Wedding Industry Council: First steps taken to organize

Wedding Industry CouncilWhen I was a National Board Member with NACE (National Association for Catering and Events), I became aware of the CIC (Convention Industry Council).

CIC is an ‘association of associations‘ – “Advancing the Meetings, Conventions, Exhibitions, and Events Industry.”

A visit to the CIC website gives you a crash course in the ongoing projects and initiatives derived from member organization collaboration. These actions better unify the industry and serve its customers. The CIC  list of member organizations has grown, dramatically, since its inception.

The ABC 20/20 Wedding Confidential has served as a catalyst for industry outrage. Wedding Industry voices have been heard from far and wide on blogs, websites and social media. However, they are a cacophony of disparate voices, not a unified voice, with one messages.

“I believe, for many reasons, it is time for the wedding industry to form a similar body to CIC, representing the collective interests of the wedding industry.”

Public Relations is a top priority. Generating other industry-wide issues and projects will not be a problem. Sorting them out, and acting on them will is the challenge.

An umbrella organization, such as this, will have members with overlapping/competing constituencies, viewpoints and priorities. That challenge that is a reality, to be met met. An organization such as this should inclusive throughout the wedding industry to have maximum impact.

As part of an outreach process, I registered the domains, and 

My goal is reach out to wedding industry leaders, membership organizations, and trade associations to gauge the interest in building a collective body. I hope to be overrun with ideas from others. We shall see what develops.

Stay tuned, and help spread the world.

There will be more announcements appearing… and soon!

In the meantime:

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert


Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert

Why Members Leave Your Organization: Part 3

Value graphIn an earlier post on membership attrition, I said ‘most vendor members belong to associations and networking organizations for reasons of commerce.’ Other benefits may result, but meeting people, for ‘doing business’, is the dominant focus.

For organizations to work smoothly, there must be a reasonable ratio of primary members to vendors or business climate breaks down. My experience and observations have shown that a 3:2 ratio is a good one. But that’s an overall number. When you check membership distribution, it’s a little more complicated.

For example, in an association or networking group of 90 members, four photographers, or perhaps five, might find enough opportunity to go around. How about 6… or 7… or 8? Probably too many. From a membership committee standpoint, when one has four or five quality photographers, as members, it’s not the time to recruit even more photographers. Because, if you successfully recruit another three or four, all photographer members will become disenchanted, as there is not enough goodwill to go around.

As Laurel Winzler commented on a previous post, a similar outcome occurs when the number of primary members dips, significantly. Suddenly four or five photographers in an organization of 70 members, for example, becomes too many.

And this notion brings us to membership campaigns and goals. Taking a group from 70 members to 100, sounds good, but it’s too simple. Leaders need to look at the distribution of its 70 members, in terms of business categories. Then it can see where the membership is soft and where it needs no new members. The analysis should determine the specific makeup of the next 30 members, and a plan to recruit them.

Most vendor professionals do not expect the cash register to ring, the moment they join an organization. They are not that naïve. What they do expect is access to primary members. If they feel unable to connect with primary members, that is the beginning of the end. It is the expectation of a meeting… an audience with a primary member that is key. One should never put a lid on meeting fresh faces because you never know who the next rising star will be.

Vendor professionals continue to self-promote, in good times and bad; however, in a rough business climate, they make more measured choices. They will not blindly support an organization by paying dues, making donations, or other participation if the ROI can only be measured with a micrometer. They will seek other organizations and other marketing avenues to develop referrals and connections with customers.

Primary members have power. They should use it for the benefit of their companies, as well as associations and networking organizations. They should use it wisely. Not abuse it  or the vendor members that support them. Without quality vendors, events and organizations fall flat.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog