» Summer Reading List for Wedding Businesses

It’s summer and that means you’re in the midst of peak wedding season- who has time to read? Hear me out! When it comes to business development, you don’t want to fall behind no matter how packed your weekends are and reading the latest and greatest in business books is an easy way to stay ‘in the know.’ That way, you can hit the ground running when winter hits and you find yourself with more time on your hands. So, grab your sunscreen, some iced tea and relax outside with one or more of these bestsellers!

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

A fun fact about me: back in the day, I was once an intern at the Nike headquarters outside of Portland! So of course, the moment Phil Knight released this book I jumped at the chance to read it. It’s filled with tons of great stories about the early days of Nike, how he set himself apart from the competition, ignored the nay-sayers, and ultimately created a $30 billion company. For me, personal stories are the most effective way to inspire, and Knight’s story does just that.

Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein

As business owners, we all have different styles when it comes to being a leader. Finkelstein’s book dives deep into what makes someone not just a good boss, but a superboss. Creating an effective master-apprentice relationship, the cohort effect, and how to say goodbye when the time is right are just a few examples covered in this must read. I am constantly searching for new and innovative ways to improve my leadership skills and this book has been a phenomenal resource.

The Power of Broke by Daymond John

As a fan of the show Sharktank, I was very excited to pick up Daymond John’s new book. In it, he talks about starting what would eventually become FUBU with just $40 in his bank account, as well as the out-of-the-box ways he promoted his products. John points out that desperation can drive your passion and push your creativity, efficiency, and innovation to the limits. If you like to run a lean business (I do!), then this is the book for you.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yes, you’re a business owner, but working in the wedding industry means you’re probably also a creative at heart. Elizabeth Gilbert has been a long time favorite writer of mine and, in her newest book, she’s sharing her views on how to live a more creative life by being curious, braver, and more open-minded. Gilbert’s style will have you not wanting to put this book down and thinking about it long after you’re finished.

Enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation this summer in between weddings with one of these great books- you won’t be sorry!

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 World LA 2017: Recap

Thank you to all of the wedding professionals who joined us for World LA 2017!

Our team was thrilled to be on the West coast for WeddingWire World LA at the Anaheim Marriott on May 1-2. From the engaging educational sessions to the electric networking night reception (and everything in between!), we are still buzzing as we reflect on two amazing days.

Thanks to our amazing attendees for all the posts, comments, and memories shared! Be sure to catch up on all the action by checking out #WWWorld on Instagram and Twitter.

World LA 2017 highlights included:

  • Two fabulous featured speakers: Candace Nelson, Founder and Pastry Chef of Sprinkles, and celebrity Event Planner Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants
  • Educational sessions on dozens of topics including pricing, PR, trends, branding, sales, SEO, marketing, product strategy, client communications, and much more.
  • Main stage and breakout sessions from our WeddingWire Education Experts and Contributors Alan Berg, Meghan Ely, Kathryn Hamm and Bethel Nathan.
  • Engaging pro panel discussions on topics including growth strategies for early stage businesses, destination weddings, today’s diverse couples, reviews and online reputation, and insights for seasoned business.
  • The opportunity for attendees to meet with our Customer Success team members one-on-one during the conference.
  • The WeddingWire Lounge, including complimentary professional headshots taken on-site by Jim Kennedy Photographers, a speaker table where attendees could engage with our speakers and WeddingWire executives, and interactive booths by GayWeddings and LiveBooks.
  • Special prizes and giveaways throughout both days – Amazon Echos, a new smart phone, books authored by our speakers, and more.
  • A rocking Networking Night Reception, including grilled cheese and taco stations, an open bar, new connections, and a packed dance floor!

All attendees will receive the slides from all presentations, so keep an eye on your inbox!

Finally, we’d like to extend one more big thank you to all the partners who made World LA 2017 possible:

Blueprint Studios
Fat Head
Jason Jani and SCE Event Group
Jim Kennedy Photographers
KIND Bars
Life Event Films
Michelle Marie Beauty
Omni Booth
Rob Ferre, Life of the Party
Susan’s Floral Design

Thank you again to all the wedding professionals who traveled from far and wide to join us this year. We’ve picked some of our favorite photos from World LA below, and you can check out the full album on our Facebook page!

World DC 2017: August 14-15

If you missed World LA, we’d love to have you join us at WeddingWire World DC on August 14-15, 2017! Tickets are on sale now– visit the World DC website for details and tickets.

» Winter Reading List for Wedding Pros

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA

As the peak season winds down and you find more time on your hands, it’s important to make sure you’re carving in time for personal and business development. There is no better way to do this than to get your reading on! With that in mind, grab a mug of your favorite warm drink, pull up a blanket and get cozy with this reading list for wedding pros as the weather gets colder.

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

winter-reading-listThis is my go-to book and I recommend it to virtually anyone who asks for reading suggestions. In fact, I actually gave it away at this year’s WeddingWire World! During my first few months of starting OFD, I made sure to take the time to meet some of my favorite entrepreneurs. In the process, my dear friend Nina, who owns Classic Party Rentals of Virginia (one of my favorite people ever!), told me to buy it. Seeing as I do everything she tells me, I bought it and devoured it within days.

It’s a great book on the power of relationships with the notion that “your network is your net worth.” The wedding industry may continue to change, but by all means, relationships will always be at the forefront so this is imperative. If you’re going to read only one book on this list, let it be this one!

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Do you have a new idea that you’re dying to explore? Is there something you really want to get off the ground? Well, the off-season is the perfect time to map out your plan, but don’t do anything until you read this first. This book dives into the world of testing an idea and it has proven invaluable to me as I’ve contemplated the next steps of my business. This is a great read for anyone considering a pivot in their company!

Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman

I’ll be honest – I’ve been a longtime fan of Peter Shankman ever since I discovered HARO. He is a customer service expert and this book is perfect for those looking to focus on developing client experience. In the wedding industry, one of the top ways that couples find their vendors is through friend referrals, so this is an incredible read to help you build a loyal fan base among your customers.

Nice Guys Finish First by Doug Sandler

We are so lucky to have Doug Sandler in the wedding industry and this book speaks to the power of kindness in the business. It’s chockful of great anecdotes from Doug’s career and truly showcases how to put systems into place to ensure the emphasis is placed on business relationships.

Get ready for a page-turning off-season! These books are both enjoyable and educational at the same time, so order your first book and get going on your off-season efforts.

» Get Your Ticket for WeddingWire World 2017

www2017-logoTickets are now on sale for the the leading industry conference for wedding pros, WeddingWire World!

We’re excited to announce that based on popular demand, we’re bringing the latest education and top speakers to both the West and East coasts in 2017. WeddingWire World will be held on May 1-2 in Los Angeles, CA and on August 14-15 in Washington, DC.

Pick the location and date that works best for you, and register now to lock in the lowest ticket price that will be offered! Don’t delay – the low introductory rate of just $99 for standard tickets and $199 for VIP tickets is only available until 11/15/16.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Informative Presentations: Learn from industry experts, business leaders and top performing weddings pros to leave with actionable ways to set your business up for more success than ever before.
  • Personalized Education: Enjoy a variety of breakout sessions based on your business needs, and meet with an experienced Customer Success Manager one-on-one for custom account support.
  • New Connections: Meet new friends and connect with friendly colleagues at the event. Come together for daily celebrations and enjoy lots of networking over two fun-filled days.

For more information about WeddingWire World, visit the website and be sure to relive WeddingWire World 2016 by taking a peek at the highlight video. Stay tuned for more details on speakers, agenda and travel accommodations, coming soon! Save your spot>>
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» Highlights from Wedding MBA 2016

We had a great time at the Wedding MBA conference 2016 in Las Vegas last week! It was wonderful to connect with thousands of pros from all over the country and beyond, share some great education, and celebrate together throughout the week.

Here are some of our favorite conference highlights:

Lots of Learning

We loved getting to share some business tips, industry insights and education with you. Our team and Education Experts presented 11 times at the event — on a wide variety of topics from tech to social media to websites and more. Stay tuned for our presentations which will be emailed to attendees later this week so you can re-visit the presentations for any notes you may have missed.

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Fun at the Lounge

Thank you for stopping by the WeddingWire Lounge to say hello to the team, and grab some fun swag. We met with hundreds of pros to share account advice, set your business up for success on the site, or to collect your product feedback for future updates and improvements. We hope you enjoyed the fun surprises including the t-shirt press, the 360 photobooth and the slot machine prize give away.

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Celebrating with Pros

It wasn’t all business and learning — there was plenty of fun and celebrations along the way! It was great to unwind after a full day at the conference Tuesday night and take in some Vegas nightlife and great music at the annual party in Hakkasan Nightclub. Plus, we loved toasting to the end of the conference and sharing all we learned along the way at the conference ending Happy Hour on Wednesday evening following the final session of the day.

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Thank you again to our wonderful partners: Jason Jani of SCE Event Group for DJing our party and Happy Hour, DJ Jer Events & Lighting Design for making our Lounge pop, Promovizion for the awesome shades, and Open Air Photobooth for the photobooth fun at the party. Review the photobooth photos here!

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For more event take aways and to stay updated on all the latest WeddingWire happenings for pros, be sure to follow WeddingWireEDU on Twitter and Instagram. We hope you see you again next year!

» Where to Find WeddingWire at Wedding MBA

see-you-at-wmba

Wedding MBA is almost here! We can’t wait to meet pros from around the country attending the educational conference this week in Las Vegas. If you are attending, take a look below to learn where to find us, and about some fun happenings you won’t want to miss.

Learn from Experts:

Start the conference by connecting with the team. Bring your online marketing questions to our Ask the Expert room Monday morning from 9-11:00 AM in the Saguaro room. Throughout the conference, attend exciting and informative sessions from WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly and our Education Experts Alan Berg, Andy Ebon, Meghan Ely & Kathryn Hamm.

Meet the Team:

Visit the WeddingWire Lounge for a one-on-one consultation, collect fun swag, take a picture in the 360 photobooth,  select your favorite style at the t-shirt press, and come back for more surprises each day. Plus, be sure to stop by the WeddingWire family booths — GayWeddings, liveBooks and Newlywish. They would love to meet you too!

Celebrate at the Annual Party:

Mix and mingle at our annual WeddingWire Party! Conference attendees are welcome to join us Tuesday at 9:00 PM at the Ling Ling Club, located above Hakkasan Nightclub in the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Come ready to unwind, dance and enjoy great music!

Toast to New Friends:

After your final day of education on Wednesday, it’s time to celebrate all you have learned! Enjoy drinks, music and networking at the event closing Happy Hour, located in the WeddingWire Lounge starting at 6:00 PM.

Let’s Connect:

Don’t forget to follow @WeddingWireEDU on Instagram and Twitter! We will be posting key takeaways from Education Expert sessions, reminders for important event details, special contest information and more. Plus, we will be sharing some great posts from other conference attendees, so be sure to tag us and #WeddingMBA to be featured.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

» Wedding MBA: Don’t Miss Ask the Experts and Exciting New Content!

We can’t wait to see wedding pros from around the country for three full days of top-notch educational seminars at Wedding MBA this October 3-5 in Las Vegas. Don’t miss the fun and lots of exciting new content!

This year, the conference will start Monday morning and end after our celebratory Happy Hour at the Exhibit Hall Wednesday evening. Be sure to plan your travel accordingly to not miss any valuable sessions!

What can you expect at Wedding MBA?

  • The conference kicks off with a brand new track — Ask the Experts. During these sessions from 9am-12pm on Monday, you will be able to visit a variety of rooms on topics that matter to your business success and ask tough questions to experts in categories such as Online Marketing, Websites, SEO, Legal and more. Bring your toughest questions, or just pop around and learn tips from the questions posed by your peers. WeddingWire is sponsoring the Online Marketing track, so stop by to ask your questions our CMO Sonny Ganguly and Education Experts Alan Berg and Meghan Ely!
  • Monday afternoon you can follow the breakout track that applies to your business category and learn from other successful pros in your area of service such as Venues, Wedding Planners, DJs & Lighting, Photography, Officiants and more.
  • Tuesday starts bright and early at 8am with exciting sessions from top industry professionals including our own CMO Sonny Ganguly and CEO Timothy Chi, WeddingWire Education Experts and many more. Come ready and charged up for a full day of note taking and social sharing!
  • What’s a trip to Vegas without hitting the town? Stay tuned for more details on our can’t-miss annual party Tuesday night for conference attendees.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-6pm you will be able to visit the businesses participating in the Exhibit Hall. Don’t miss the fun give aways and surprises we have planned each day in the WeddingWire Lounge!
  • Wednesday is another full day packed with valuable business presentations you won’t want to miss. You’ll leave with a full agenda of ideas to apply to your business this year and beyond.
  • Join us to cheers to the end of a great conference with new friends, music, and a celebratory drink (or two!) at WeddingWire’s complimentary Happy Hour in the Exhibit Hall starting at 6pm.

Not yet signed up to attend? Don’t miss out! Register using this special link to save an extra $20 on the current ticket price simply by being a WeddingWire member (your discount will be applied when you complete checkout). See you in Vegas!

Sonny and Tim in Uniform

WW staff in boothKathryn 1

 

» NACE Experience: Special Savings for WeddingWire Members

NACE Experience logoWeddingWire believes in the value of ongoing education to support your business growth in the wedding industry, and we’re excited to share a special offer to save on tickets to the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) Experience 2016! This three day educational conference for all catering and events industry professionals is being held July 17-20 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Register today and save $50 on your ticket by using promo code WPM50E16, applied during checkout.

The NACE Experience includes:

  • Design Experience, a one of a kind interactive demonstration of the latest trends and design tips
  • Culinary Experience, a multi-sensory experience that lets participants enjoy culinary treasures at their seats as they are being prepared on site
  • National speakers from all over the industry, such as personalities from the Food Network, Hard Rock International, and more

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy breakout sessions, award-winning national keynote speakers, networking with other catering and event professionals, and a Marketplace Expo with top industry companies – including WeddingWire!

For additional details, view the full schedule, speakers, and travel and hotel information, and follow along on social media with #NACEEXP16.

Planning to attend? You’re invited to join the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for their Wedding Planning Destination Experience 2016, immediately following the NACE Experience 2016. Conference attendees who attend the event receive one complimentary hotel night with their registration!

nace experience hotel

» Wedding MBA 2016: Special Savings for WeddingWire Members

Wedding MBA: Special Savings for WeddingWire MembersDon’t miss three exciting days of education for wedding professionals at Wedding MBA this October 3-5th in Las Vegas!

Did you know you can save extra on your ticket just by being a WeddingWire member? Register with this special link to save an extra $20 on the current ticket price (your discount will be applied when you complete checkout).

What will you experience at Wedding MBA?

  • Great education to boost your business’ success. Attend the event for 100 seminars focused on business, technology and trends in the wedding industry. This year, there are category-specific tracks the first day in addition to all the industry relevant main presentations to look forward to.
  • Presentations from industry leaders. Experience inspirational and action-oriented presentations from top industry speakers including WeddingWire CEO Timothy Chi, CMO Sonny Ganguly, Education Experts Alan Berg, Andy Ebon, and Kathryn Hamm, and many more. View the Wedding MBA website for all speakers and sessions!
  • Networking and celebrating with industry friends. Make new friends while attending the daily educational seminars, the annual much-anticipated WeddingWire Party, the WeddingWire Happy Hour and more. Plus, meet with members of the WeddingWire team to discuss your account and see what fun surprises we have in store at our Lounge this year.

Check out our highlights from last year’s event for an inside peek at the conference, and get your ticket before the next price increase. We hope we’ll see you in Vegas this fall!

Audience Sonny and Tim in Uniform Julie Blair Selfie Stick in Lounge Alicia with vendors

» WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at The Club at Key Center for WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland!

At the Networking Night, Cleveland pros had the opportunity to enjoy the stunning 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’s Regional Manager for Customer Success, Megan Hayes.

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 Cleveland 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 Meg of Meg Bowman Photography!

WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Cleveland 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire World Speaker Announcement: Bethenny Frankel!

Bethenny_Frankel@2xChef, best-selling author, reality star and businesswoman behind the Skinnygirl brand, Bethenny Frankel is the latest featured speaker who will be joining us at WeddingWire World 2016!

Bethenny gained notoriety on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City, is known for her wit, wisdom, and humor, and was named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities” by Forbes magazine. At WeddingWire World, Bethenny will share how she built a multi-million dollar brand, and her professional journey along the way.

In addition to Bethenny Frankel, other featured speakers include Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta star Monte Durham, and top industry names including Education Guru Alan Berg, WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly, and many more.

Learn more about WeddingWire World, the other top speakers, and the full agenda here! Be sure to register before the next price increase on 12/14/15.

» Don’t Miss the New 2015 WeddingWire Education Guide!

WeddingWire Education GuideWeddingWire believes in the power of education to keep your business growing and ahead of the competition. We’re excited to announce the new WeddingWire Education Guide is here to help your business grow into 2016 and beyond!

This free guide just for wedding professionals pulls all the best educational content and downloads into one simple place for you to view any time. From marketing strategies to sales tips, client communication techniques and more – the WeddingWire Education Guide has you covered with great tips to take your business to new heights!

Check it out today, and don’t forget to bookmark it to review later and share it with your colleagues. 

View the Guide!

WeddingWire Education Guide Pages