» WeddingWire Networking Night Fort Lauderdale

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Venue Fort Lauderdale for WeddingWire Networking Night Fort Lauderdale!

At the Networking Night, Fort Lauderdale pros had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, and meet members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned more about local industry statistics and how to better reach engaged couples through social media during a brief presentation by WeddingWire’s Regional Manager of 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 latest issue of WedInsights, and amazing photos from the evening below.

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

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack give away – congrats to Yamille of DoubleTree Ocean Point Resort & Spa!

WeddingWire Networking Night Fort Lauderdale 2016 weddinwire-partigliani-photography-the-venue-ft-lauderdale-13  weddinwire-partigliani-photography-the-venue-ft-lauderdale-35 weddinwire-partigliani-photography-the-venue-ft-lauderdale-43 weddinwire-partigliani-photography-the-venue-ft-lauderdale-79weddinwire-partigliani-photography-the-venue-ft-lauderdale-56

» Don’t Miss the WeddingWire Guest List Guide

WeddingWire-guest-list-guideOne of the latest additions to our suite of planning guides for couples is the new WeddingWire Guest List Guide!

Creating a guest list can be one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning. Whether your clients want a big wedding with hundreds of guests or a more intimate affair with just a few loved ones, deciding whom they’ll invite can be a major source of stress.

Our new Guest List Guide provides your clients with all of the information and etiquette they’ll need to answer these and other guest list-related questions so you can make the process as stress-free as possible.

Sections include:

  • Things to know before creating the guest list, including venue and budget considerations
  • Most common guest list etiquette questions, answered – kids, coworkers, parents’ friends?
  • Save-the-date inspiration for every wedding style and taste
  • Ways to make their guests’ lives easier through hotel room blocks, transportation, and more

The earlier your clients get the answers they need for these tough logistics questions, the earlier they can start focusing on the fun part – choosing the perfect vendor team and selecting all of the fun details that will make their day truly special.

Enjoy our Guest List Guide and help your clients keep the wedding planning process moving smoothly!

» Today is Our 1,000th Blog Post!

Today is Our 1,000th Blog Post!As of today, we’ve published 1,000 blog posts on the WeddingWireEDU Blog. We are excited to have reached this milestone in our efforts to continue education for all our wedding and events professionals!

Since our first blog post in June of 2008, WeddingWireEDU has been hard at work providing the latest educational resources for our community of Pros on a variety of topics, including:

  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Small business tips and guidelines
  • Customer relationship management
  • Sales strategies and tactics

Before we added more extensive resources to the in-account Education Center for premium Pros, we were writing posts for people within our network and beyond. For a little trip down memory lane, head over to our Archive page and view our posts by date to see how we’ve grown!

We want to extend a huge thank you to all the amazing Wedding Pros who helped us reach this exciting milestone and have been part of the journey! Questions and requests from our community help us learn how we can best help wedding professionals and power your business.

What would you like us to post about next? Let us know in the comments!

» Happy Holidays from WeddingWire!

From our team to yours, Happy Holidays!

It’s not too late to spread your own holiday cheer! You can send your own WeddingWire Holiday Cheer eCard to your family, friends and clients with a personalized message. Simply type in your name and the email address you’d like to send the card to in our form, type your own personal message and send joy to whoever you choose!

Send your eCard > 

» The Changing Landscape of Same-Sex Wedding Planning

In October, we announced the results from our recent survey of same-sex weddings in 2012. The comprehensive survey asked members of the WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com communities to share the details of their recent wedding planning experience.

Survey results indicated same-sex couples are expanding the ways they plan their weddings, just as the mainstream market is embracing them. This infographic identifies some the key trends in same-sex wedding planning, so our LGBTQ-friendly Pros can be ready to embrace the growing same-sex community!

The Changing Landscape of Same-Sex Wedding Planning

» Announcing the 2013 WeddingWire FallBook

2013 WeddingWire FallBookWe are so excited to share our 2013 WeddingWire FallBook, the look book we create seasonally with the latest trends, real wedding inspiration, fashion and more

This year’s FallBook is focused on décor – everything from centerpieces to stationary. Read up on expert advice and draw inspiration from any of the five real weddings included. There’s plenty to discover on a variety of wedding-related features, but we’ve listed a few below!

  • Take our beauty quiz to find your best hair and makeup looks
  • Check out the latest in wedding fashion and see our suggested styling tips
  • Upload a photo of yourself and test the results with our new WeddingWire Makeover Tool
  • Take a sneak peek at some exciting new WeddingWire features on the way
  • And much more!

We’ve made this year’s edition of the FallBook super easy to share – so please do! Whether you’re passing along the whole book to your clients or pinning some of the most inspiring images to your own boards, we’ve got you covered.

We hope this issue will provide you and your clients with unique ideas and endless inspiration. Check out the full WeddingWire FallBook and let us know what you think!

» Best Practices to Stand Out with Reviews

Webinar Recap!

Best Practices to Stand Out with ReviewsYesterday, we held our monthly educational webinar, focused on showcasing your business expertise through reviews! WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, along with several WeddingWire Pros who have collected over 100 Reviews, detailed their top tips and strategies to build a strong reputation.

In the fast-paced and competitive wedding and events industry, reviews, ratings and referrals all play an important role in your ability to get more business. Today, 95% of engaged couples use online reviews to select their vendors. It’s more important than ever to pay attention to what your customers are saying, see the value in sharing their feedback with other couples searching for their wedding professionals online, and actively work to build up your reviews.

Below are some of the most interesting takeaways from this month’s webinar:

  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Collecting feedback about your business should be part of your sales cycle
  • Feedback can come in the form of reviews, endorsements, testimonials, and social sharing
  • The magic number of reviews for consumers is 11 or more
  • Average traffic increases 106% for wedding pros with 11-20 reviews
  • Consumers look at the quality, quantity, recency, and consistency of your reviews
  • The biggest obstacle to receiving reviews is not asking!

Finally, remember should you receive a less than perfect review (which is bound to happen from time to time for all Pros), keep your cool, take the high road and be polite – other couples will see your reaction!

Ready for more education or want to watch this webinar in its entirety? All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros, and stay tuned for information on next month’s webinar!

» Making Business Personal

You can’t deny the vast impact that social media has had on B2C relationships. Its changed the way businesses can interact with their consumers and the way consumers interact with businesses. From buying products and services to solving customer service issues, social media has enabled small and big business alike the ability to forge relationships with their customers.

Gary Vanerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy, notes this incredible power businesses now have and how it has shifted these relationships. You probably wouldn’t pick up the phone to call any of your close friends just to tell them about a great new restaurant to try or new gadget to buy. Now though, you can tweet your thoughts or recommendations from a restaurant or store and instantly influence members of your social network who might buy too.

Vanderchuk emphasizes the benefit of businesses using social medium to create a personal relationship with consumers. You have the unique ability to establish loyalty and humanize your brand. The concept even expands to politics, he suggests future candidates answer questions streaming on Twitter for example. He compares this new relationship to that of the past, encouraging “small town rules” and the DMA of our grandparents generation.

While big box business may be scared of creating this 1-to-1 relationship, people have a hunger for socialization and are getting their fill through tweets and status updates. Many consumers are directly influenced by their friends and acquaintances and this trend will only continue to grow, becoming more and more powerful. Google has already introduced social networking information into their search results and as we approach 2013 you will see a greater growth of results based on individual’s social graphs.

For more information, watch this quick video of Gary Vanderchuk interviewed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

» Profile of a Wedding Photography Expert

How do you establish yourself as an expert in your industry? Paul Van Hoy II of Fotoimpressions has been working since the age of sixteen to do just that. After receiving his MFA in Fine Arts Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and winning Microsoft’s “Photographer of the Year” award in 2008, he has striven to establish himself as a skilled and knowledgeable photographer in the wedding industry.

How did he do it? Take a look at some milestones below and get inspiration for your own business:

Start a Website or Blog – Van Hoy is the co-founder of WPW (WeddingPhotographyWorkshop.com) which is a free, online, Internet sharing and resource for aspiring and established wedding photographers. The site offers a number of articles as well as educational sessions to help fellow photographers.

Showcase Your Expertise- Published in 2011,  Wedding Photojournalism: The Business of Aesthetics focuses on how to stay competitive and continue winning new assignments, despite  challenges. Van Hoy advises fellow photographers on a wide range of business operations from improving marketing to converting client contacts.

 

Build Relationships – Lowepro, “The Trusted Original” camera bag producer,  showcases Van Hoy on their website as a feature photographer. Building relationships helps increase credibility for your business.


Have a recent idea or accomplishment that you’d like to share with your fellow Wedding Pros? Leave a comment below or send us an email.

» “Pimp My Social Media”

Last Tuesday, WeddingWire’s CMO, Sonny Ganguly, discussed How to Successfully Embrace the Social Web 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 week Sonny discussed how social media has evolved through the years and how as we know it has become a multi-billion dollar industry that drives  how we search for and consume information.

Don’t worry if you missed it, past webinars are added to Education Center and available for all upgraded Pros. In March Sonny will discuss the 5 Steps to Closing the Deal, helping listeners learn how to successfully close a sale.

» Four Free Social Media Tools to Try

It seems like new social media tools you “gotta try” pop up almost every day. Well we’ve compiled some of the new tools you may have not seen that can really help impact your business impact, efficiency and growth.

1.

Screenr is a web based recorder that allows you to quickly and easily create “screencasts.” You can record what you are doing on your screen and then automatically is formatted and shareable. Use this tool for how-to’s or any thing you’d like to show your clients. Of course the best part is, its free!

2.

Oneforty brands themselves as “your social business hub.” At-a-glance you will see the most up to date tools, trends, and pros you can follow for more information. Use oneforty to keep on top of the newest tools, look at ratings, and decide for yourself which ones you should try.

3.

Hashtracking allows you to track your Twitter campaigns so you can compare your marketing efforts. A number of available metrics allow you to see information about who uses the hashtags as well. This gives you the tools you need to measure your influence.

4.

Instagram is a free iPhone app that allows you to edit and share photos. There are a number of available filters to make your camera phone images look beautiful. Use instagram and Twitter together to keep your followers up to date and interact further by showing them just what you’re doing! (Again, totally free.)

We’d love to hear what you think of these or if you have suggestions of your own – leave a comment below!

» HOW TO: Use QR Codes to Grow Your Business

A QR code is a specific matrix barcode (or type of 2D code) that is readable with specific barcode readers and camera phones. Whether you’ve heard of them or not, you’ve probably seen them around and wondered – what is this strange black and white box? In short, these QR codes connect people to mobile sites or information but what it is is not nearly as important as what is does.

According to an article recently featured on Mashable, 2D code usage quadrupled last year and can help increase your sales, customer loyalty, and revenue per customer. While popularity is increasing, that doesn’t mean all consumers have encountered these codes yet. Mashable recommends a short caption to help users understand how to download a reader to their phone and generally explain the process.

Great news – since your on WeddingWire, we automatically have created a personalized QR code for you! To access it, login to your account and click on the My Reviews tab. At the bottom of the page you’ll see your unique code. When a potential client scans your code, they’ll be taken directly to your Storefront and Reviews.

Some great suggestions on where to add your code:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Business Cards
  • LinkedIn and Facebook Pages
  • Bridal Show Posters
  • Flyers
  • T-shirts

To make it as easy for your to jump in and stay ahead of the trends, we’ve also created a printable QR poster. With the click of a button you can have a formatted poster with your business’ code and information about how it works.

Any creative ways your business has used 2D codes?