focused on adding fresh content, selecting your preferred Title and Description, optimizing your About Us content, and more. This is great news for pros with multiple locations or different service offerings!

We’re also in the process of updating the ‘Visit Website’ link from your Storefront to now include a nofollow tag. This change will prevent any potential issues in the eyes of search engine algorithms and make sure your business Storefront continues to rank toward the top on Google and other search engines.

Continue reading

» Don’t Miss the 2016 WeddingWire WinterBook!

2016 WeddingWire WinterBook coverIt’s that time of year once again – our 2016 WeddingWire WinterBook is here and we can’t wait for our pros to see it!

Our seasonal e-magazines feature the latest wedding advice and inspiration for your clients, showcasing the work and experienced opinions of our community of talented event professionals. The new WinterBook is full of the hottest ideas to keep your warm during the cold winter months!

Top stories in this issue include:

  • Expert tips in response to the most-asked budget questions
  • New wedding trends straight from industry experts
  • Creative (and not to mention stunning!) winter real weddings
  • The latest beauty and fashion ideas for couples in 2016
  • Top wedding ideas currently trending on WeddingWire
  • …and more!

Plus, throughout our WinterBook, we’ve highlighted our 2016 Couples’ Choice Award-winning wedding professionals by placing a blue star next to their names! Be sure to check it out and share it with your clients on Facebook and Twitter to help them achieve their dream wedding vision.

Cover photo by Milton Photography

» Share Your Story for a Chance to Attend WeddingWire World 2016

Share Your Story for a Chance to Attend WeddingWire World 2016Are you brand new to the wedding business? Do you value education and continued learning, but find that finances are too tight? Looking for a bit of good luck to kick off 2016? We’re here to help!

We believe that WeddingWire World has the power to make 2016 your most successful year yet, but we know that an industry conference can be a big commitment. That’s why we’re pleased to announce new WeddingWire World scholarships to assist our most deserving pros!

We’ve saved a select number of tickets for pros that are unable to attend because of circumstances beyond their control. Tell us what attending a top educational conference for wedding pros would mean to your business and why you feel you are deserving of the scholarship for your chance to attend WeddingWire World 2016 on us.

Fill out the form below and a limited number of entrants will receive up to two free tickets to join us at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, DC on February 9-11, 2016, while supplies last. See Official Rules for more details.

You could receive up to two tickets to access the latest industry education from top wedding and business speakers, with brand new presentations and themed breakout session tracks, networking opportunities, and fun surprises! Regularly-priced standard tickets are $499 each, so don’t miss this great opportunity to attend.

Good luck, and we can’t wait to see you there!

Having trouble viewing this form? Try entering here.

Last year’s event sold out – guarantee your seat and buy your ticket today!

» Announcing the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016

Announcing the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016

We are pleased to announce the winners of our eighth annual awards program, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016!

The honorees represent the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. This year’s list of winners is made up of the nation’s top local wedding professionals, covering over 20 different service categories including wedding venues, florists, wedding photographers, and more.

Our Couples’ Choice Awards winners are chosen solely based on the quality, quantity, consistency, and recency of the wedding reviews each professional received from consumers through the 2015 calendar year. Our program is meant to serve as an indicator of legitimacy and reliability for engaged couples when selecting their team of wedding professionals. According to Lynn, a WeddingWire user from Michigan:

“This award absolutely made a difference when I was picking vendors. If a vendor had that seal, I knew that enough engaged couples liked their services that I would, too. It helped me decide between two DJs that were otherwise equal.”

We are proud to feature these award-winning professionals who also understand the impact reviews have on their successful wedding businesses! Winners were notified via email on January 6, 2016. Recipients also received the official WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards 2016 badge within their WeddingWire account, along with access to a suite of marketing tools to showcase the award.

Congratulations again to all the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards 2016 winners! We’re thrilled to celebrate such a high-caliber, committed group of professionals for the Couples’ Choice Awards’ eighth year.

» Introducing the Updated WeddingWire App for Couples!

We’re excited to let you know about some exciting updates to our consumer app!

We’ve learned that the vast majority of engaged couples prefer the convenience and simplicity of planning their wedding all within one app. We listened to feedback from real WeddingWire users and made significant updates to improve the performance of the app and the overall user experience.

Download the new WeddingWire app to start planning your wedding!

Our newly redesigned WeddingWire app makes it easier for brides and grooms to find and interact with your wedding business by allowing them to:

  • Search by vendor category and location
  • Find your business and read your reviews
  • Contact you directly by phone or email

Although the new WeddingWire app has changed a lot – including a personalized home screen, wedding countdown clock, and a fresh new look and feel – many of your clients’ favorite features have stayed the same! Your wedding clients can still:

  • Stay organized with our wedding checklist and budget calculator
  • Join the conversation in our community forums right from the app
  • Access our guest list tool and manage RSVPs on the go

Help your clients turn their wedding vision into a reality with our new mobile app! Learn more about the new WeddingWire app or direct your clients to download from the App Store or Google Pay.

» Top 10 WeddingWireEDU Posts of 2015

Top 10 WeddingWireEDU Posts of 2015The end of the year is a time of reflection for all types of businesses. As we look into the New Year, it’s important to reflect on what areas were successful and what areas could use improvement. We always hope our posts are helpful, but we take the time at the end of each year to see which articles our readers enjoyed the most!

Check out our countdown of the top WeddingWireEDU posts of 2015 based on your views, comments and shares:

10.  Social Media Marketing: What Not To Do

Even if you’ve started using social media for your business, it’s easy to get stuck in the same pattern of not knowing what to post or posting the same type of content over and over. We’ve got some of the biggest social media marketing don’ts so you can know what to avoid and how to put your best foot forward.

9.  Objection Overruled! 4 Ways to Handle Sales Objections

One of the most misunderstood parts of the sales process is objections. Many pros see objections as road blocks to getting the sale. WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg explains how to shift your mindset to see sales objections as buying signals and outlines some top strategies for handling them.

8.  5 Steps to Executing a Content Plan

Writing high-quality, educational content can help you book more business, and the best way to start is by coming up with a content plan to help you walk people through your sales process. Easier said than done, right? Check out our five steps to help you start a content plan and maintain it in 2016.

7.  Responding to Leads: Response Time, Method, and Style

Engaged couples send out dozens of inquiries during the planning process, so how you respond and the speed of your response can make a big difference. We share insights to help you understand the impact your response time and communication style have on your business’ likelihood of booking wedding clients.

6.  5 Ways to Market Your Business in the Busy Season

In the warmer-weather months, wedding businesses across the country face an extremely busy time of year: wedding season! We list a few ways your business can continue executing your marketing strategy to keep new clients coming in despite all the rushing around you do during the busy season.

Continue reading

» Mobile Matters! Create a Winning Business for All Devices

December-Webinar_MobileMatters!_TileWebinar recap: Mobile Matters!

Today’s couples are planning their wedding while on-the-go. Does your business make a great impression, and stand out on all devices? Thinking ‘mobile-first’ creates an exceptional brand experience from phone to tablet to desktop, and impresses your target audience!

During December’s one hour webinar for premium members, WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly shared his tips for how to best engage with mobile-friendly couples, his top ‘mobile mantras’ for your business and the best 15 apps of 2015.

Here are Sonny’s seven mobile mantras to set your business up for success:

  1. Mobile first: When designing your website and emails, think ‘mobile first’ with an easy to read and navigate core design, that you can build upon and modify as devices get larger and for desktop.
  2. Mobile end-to-end: Set the goal to make all your communication and campaigns a strong experience from end to end from all devices. For example, if you create a great email, make sure it works just as well from a mobile opener as a desktop!
  3. Mobile conversion: Make sure you add a simple and easy to use contract from to your website for mobile visitors. The form should be large enough to type easily from phones, and not ask for unnecessary fields which will cause drop-offs in your leads.
  4. Mobile mail: 70% of WeddingWire consumer emails are opened on mobile devices, which means your clients are opening your emails on the go as well! Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly by always testing them on a mobile device with clear calls to action for the greatest engagement.
  5. Mobile payment: Accept payments from your mobile devices to close more sales quickly. Devices such as Squares plug right into your smartphone, and with new apps for payments such as Apple Wallet – mobile payments are only going to continue to rise.
  6. Mobile audience: Prepare your business for your clients and store all their important event information in one easy to access place by using WeddingWire Client Sites, available in premium accounts. Both you and your client can log in any time, and from any device to finalize payment, track contracts and add event info.
  7. Mobile me: Mobile devices are becoming even more personal and easy to use. Smartphones, watches and assisting systems such as Siri are getting to know and remembering your preferences, and are more able to be tailored than ever before. Stay ahead with the latest tech!

For more details, watch the full session here!

Plus, all our past webinars are available in the Education Center for premium members to view at any time. Check it out for some great education on leading important topics for your business’ success!

» Voting is Now Live for the Weddi Awards™!

Weddi_Award16_logo_stacked-teal-black-TMThe Weddi AwardsTM, WeddingWire’s latest awards program for distinguishing exceptional service in the wedding industry, has now launched the voting pages for all Weddi Award nominees!

Earlier this fall, we launched the program and accepted submissions from Pros and peers to honor exceptional work in the industry through a variety of awards in the professional experience, customer excellence and innovation + creativity categories.

To vote, visit the website and click through the award pages to find out what Pros you know have been nominated, and vote for your favorite entry for each voting-based award. Each individual can only vote one time per award (per device), so pick your winner carefully!

The top three nominees with the most votes per award will move on to the final stage of the competition, and will win a free ticket to WeddingWire World 2016 and a special invitation to our Weddi Award reception at the event where the ultimate winner as determined by our panel of 11 industry judges will be announced!

If you or an industry friend has been nominated, share the news! Email, post, and tweet with a  link to their award’s voting page and ask your audience of past clients, colleagues, friends and family to vote from now through December 23, 2015 when voting closes at midnight EST. All nominees will be contacted to learn if they are in the top three per award by December 31, 2015.

For more information about the Weddi Awards™, please read our press release here.

Additional questions? Please refer to the Weddi Awards™ FAQ page, or you can reach out to us directly at weddiawards@weddingwire.com.

Good luck to all the nominees!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown for WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh!

At the Networking Night, Pittsburgh Pros had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful river-view venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg.

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, 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 Pittsburgh 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:

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Missy of Occasion Creation!

And finally, don’t forget to email events@weddingwire.com if you’d like to take advantage of your WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh discount for up to two tickets to WeddingWire World 2016!

WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh 2015
WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh 2015
WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh 2015
WeddingWire Networking Night Pittsburgh 2015 Continue reading