» WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego

Yesterday afternoon, San Diego wedding professionals gathered at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla for WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego!

At the Mix & Mingle, Pros from the San Diego area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the afternoon (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego board in the Pro Forums!

We would like to say a special thank you to the incredible event partners who helped make the event possible:

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack: Congrats to Sean Oliver of High Power Prodcution!

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle San Diego
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» 1,000 Reasons to Love May Review Contest

1,000 Reasons to Love May ContestIn addition to fresh flowers and warmer temperatures, WeddingWire is giving your clients 1,000 more reasons to love spring.

During the month of May, each wedding review written on WeddingWire is another chance for your clients to win $1,000! Invite your clients to review you all month long and they could win money just in time for the summer months.

We know that the spring and summer months can be extremely busy for many wedding and event professionals, and it can be hard to get couples to follow up after the big day. The prospect of winning some extra cash is a great incentive to motivate your clients to write a review of your business!

Remember that customers look at the quality, quantity, recency and consistency of your reviews, meaning that you should be collecting at least one review each month. And with 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, reviews go a long way towards building your online reputation.

To make it easy to share this contest with your clients, we’ve added pre-populated messaging in the Review Collector to help you spread the word when you request reviews. Additionally, you can share with your clients on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, as well as within your emails and more. Each review written during the May review contest is another chance to win, so start collecting now!

If you have any additional questions regarding our December reviews contest, please see our Official Rules.

» Infographic: 8th Birthday Milestones

As we celebrate this important day for WeddingWire, we want to extend a huge thank you to all the amazing wedding and event professionals, large and small, who have been part of the journey to reach this moment in our company’s history.

To continue celebrating WeddingWire’s 8th birthday, we’ve created with an infographic that showcases our transformation over the past eight years!

Infographic: 8th Birthday Milestones

» Celebrating WeddingWire’s 8th Birthday

In 2007, newlywed Timothy Chi had first-hand experience in how painful wedding planning could be. As a technologist, he knew there had to be a better way. His mission: to create a more transparent, online marketplace to help engaged couples and merchants connect online.

In the past eight years, WeddingWire has grown that idea to become the largest and most trusted online marketplace in the wedding industry. We’ve come a long way from where we began, but our focus on helping wedding professionals reach more couples remains unchanged.

Despite some major updates, wedding professionals have always been at the forefront of WeddingWire.com. Just take a look at our homepage in 2007 compared to 2015:

Celebrating WeddingWire’s 8th Birthday

Not only has WeddingWire grown, we’ve been a proud partner in helping our community of wedding and event professionals grow, too. We simplify their daily business needs by unifying lead generation, marketing, and business management tasks, all while helping them to generate leads by providing online exposure. Below are some wedding business growth stories we’re happy to receive (and share)! Continue reading

» 5 Ways to Market Your Business in the Busy Season

5 Ways to Market Your Business in the Busy SeasonAs we move into the warmer-weather months, wedding professionals across the country face an extremely busy time of year: wedding season!  Though we know the majority of weddings happen in the spring and summer, it’s critical to remember those couples who are still in the process of planning autumn and winter weddings. Here are a few ways your business can continue your marketing strategy to keep new clients coming in despite all the rushing around you’ll be doing in the busy season.

Keep gathering reviews

With all your weddings and events happening in the spring and summer, it’s important to gather as many client reviews as possible. Each review is another chance for your clients to spread the word about your business, and each review is valuable for potential clients who are researching your business and other professionals in their area. Plus, recency is still a big factor when couples are evaluating your wedding business, so it’s essential to continue collecting them even if your calendar for the next few months is full!

Tailor your content

Blogging is a great marketing tool no matter what time of the year! Continue creating great content about your business with an off-season twist – think about where your potential clients are in the planning process and try to appeal to them with the right content for that stage. Are there things couples should know about your business when they first start planning? Is there a particular time period couples should focus on your business category versus others in the planning process? Gain more readers by targeting them with the right message at the right time.

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» WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City

Yesterday afternoon, Salt Lake City wedding professionals gathered at Pierpont Place for WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City!

At the Mix & Mingle, Pros from the Salt Lake City area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief presentation. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the afternoon (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City board in the Pro Forums!

We would like to say a special thank you to the incredible event partners who helped make the event possible:

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack: Congrats to Cherie Johnson of Mon Cherie Catering & Events!

WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Salt Lake City
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» WeddingWire Workshop Denver

Yesterday, local Denver Wedding Pros gathered at The Denver Athletic Club for WeddingWire Workshop Denver, an event focused on managing your business!

At the WeddingWire Workshop, Pros gathered for an in-depth presentation on the tools available within the Clients Tab of premium members’ WeddingWire account. In addition to receiving this tutorial, attendees also enjoyed a Peer Insights Panel, met their local WeddingWire representatives, and networked with other local Pros during a closing reception.

WeddingWire Workshops are the newest addition to our variety of educational events and networking opportunities created for Wedding Pros, which include our annual user’s conference WeddingWire World, networking events such as WeddingWire Mix & Mingles, WeddingWire Networking Nights and more. We look forward to hosting more local WeddingWire Workshops in the near future!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us and participated in the Workshop, including our panelists from Frontrange Floral, Mountains and Meadows, Lyssabeth’s Colorado Wedding Officiants, and Ignight Entertainment. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Workshop Denver board in the Pro Forums!

We’re excited to share some highlights from the event and additional resources including access to our Clients tab Quick Start Guides, the WeddingWire Education Guide for more business tips, and great photos from the evening (as seen below).

We would like to say a special thank you to the amazing event partners who helped make the afternoon possible:

Finally, congrats to Heather of Wedding Treasures Bridal & Tuxedo, the winner of the WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Workshop Denver
WeddingWire Workshop Denver
WeddingWire Workshop Denver
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» Support Marriage Equality with #WedWeCan!

Support Marriage Equality with #WedWeCan!

Today, April 28th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court will hear cases on the matter of marriage equality from four states: Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. The cases have been consolidated under the name of the Ohio case, Obergefell v Hodges, and will test two questions: whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage and whether states have to recognize the same-sex marriages of other states.

Currently, same-sex marriages are legal in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, and the status of marriage equality is on stay pending appeal in seven additional states where the constitutional bans were overturned.

We’ll be watching and waiting for a decision from the Court into May or June, but in the meantime we would like to invite our community of wedding and event professionals to show your support for marriage equality and join our Wed We Can movement!

Wed We Can was developed from the partnership between WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com, the leading niche-based wedding planning resource and boutique, dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. The campaign represents our shared investment in and commitment to the unions of all loving couples, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Today, we’re unveiling a new logo for same-sex marriage supporters to share across their favorite social networks. We invite you to share images of what love means to you with the hashtag #WedWeCan, and help us make history as one movement that stands for marriage equality and a commitment to be inclusive of all couples!

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» What’s Next in Social Media: April 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from April 2015:

What’s Next in Social Media: April 2015Facebook updates News Feed algorithm (again)

Facebook has once again updated the way its News Feed algorithm distributes page posts from users and brands. In an effort to improve the balance of posts between other Facebook users and brand pages, posts or articles from brands are being reduced in favor of non-business content. It’s unclear how much these updates will affect businesses, as there are a number of factors that determine placement in the News Feed – but be sure to watch your Insights over the next few weeks.

Learn more from Facebook >>

Twitter acquires Periscope

Earlier in the year Twitter announced its acquisition of Periscope, a live streaming app that allows users to broadcast their streaming video via Twitter. Previously, an app called Meerkat made live streaming video popular, but Twitter’s Periscope makes sharing your live streams easier and faster. Because it’s integrated with Twitter, sharing a live stream can be accomplished with the same experience as sharing a tweet with your followers.

Continue reading on TechCrunch >>

Pinterest releases Marketing Developer Partner

Pinterest has debuted a new program called Marketing Developer Partner, which allows Pinterest partners and publishers to create, schedule and publish Pins and boards for their clients. Currently, social media management platforms like our Social Media Manager or Hootsuite do not allow for scheduling or publishing within their platforms, but a new API would change that. Pinterest also announced plans for an Ads API to give outside ad platforms the ability to push ads to Pinterest.

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» 4 Easy Ways to Fix Your Website

This article was written by WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg, CSP. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is an author, business consultant, a member of the National Speakers Association, and the wedding & event industry’s only Certified Speaking Professional®. Learn more at alanberg.com.

As we head into the busy wedding season, your wedding business’ website may not be your top priority. However, every day that someone visits your current site and doesn’t take the action you want, it costs you money! Whether you’re making a new website or looking to improve the one you have, now is always the best time to make improvements.

4 Easy Ways to Fix Your WebsiteHere are four easy ways to fix your website now (the low hanging fruit):

  1. Put text calls to action in multiple places on every page. This is the simplest fix for most of the websites I review. Graphical elements may take some time, however almost all of you can make text changes yourselves or have them made easily by your webmaster. Go to every page on your site and look for the places where you tell them something about what you’re going to do for them. Follow every instance with text that tells them how to get that result. Then include a link to your email and/or your contact page and phone number. Be sure to explain why they should be contacting you to make each call to action compelling.
  1. Link the photos on your homepage to relevant pages on your site. Visitors to your website are attracted to colorful and moving objects, so use those objects to lead them to the content they want to see. Don’t just add links to the photos; make it clear where they’re linking to by putting text on the image if you can, or by editing the image to put the text right on it if you have access to photo-editing software.

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» Pro Forum Buzz: Fall 2015 Bookings, Contract Advice and More

The WeddingWire Pro Forums are a great place to meet and connect with other Wedding Pros across the country to grow your network. Every day, wedding professionals are talking about a variety of topics, from client concerns to professional advice and best practices.

Here’s what Pros are talking about this month in the WeddingWire Pro Forums!

Pro Forum Buzz: Fall 2015 Bookings, Contract Advice and MoreContract advice

Do you allow anyone other than the engaged couple to sign a contract? If the bride or groom isn’t the person paying for your services, is the paying party authorized to sign the contract? Wedding Pros from various categories share their experiences.

Weigh in >>

Fall 2015 bookings

Pros discuss their bookings so far for the 2015 fall season and whether or not they have the capacity for more. Also discussed: booking patterns, booking variances by month and what constitutes a “busy” month for different types of Pros.

Join the discussion >>

Sharing price quotes

An Invitations Pro believes that her prospects and some wedding planners are using her price quotes to haggle with competitors in the area. Have you ever experienced this sort of situation? How would you prevent price-shopping clients from ruling you out right from the beginning?

Share your experiences >>

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» Building a Team that Represents Your Brand

This post is by Jennifer Reitmeyer. Jennifer has worked in the wedding industry since 1997. In addition to owning MyDeejay, an award-winning wedding entertainment firm serving the Washington, D.C. market, she also maintains a wedding business blog, WeddingIQ, and is available for small business coaching, speaking, and writing opportunities.  Read more at http://weddingiq.com.

Any business owner knows that hiring the right people is incredibly important to their success. Less clear, however, is exactly how to do it. How can we find good people, train them effectively, and motivate them to represent the brand we’ve worked so hard to create? Here are five steps to building the best team for your business:

Building a Team that Represents Your BrandKnow your brand, inside and out. You certainly can’t expect anyone else to understand your brand if you don’t understand it yourself. And if you don’t understand it, you definitely can’t articulate it to your team! Your brand encompasses what your company does (its service or product), who it serves (your target clientele including demographics, style, budget, buying habits, priorities, and values), how your marketing looks, why you’re different from your competition, and how people perceive your company when they hear its name. Make sure you’re crystal clear on all of these things, so that you can define your brand to the team you’re hiring.

Look for people who are not only good, but good for you. In most wedding-related fields, character traits are as important, if not more important, than education and job skills. You can usually train people on how to do something, but you can’t train them to have the personality, values and qualities that will make them the right fit for your business. I recommend that every business owner identify 3-5 key traits as a starting point for narrowing down new hires – for example, in my DJ business, I chose nice, polished and resourceful. I need genuinely good people, whose appearance and demeanor reflect well on the professionalism of my company’s brand, and who are capable of thinking on their feet and solving problems creatively. My team and I can teach them how to DJ and how to work a wedding, but if they don’t have those three essential qualities, it’s never going to work.

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