ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants) hosts meeting to rejuvenate Las Vegas presence

ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants)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.

pinterestABC generously invited me to make a short presentation on Pinterest, to give attendees a sample of the type of education to be offered at future networking meetings.

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.

Leadership & TeamworkTiming 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: 

ChallengesThe 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.

Stay tuned!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Pinterest jumps to third most active social media site

PinterestPinterest Jumps: Last week, I wrote a post, titled, Does your wedding business belong on Pinterest? This week, the question seems almost academic.

As outlined a study released last Thursday by Experian Marketing Services, a digital marketing firm, Pinterest logged the third most-visited social-networking site in the United States, last month.

Pinterest enables its users “pin” photos and info from the Internet into virtual inspirations boards, an activity, very familiar to brides. In terms of total visitors, only Facebook and Twitter had more visitors, according to the Experian analysis, titled The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report.”

The Experian ranking report is based on the total number of U.S. visitors during March (not including mobile traffic).

In March, Facebook logged over 7 billion total visitors; Twitter, 182 million; and Pinterest counted 104 million total visits from people in the United States, according to data shared with CNN by Experian.

That traffic puts the new-kid-on-the-block in front of more familiar names such as LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace and Tumblr.

Pinterest’s traffic leaped forward 50% between January and February. The Experian report cites Pinterest as “the hottest social media start-up since Facebook and YouTube.” Pinterest launched just two years ago, but has soared in the past half-year.

Other Pinteresting stats for consideration:

The site tilts decidedly female — about 60% of users are women. Just another reason that Pinterest feels like the ideal visually-oriented sharing tool to connect with peers and prospects in the wedding and hospitality industries.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Does your wedding business belong on Pinterest?

your business on pinterestIt seems like many wedding businesses are popping up on Pinterest. Is the latest bright shiny object of social media a smart setting for your business?

Wedding marketers should use caution not to blindly join Pinterest without a plan. Success on Pinterest is largely based on posting visually striking, marketing-free content that appeals to female consumers.

Micro and small businesses with modest marketing resources should be careful not to get drawn into wasting time on Pinterest. Developing or curating striking images can be an endless endeavor.

Software company Intuit published an infographic to help businesses decide if Pinterest works for them. If your business is contemplating joining Pinterest, use the guide, below, to help figure out whether it’s a good idea, and how to go about it.

Click on image below to see a larger version

your business on pinterest