I just returned from the 2009 Wedding Professionals Conference in fabulous Turks and Caicos. All the speakers were inspiring. If you know anything about the wedding and events industry you might automatically know some of the names such as Sasha Souza, Caira and Simon Daykin, Jo-Anne Brown, and of course Andy Ebon. The speakers list did not end there; but you get the idea regarding the the level of quality.
As will happen at any conference taking place in the early half of the 21st century there was a lot of talk about social networking marketing. For years before I started my own business I worked in the field of communications and public relations so the idea of this kind of marketing is nothing new to me. I've always saw it as a bit of a hit or miss type of marketing. It's VERY easy to get wrong. The companies that I know who have been doing it right invest a lot of money outside of the social networking realm to get people to follow them online. After they have some people it starts to snow ball; but to simply set up an account online at various social networking sites and wait for the people to come is not usually the best marketing method. Like anything there are stars that stand out and have good luck; but it's kind of like going to Hollywood to become an actor; of the thousands of people doing it every year; maybe 10% will eventually be able to make a living off it. If that much.
That said; the one thing that kept coming up at the conference is that for people in the wedding industry social media seemed to be working; and it was working without the big corporate budget. One thing I do know for sure and I didn't have to spend loads of money on market research to find this out is that the 2009 bride has turned away from the magazine rack and is looking online so; could it be true? Is the Wedding Industry either an exception to the rule or have I been out of the PR game so long that I'm simply not hip to the marketing trends that work the best anymore?
I'm willing to give this form of marketing a shot. Even if nobody reads anything I put out there it can't hurt to have it out there. I warn all my readers in advance of a few things about myself that could make writing a blog a treacherous path for me. First, as a kid I was never good at keeping up a diary. I have loads of diaries sitting in my parents basement with one or two entries followed by a lot of empty pages. So no promises this first post won't also be the last. You can all take bets on how well I keep this up. Secondly, although verbally I can be a woman of appropriate amount of words; when I start writing my thoughts it can get very long and go in many directions. For instance when I sat down I had every intention of writing a post that metaphorically compared planning a wedding to the sport of rowing. For the sake of time I will write that blog later. So you get the point; I'm a writing babbler. Lastly, I'm a really private person. I'm justifying this blog as part of my business so if you want to hear me rant about what hair-brained stunt my boyfriend has pulled this time it won't be happening. So I hope I can keep this blog interesting enough for you without bringing illogical male antics into it. I'm also not going to be participating in celebrity gossip or any gossip in general. So if you're looking to hire a planner and that's your thing, well you're probably not the client for me. Yes it's true; I would rather refer a client to another planner then work with one who isn't a good fit for me. I hope that doesn't shock anyone. My goal is to make the wedding planning process as fun and painless as possible for all of us. If I do ever refer someone on to another planner please don't take offense. It's never anything personally. It simply means that planner will be a better fit personality wise then I am.
Well I think I have written more then enough. I haven't spoken much about the conference in Turks and Caicos. I'm sure I will do that at some point as it was utterly fabulous; but one thing I would like to leave you with. While there we did a really fun thing; many of us took part in what must have been the biggest trash the dress photo-shoot ever. I invite you to check out the pictures on facebook. It was so much fun. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Toronto-ON/Mindless-Sophistication-Certified-Wedding-Planning-Gift-Bags/170327556850?ref=mf