Start networking, yesterday!!

start networkingMy friends who work at wedding venues are losing jobs at an alarming rate. Their job tenure appears to have no relation to their departure.

In some cases the person with the most experience (and highest paycheck) is let go in a ‘cost-cutting move.’ In other situations, a job is eliminated, due lack of event activity, and one or more people absorb the work until ‘business picks up.’ In yet other cases, business close down altogether.

Here’s the thing: If you slave away as an event or catering manager for a wedding venue, it’s easy to never leave the premises. Bad idea.

It’s always important to attend industry networking events at other properties. There are two good reasons. First, see what cool things other venues are doing. Second, meet other industry people and develop personal relationships.

Today’s competitor may be your next employer, should you get laid off. Also, vendors do business in many places. They could be the source of your next job opening.

Vendors like to brag about their relationships with ‘big name businesses.’ They name drop an event at the Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton (went out of business at Lake Las Vegas – sold to Ravella Hotel). 

The fact is, too often, vendors don’t have a relationship with ‘the venue,’ they have a relationship with ‘one person at the venue.’

So the question becomes: If that venue contact is transferred or laid off, how solid is the relationship, in real terms?

Relationship building means more than attending industry organization meetings. It means becoming familiar with everyone in a department. It means having friendly relationships with competitors.

There is nothing more sad than seeing a member of organization who has been MIA for a year, suddenly show up after he or she has been laid off. It’s a little late, at that point.

Networking should not be situational or calendar-based. It should be part of everyone’s personal and business marketing plan.

The value of real interpersonal business relationships is priceless.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Day-Of Wedding Planner: Debunking The Myth Of the

same day wedding plannerWIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association) has an official view on the “day-of wedding planner’, posted for media on its website.

As long as we’re having a spirited discussion on levels of professionalism, I thought it would be good to toss WIPA‘s view into the mix.

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DEBUNKING THE MYTH OF THE “DAY OF” WEDDING PLANNER

Every couple deserves a wedding planner and many recognize the exceptional value of having one. However, because of current terminology some couples expect they can hire a planner, just for the day of the wedding. The facts are: the “Day of Planner” does not exist. The term was adopted by the public and has made its way into the everyday vernacular.

In light of this, the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA) recommends the terminology “Wedding Director” to replace “day-of planner”.

No couple wants someone to walk in and pretend to run the show with no prior knowledge of their wedding or preparation! The only way a planner can successfully execute a client’s wedding is to fully understand their vision and what they have contracted with their team of vendors.

The pre-wedding meetings, vendor confirmations, review of vendor contracts, timelines, planning, referrals, production schedules, venue logistics and walk through typically require a minimum of 25 + hours for any experienced planner. The day of the wedding will be an extra 10-15 hours. The planner will be on site early, directing set up and implementing the client’s vision. This allows the couple to be relaxed and to enjoy their day.

Every couple wants the day to run flawlessly. A professional Wedding Director is a planner with the experience and knowledge to make the day run smoothly and effortlessly by coordinating the vendors and the venue; orchestrating an effective timeline and overseeing the often complicated logistics.

By hiring a Wedding Director the client will receive the service and expertise they deserve to make the wedding day run perfectly.

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Opinion: I believe that the WIPA position is more than nuancing. It’s attempting to communicate more accurately what a specific job entails.

Given just a few moments to think about it, I think the terms ‘day of wedding planner’ or ‘same day wedding planner’ are both oxymoronic.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Andy Ebon to give two seminars at The Special Event

special-event-2009-logoSpecial Event Magazine is bring its conference and trade show to the San Diego Convention Center this coming week. Special Event professionals from the North America and beyond will converge on the conference for specialized education, networking, and an always-exciting trade show.

I’ll be giving seminars on Exploring New Social Media (Tuesday – 10:30am – 11:30am) and Effective Print Advertising (Thursday – 10:30am – 12:30pm). The education is broken into specific tracks, to frame specific areas of interest.

Some of the buzz centers around WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association). There is a wedding lunch event on Wednesday. After that event, WIPA will be holding a ‘state of the wedding industry’ panel. In addition, WIPA will have a booth in the trade show.

My presence at The Special Event is sponsored by NACE (National Association of Catering Executives). A number of NACE members will be giving presentations. NACE is also in charge of the Wednesday evening event. Those interested in finding out more about NACE should visit their booth in the trade show.

Visit The Special Event Show website for complete information on activities and education listings.

If you are attending, please seek me out. I will be blogging, relentlessly, from the convention.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Your 10-minute wedding marketing tip

If I know you, click the logo to get Linked-In?
If I know you, click the logo to get Linked-In?

How much wedding marketing and other quick tasks can you do in 10 minutes? Quite a bit, it turns out.

  • Take a break from driving fatigue.
  • Enter the names of 11 people you met at WIPA, last evening, inviting them to get LinkedIn.
  • Write two ‘thank you emails.’
  • Have a cup of decaf at Starbucks in Primm.
  • Write one blog post.

You can either kill 10 minutes or use them. It’s your choice.

Gotta go… it’s Las Vegas NACE, tonight.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog