Newly minted ABC California State Coordinators, John Goolsby (Godfather Films) and Mary Jo Gallegos (An Affaire of the Heart), hosted an informational lunch meeting, yesterday, at Maggiano’s Restaurant at the Fashion Show.
Close to 40 local bridal consultants and wedding professionals filled the banquet room for an overview of ABC: its member makeup, meeting format, conferences, professional education, and accreditation.
The Goal: ABC has a number of Las Vegas area members and would like to launch an area networking group, meeting on a quarterly basis.
A Question: One attendee asked if there had ever been an ABC group in Las Vegas. In fact there was. When I moved to Las Vegas, in 2003, there was a local group. It faded, a couple of years later, ostensibly due to weak local leadership.
Timing and Local Leadership: It has been my experience and observation, generally, that the success of local groups, whether nationally, regionally or locally based, hinges on the quality and co-operation of local leadership. Some 15-20 years ago, NACE launched a chapter in Las Vegas, which did not last.
More recently, NACE made a fresh attempt, achieving longterm success. The Las Vegas chapter has entered its second decade and has maintained a membership count, in excess of 100 members, continuously, since its fourth year. The local NACE success has survived the worst of the recession, and continues to prosper. So, that this ABC effort is a rebirth, should not be viewed as a factor.
The Situation: There are a plethora of local wedding and hospitality organizations, operating in Las Vegas. More organizations than a wedding professional has time for. On the other hand, ABC has the largest membership (4500+) of any wedding-specific organization, nationally and internationally.
While Las Vegas hosts the most weddings of any city in North America, the visibility of local bridal consultants is not as pronounced as it might be.
OPINION AND ANALYSIS:
The Challenge: Wedding Vendors will always flock to an organization, populated by Bridal Consultants. The difficult part is attracting a sufficient number of consultants to lead an ABC group. There is that ‘leadership’ word, again.
Generally speaking, Las Vegas venues try to channel the choices made by bride and groom. They do this for financial reasons and client control. Venues are perfectly happy to accept business, brought to them by a wedding planner. However, local wedding planners, hired by clients, to represent the bride and groom are often seen as interlopers; unnecessary, in the greater scheme of things.
A successful ABC group in Las Vegas would enhance the credibility of local planners across the entire industry spectrum. And success, in part, would be based on the cooperation of wedding planner competitors, for the greater good of their ‘business category’ in the industry.
Regional Leadership: With the assistance of seasoned ABC State Leaders, John Goolsby and Mary Jo Gallegos, there is the support system to give Las Vegas a fighting chance for renewal. It will be interesting to see what develops over the next 6-12 months. And more interesting to measure the result in 3-5 years.
The Wedding Marketing Blog