Las Vegas wedding chapels tire of Sin City image

Las Vegas wedding chapelsThe view of many Las Vegas wedding chapels is that the city is now suffering from the success of its long-running advertising campaign, ‘What happens here, stays here.”

The cheeky campaign, filled with innuendo and naughty implications may now having a decidedly negative impact on the Las Vegas wedding industry. It is no secret that just a couple of years ago, Las Vegas was flourishing with no end in sight. Today, it is a city challenged, at every level.

The once-heralded ad campaign is not to be criticized by wedding marketers that would prefer to promote a more romantic, less racy image.

Lurid examples, such as the real-life Britney Spears wedding, then annulment, are the kind of occurrences demonstrating life imitating art.

An extensive article, published in this past Sunday’s Las Vegas Review Journal examines the full range of issues. It is a classic tale of the effect of larger business and marketing interest, and their effect (good and bad) on small business.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Wedding MBA: There’s a reward for planning ahead

Wedding MBAWedding MBA has become a huge gathering of wedding professionals in all disciplines, both from across North America and around the globe. I’ll be participating as a speaker, once again, this year.

The magic conference dates are October 1-3, 2013, but the big bonus comes for registering on or before April 1st.

As a Wedding Marketing Blog reader, registering before April 2nd will get a $120 advantage over people who wait until my birthday (April 2nd), or later… heaven forbid. That’s $20 less than on the Wedding MBA website.

Whether you go to Wedding MBA every year, alternate years, or are just thinking about committing for the first time…. NOW would be the time.

Register BEFORE April 2nd to take advantage the Don’t be an April Fool – Andy Ebon’s birthday deal!

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert



Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

The Miracle of Appreciation

The Miracle of Appreciation is the title of a keynote presentation I first gave over a decade ago. It is a breakdown of some of the many meanings of appreciation.

  • Appreciating the good fortune of our circumstances. Having proper perspective.
  • Learning how to accept appreciation, gracefully… For example, not minimizing a grand compliment with response, such as: “Oh, I was just doing my job.”
  • Saying “Thanks” to those who say “Thanks”. It is all-too-rare that people take time and care to express their gratitude, that when given, it should always be acknowledged

Earlier this year, I visited the Wisconsin NACE chapter for  a half-day of seminars and a dinner presentation. It was a great trip, but what I enjoyed most was the dinner I spent with the President and Programs Chair, Emilie and Emily, the evening before the meetings.

I think it was Emilie that asked me, “What do you enjoy most about what you do?”

As I recall, my answers was along these lines… 

“Sometimes I can sense when I’ve made a breakthrough with/for a person during the course of a seminar. You see them light up… Then, months later, I’ll get an email or meet-up with that person at a conference and they’ll tell me about how I helped accelerate their success, by something learned from me.”

In a couple of weeks I’m making a return trip to the Portland, Maine area. I was there late October, just last year (for the same client). It was (and is) daylong set of four seminars.

appreciationThis morning, on my Facebook Business Page, I received the following post.


I attended your seminar in Portland, ME last fall hosted by the Maine Wedding Association and it turned my business around. I took your advice and changed my business name from Balloon Magic to Maine Event Design & Decor, used many of the Facebook, website and Constant Contact advice you gave.

I will more than triple my business this year from last. I appreciate your marketing skills and advice. Thanks so much! I know your coming to Brunswick, ME next month. I’d like to attend but we’re booked so I’m not sure I can make it but I wanted to send along my appreciation.

Robyn Allen
Maine Event Design & Decor

I have repeated the ‘magic question’ (and my answer) to others, about ‘what I enjoy most about what I do’, many times since my trip to Milwaukee. However, this message really touched me.

January 1, 2012, I started a project, in the form of a blog, called Appreciation Chronicles – Practicing Gratitude. While I thought I would post more often, every time I do express myself, it generates warmth.

I have a number of travel days for seminars, scheduled in the next six weeks. I am so grateful to Robyn for setting the mood for me.

Days like this are rare. Hope you are getting your share.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

When some clients just aren’t a ‘good fit’

“Entrepreneur’s disease” is the state of mind that shouts ‘close every sale, no matter what.’

It’s such a tempting proposition, and often one accepts less money or heaps on more value to make it happen. All to often, we regret it later. You’ve given away so much, the client believes they can continue to ask for anything, even beyond what is agreed to. You have painted your company as desperate, such behavior is to be expected.

Other times, your company provides ‘more and better’ than a particular client really needs. In that scenario, they are not necessarily offering less than you are worth; they are offering what is market value for their needs.

Recently, I recalled a client that managed High School Reunions. This type of event management company was new, 20 or so years ago, and provided a turn-key service and virtually no risk to a reunion class committee. My old company, Designer Music, provided DJ service for them about 15-20 times, annually, over a 3-4 year period.

We had agreed on a discounted price, due to the number of jobs per year. The events were somewhat uninteresting for my DJs, but not stressful at all because the events were formulaic and well-run by the event company. They were always on a Saturday evening and were a nice change from weddings.

Early one year, I noticed that I had not received the usual phone call to start penciling in dates for the coming years’ reunions… so I picked up the phone. After a short conversation with the event manager, I wound up on the phone with the owner. He explained that they had found another company, willing to work the reunions for $25 less per job.

I paused and said, “I’m curious.. we’ve worked over 50 events with you, in a period of more than three years and never received a complaint. Did I miss something?

He said, “No, I just have an opportunity to save $25 per event. If you’d be willing to meet that price, I’d be happy to continue working with you.”

I thought for a moment and said, “Usually, after working 50 jobs, flawlessly, that’s a good time to offer us a raise, not jam us with a fee cut.”

At that precise moment, a couple of things occurred to me…

  • At best, I thought it was rude to solicit/accept a deal with another company without so much as a phone call, offering the price-match opportunity.
  • The reunion company didn’t need the quality of service and disc jockey that my company provided. Through their efficiency, there were probably any number of companies that could get the job done.

With as much courtesy as I could muster, I said,

“I appreciate the price-match offer, but if you are willing to take a risk on a different company, I’m sure you feel they can do the work, well enough. We have been at a significant price reduction for a while, and I’m not comfortable accepting another $25 reduction. I wish you the best of luck with your new DJ service. I understand that this is just a business/financial decision. But, if something changes, please don’t hesitate to call.”

By the stunned silence on the phone, I would guess he was surprised that I didn’t agree to the ‘new deal’. 

Though I was irked that I had to call to discuss the matter, it wasn’t hard to figure out that my company was more than they needed. I believed I could make up the revenue, and then some, and have my company’s self-respect intact.

I always looked for clients that felt like a ‘good fit’ for the level of service and quality we provided. It can be harder to make that call, when it involves 15-20 bookings a year. I didn’t always get it right, but that time I did. I was able to fill the sudden void with superior jobs, both in revenue and DJ enjoyment.

  • Do you suffer from entrepreneur’s disease? 
  • Do you compromise when indicators suggest ‘taking a pass’?
Your comments are encouraged!!
Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert
Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog