» 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 2016: Recap

WeddingWire World 2016Thank you again to all our pros for making WeddingWire World 2016 so great!

The entire WeddingWire team was thrilled to host our ninth WeddingWire World in just five years last week at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, DC. We had an amazing time learning, growing, and laughing with the nearly 2,000 wedding and event pros in attendance.

We were blown away by all the posts, comments, tweets, and memories shared at WeddingWire World 2016! Be sure to catch up on all the great activity by checking out the official event hashtag #wwworld on Twitter and Instagram.

In case you missed it, highlights from our inspirational and educational presentations included:

  • Special sessions to help you gain outside perspectives featuring representatives of other industries, including Shawn Johnson, Bethenny Frankel, and Frank Supovitz
  • Trends-based presentations to keep you in the loop from speakers like Sylvia Weinstock, Monte Durham, and WeddingWire’s Director of Market Insights Andy Whittaker
  • Breakout sessions that covered other business disciplines you may be overlooking, including legal concerns, accounting advice, sales best practices, and more
  • Panels and presentations aimed at bringing attendees up to speed on the LGBTQ community and how to move forward in support of same-sex couples looking to get married
  • Main stage and breakout sessions from our WeddingWire Education Experts, who went above and beyond in both their presentations and their conversations and advice for pros in attendance

All attendees will receive the slides for all presentations, so keep an eye on your inbox to keep the education and excitement flowing!

Other WeddingWire World 2016 highlights included:

  • The Marketplace, where attendees could learn more about our industry partnerships, featured associations, and educational resources
  • Our free t-shirt press, featuring multiple fun designs and colors for attendees to customize
  • Free professional headshots taken on-site by George Francis Jr.
  • The opportunity for attendees to meet with our Customer Success team members one-on-one to discuss their WeddingWire accounts
  • A Networking Night event following the first day’s presentations to offer additional networking opportunities and light refreshments
  • A special reception for VIPs and Weddi Award nominees, where Weddi Award winners received trophies and recognition from some of our top executives
  • The addition of Shop WeddingWire, where attendees could purchase additional WeddingWire branded swag items
  • Special prizes and giveaways throughout both days – an Apple Watch, FitBits, prize packs, and more

Finally, we’d like to extend one more big thank you to all the partners who made WeddingWire World 2016 possible: Tania Hossain Photography, Promovizion, DJ Jason Jani and SCE Event Group, Chauvet DJ, Open Air Photobooth, JerFilm Productions, George Francis Jr. Photography, Signature Talent, Snap Entertainment, Moo, and Hilton.

Again, thank you to all the pros who traveled from far and wide to join us this year. We’ve picked some of our favorite photos from WeddingWire World 2016 below, but you can check out the full album and our 360 degree video on our Facebook page!

WeddingWire World 2016
WeddingWire World 2016
WeddingWire World 2016
WeddingWire World 2016
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» WeddingWire World 2016: Day 3

WeddingWire World 2016: Day 3

It’s our first-ever day three of WeddingWire World! We’re thrilled to have spent so much time with our wedding professionals so far, and we’ve got some more awesome education in store in our sessions today!

Today’s sessions are all breakout sessions to accommodate as many speakers and topics as possible! We also added a fourth theme to our breakout tracks – our Discovery Track aims to help you discover some new ideas and open your eyes to some great advice from our experts. Today’s breakout tracks are:

  • Live Website Reviews: Turn Visitors to Clients by Alan Berg, Certified Speaking Professional®
  • Achieving Email Excellence: Subject Lines, Stats and Standout Messaging by Bart Thornburg, Senior Manager of Email Marketing at WeddingWire
  • What’s the Q? Best Practices in Language for LGBTQ Weddings by Bernadette Smith, Founder of 14 Stories & President of Gay Wedding Institute
  • Wedding Show Success Secrets: Face-To-Face Marketing in an Online World by Marc McIntosh, CEO of Wedding Experience
  • The Success Mindset: 10 Traits of Top Performers by Laura C. Cannon, Owner of Ceremony Officiants
  • The Importance of SEO by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire
  • It’s Raining Men (and Women)! Marketing Your Business to Engaged Same-Sex Couples by Bernadette Smith, Founder of 14 Stories & President of Gay Wedding Institute
  • Creating the Experience by Jeremy Brech, Owner of DJ Jer Events & Lighting Design
  • Leading Like A CEO, Managing Like A Pro by Jon’ll Boyd, CEO of Completely Yours Events
  • Instagram for Wedding Professionals by Natalie Franke, Owner of Natalie Franke Photography & Co-Founder of The Rising Tide Society
  • Wedding Trends for 2016: What Couples Are Liking, Loving, and Leaving Behind featuring Kim Forrest, WeddingWire Editor & Sarah Zlotnick, Washingtonian Bride and Groom Editor in Chief
  • Pro Panel: Destination Weddings, featuring Joann Gregoli of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli, Destination Wedding Planner Maria Lugo, Vanessa Velez of Vanessa Velez Photography, and Marilyn Cairo of AskMeWeddings
  • Industry Networking: Developing Powerful Relationships that Fuel Referrals by Andy Ebon, VP of Marketing at Wedding University
  • Blog Like It’s Your Business! by Jennifer Reitmeyer & Kyle Bergner of WeddingIQ
  • Top Highlights from WedInsights by Andy Whittaker, Director of Market Insights at WeddingWire

We’re also happy to host Sonny’s Marshmallow Challenge at the end of our fourth round of breakouts, which is a fun and interactive group session aimed at helping you improve team communication.

We’ll also be adding photos to our Facebook page this week, plus a full event recap next week with all of the important details!

» WeddingWire World 2016: Day 2

WeddingWire World 2016: Day 2

Yesterday we were blown away by the great speakers, main stage presentations, breakout sessions, and crazy amount of attendee social media activity of WeddingWire World 2016 – and that was just day one!

We’re even more excited to begin day two of WeddingWire World today, and we’ve got even more great education and surprises in store. In the main exhibition hall, presentations include:

  • Traditions to Trends: What’s Old is New Again by Monte Durham of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta and Bridals by Lori
  • Tim Talk: Entrepreneurship by Timothy Chi, CEO of WeddingWire
  • What To Do When Things Go Wrong by Frank Supovitz, President & CEO of Fast Traffic Events and the Former Senior Vice President of Events for the NFL
  • Chef to CEO: Turning Simple Ideas Into Extraordinary Results by Bethenny Frankel, Creator of Skinnygirl Lifestyle Brand, Reality TV Star, and Best-Selling Author
  • The Evolving Tech Landscape by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire

We’ll continue tomorrow’s schedule with even more breakout sessions, including:

  • Business Accounting: Make Your Finances Work for You by Michael Klipper, Principal at ENGAGE CPAs
  • Win the Hearts of Couples with Social Media by Kyle Mihalcoe, Associate Director of Customer Success at WeddingWire
  • Business Etiquette: Strategies to Impress Clients & Build Successful Relationships by Laurie Hartwell, Founder & CEO of The Bridal Society
  • Work Harder and Smarter…Growing Your Business by Bethel Nathan of Ceremonies by Bethel & Elevate by Bethel
  • Branding & Boundaries: Attracting Your Dream Clients & Managing the Nightmares by Jennifer Reitmeyer, President of My Deejay and Founder of WeddingIQ & Authentic Boss
  • Panel: Leading Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage moderated by Kathryn Hamm, featuring Bernadette Smith of Gay Wedding Institute & Journalist Steven Petrow
  • The Importance of Add-On Sales & Services by Brian Lawrence, Founder of BrianLawrence.com
  • Mythbusters: Decoding Common Couple Misconceptions by Marty Kaufman, VP of Customer Experience at WeddingWire

Below are a few photo highlights from Tania Hossain Photography of our day one sessions so you can catch up on all the fun! And don’t forget to keep tweeting your own takeaways and follow along with the hashtag #wwworld on Twitter and Instagram, where @WeddingWireEDU will be live tweeting and responding to feedback and more, plus check back tomorrow morning for information on day three.


» WeddingWire World 2016: Day 1

WeddingWire World 2016: Day 1

Today’s the day! We’re kicking off our biggest WeddingWire World yet with thousands of dedicated wedding professionals in Washington, DC. Since our first WeddingWire World event in 2012, we’ve been building our educational conference to help our community of wedding pros get the resources and tools they need to take their businesses to the next level.

Over the next three days, WeddingWire World 2016 attendees will hear from a variety of featured speakers, industry experts, and skilled entrepreneurs with tons of wisdom to share! Today’s exciting main stage presentations include:

  • Top Pro: 10 Steps to Success by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire
  • Building Your Brand from Scratch by Sylvia Weinstock of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes
  • Ready, Set, Network: Building Your Business through Your Buddies by Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting LLC
  • Dream Big and Keep a Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson, Gold Medal Olympian
  • Listen Up … and Sell More! by Alan Berg, Certified Speaking Professional®

We’re also excited to feature a number of breakout tracks throughout the conference that focus on a particular theme! Follow one track to learn more about running your business, marketing your business, or managing your clients, or select the presentation that best fits your interests – breakout sessions today include:

  • Legal 101: Setting Up Your Business by Caroline J. Fox, Esq. of The Creekmore Law Firm, PC
  • The Brain Behind the Business by Natalie Franke, Co-Founder of The Rising Tide Society
  • Understanding Your Clients: Having Empathy in Sales by Andy Ebon of Wedding University
  • 5 Tips to Get More Reviews by Mike Walter of Elite Entertainment
  • Panel: Advice from the Engaged & Newly Married moderated by Andy Whittaker, Director of Market Insights at WeddingWire
  • Productivity & Time Management Hacks to Build Your Business by Amanda Miller Littlejohn, PR Strategist and Personal Branding Coach
  • Same-Sex Couples and the Modern Market by Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com

Below are a few other helpful day one notes for WeddingWire World 2016 attendees:

  • Get answers to your account questions and advice to help your business succeed at our Customer Success Station in Baltimore 4-5, open today from 12pm-5pm.
  • Stop by Baltimore 3 to have your professional headshot taken (for free!) anytime between 12pm-6pm today.
  • Purchase WeddingWire swag and learn more about our speakers and partners at our Marketplace, open today from 12pm-5pm.
  • Tweet your own takeaways and follow along with the hashtag #wwworld on Twitter, where @WeddingWireEDU will be live tweeting and responding to feedback and more!
  • Foster the new connections you’ve made throughout the day at our Networking Night reception following the day’s presentations in Eastern Shore.

Check back tomorrow morning for additional day two information! We hope all our Pros enjoy day one!

» 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.

» Event Recap: The Planners Suite Conference

Event Recap: The Planners Suite Conference 2016This past Monday, event planners of all different backgrounds and stages of their careers gathered for The Planners Suite Conference at Top of the Town in Arlington, VA!

WeddingWire was thrilled to have our own Kyle Mihalcoe in attendance to speak about how your business can stand out on social media, but the conference also included a number of expert speakers on a variety of topics surrounding the core message of the day – turning passion and purpose into profit!

After a warm welcome from Jon’ll Boyd, CEO of Completely Yours Events and Founder of the Planners Suite Conference, and emcee Candice Camille, WellologistTM, attendees observed a ton of great presentations from true industry experts, including:

  • Tips on grabbing the attention of key sponsors for events from Stacey Ferguson of Blogalicious
  • Instructions for creating successful and full proof contracts from Rebecca Melone of Melone Law, P.C.
  • Lessons on managing your finances from Sonya Smith-Valentine of Financially Fierce
  • Helpful marketing advice and strategies from Sherron Washington of P3 Solutions
  • Guidelines for effectively and gracefully executing a styled shoot from Christina Grimes of Completely Yours Events
  • Reasons why it’s so important to take control of your own A/V from Taren Bradley of PSAV
  • Sales automation best practices from Che Brown and Trevor Otts of Peak Performers Institute
  • Engaging tips for taking the plunge and investing in your own success from Cheryl Wood of Cheryl Wood Empowers
  • Keynote presentation by the one and only Jodi Moraru of EVOKE
  • Suggestions for learning how to charge what you’re worth from Shelby Tuck-Horton of Exquisite Expressions and Events
  • Branding strategies and reminders from Amanda Miller Littlejohn of The Branding Box
  • Steps to building and maintaining a successful team from host and creator Jon’ll Boyd of Completely Yours Events
  • Information for defending against copyright infringement from Jennifer Reitmeyer and Kyle Bergner of WeddingIQ

Attendees finished a very long, inspirational day with a happy hour and mixer filled with the constant exchange of advice, laughs, and business cards. But the best part about the conference was the unity among attendees. Each planner was there to grow themselves, and their business, but they left with plenty of connections and an extended network.

In addition to the amazing planners in attendance, The Planners Suite Conference featured the wonderful work of the following pros:

Check out a few photo highlights from Chip Dizárd Weddings, below!

The Planners Suite Conference 2016
The Planners Suite Conference 2016
The Planners Suite Conference 2016
The Planners Suite Conference 2016
The Planners Suite Conference 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.

» Planning Your Continuing Education for 2016

The following post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon. Andy is the Founder of Wedding University and The Wedding Marketing Blog, and is an International Public Speaker, Writer and Consultant based in Las Vegas. Andy travels across North America and beyond, presenting to Associations, Wedding Industry Conferences, Regional Gatherings, and Local Meetings.

As you look ahead toward all phases of your business development in 2016 and beyond, one of the key areas of growth is human development. Whether you are a company owner or general manager, it falls to you to think ahead and outline a companywide plan for continuing education and forward thinking.

Planning Continuing Education for 2016To keep up with the latest trends in the industry and continue your education as a wedding professional, attending conferences and joining associations is a big part of being forward thinking. Below I share the factors to consider when choosing which conference to attend, plus some tips for getting the most out of the events you choose.

Preparation: Review the conference agenda and education sessions well before you arrive. Identify the names of speakers and presenters you know or want to hear. Do this one task before you get there and your outcome will always be measurably better.

Attendance: For larger conferences, bring more people. There is nothing more frustrating than noticing three, four, five breakout sessions in the program, and realizing there is only one of you. Don’t try to hoard the education. Invest in a second or third attendee from your company. When you return home, the energy, knowledge, and momentum will just explode.

Price: If you’ve never attended an industry conference, the costs might worry you at first. But think of the expense as an investment in your business, giving you a ROI many times the price of admission. When deciding what to attend, be clear on what the conference registration fee includes. Conference registration, airfare, and hotel room blocks usually come at a significant reduction in price, so plan early and you’ll likely pay less.

Post-event: Bring the experience home to share with other staff members, share the photos, notes from the best sessions, and invigorate everyone. It’s generates pride when a person is working with a company with desire and goals to improve their product, service, and creativity… continually.

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» Share Your WeddingWire World #TBT Memories this November!

WeddingWire World 2016 is quickly approaching, and we love to look back on the past conferences to reminisce on our favorite moments, and see how it has evolved over the years!

Since we are just three months from the conference, this November we’re celebrating Throwback Thursday (also known as #TBT) all month on @WeddingWireEDU – and we want you to join in the fun!

How can you participate?

Every Thursday of November, share your favorite #TBT WeddingWire World or industry conference photos with @WeddingWireEDU on Instagram or Twitter. Simply post your photo and caption, but don’t forget to tag @WeddingWireEDU and use #TBT and #WWWorld.

The best part?

Not only will we be liking and re-sharing our favorite photos and memories, but you could win a pair of tickets to the event! Every Friday in November, @WeddingWireEDU will announce our weekly winner, who will get two free standard WeddingWire World 2016 tickets to the conference (a $1098 value!). See official rules for more details.

Since our inaugural one-day conference at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2012 with several hundred wedding professionals, to our multi-city ‘World Tour’ in five cities throughout the US in 2014, to our two day event at the Gaylord National Resort with over one thousand pros in 2015, we’ve had a lot of fun along the way – and 2016 will be the biggest and best conference yet!

Check out the great speakers and agenda for this year’s event, and register if you haven’t already done so. Don’t worry: any #TBT winners will be refunded for their tickets, so don’t let that hold you back!

Here are some of our favorite throwbacks from years past:

WeddingWire World 2012

WeddingWire World 2012
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» Group Rates Available for WeddingWire World!

Group Rates Now Available for WeddingWire World!We know that conferences are more fun with friends, so get a group of your colleagues, industry contacts, or friends together to attend WeddingWire World 2016! Not only will you be able to reconnect and learn together as a group, but you can also save on the cost of your ticket.

The more the merrier – and the more you can save! Check out the group rate offerings:

  • BUDDIES: Purchase 3-4 tickets at once to get 10% off standard ticket price
  • TEAMS: Purchase 5-9 tickets at once to get 20% off standard ticket price
  • SUPER GROUPS: Purchase 10+ tickets at once to get 25% off standard ticket price

What are you waiting for? Reach out to your colleagues, industry groups, and even your social networks to get a group together and register now!

No group? No worries! Individual tickets are available, too. Join us »

For WeddingWire World 2016 related questions, please email events@weddingwire.com.