Earlier this month all three of us attended the Association of Bridal Consultant‘s Business of Brides Annual Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. This was the first time that the company had attended the conference (we wanted to make sure that we could all go to experience it together).
We weren’t sure what to expect going in to it, but now that we have experienced it we’ve decided that we will attempt to do it every year from this point forward! We had such a good time. Not only was it quality time for just the three of us to connect and discuss our business but we had a wonderful time meeting new friends from all over the world.
We started with some pre-conference activities, mainly going through training to become Certified Sandals Specialists (CSS)…that’s right we can now help anyone book trips to Sandals, Beaches or Grand Pineapple resorts! This is going to be a great add-on service that we can provide to our clients, past and present, that are interested in booking a trip.
That evening we attended the White Party and were asked to wear our best casual chic resort attire. This was a great opportunity to meet everyone at the conference in a casual and relaxed setting before all of the sessions began the next day. We had an amazing time!
The first break out session we attended was entitled “Playing Nice: Cultivating Alliances not Animosity.” This was a perfect session to begin with since it is exactly what we are trying to do back here in Ohio. We’ve always tried to play nice and share information with our vendors as well as other wedding consultants. It was great to hear other consultants sharing the same philosophy we have. Lots of great information and very candid conversations throughout the session.
After our first session, we had a wonderful luncheon with a “Sea Breeze” theme. This was a great color scheme to use since we were so close to the water. The centerpieces featured manzanita branches dripping with crystals which really dressed them up. After lunch, we had time to go in to the trade show and visit some of the exhibitors that were in attendance. We met some new businesses that offer items our clients would be interested in seeing. We also saw some of the great people with Wedding Wire (one of our favs)! We really racked up a large amount of swag during the trade show…one just can’t have too many can coozies, can they???
After our visit to the trade show, we attended fellow Ohioian Brigid Horne-Nestor’s presentation on pricing strategies for wedding consultants. In the industry that we are in, it can be very difficult to price each and everything that we do during an event and also accurately explain it to prospective clients. There are so many things that we just do by instinct that we don’t always highlight as a part of our services. She shared some really great ideas!
Our day ended with a very inspirational talk by Matthew Robbins. Matthew has been in the floral and events industry for 15 years and runs the New York–based events design and planning firm, Matthew Robbins Design. He has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, InStyle Weddings, Modern Bride, and many more. He and his work have made appearances on Martha Stewart Living, The View, The Today Show, and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway. He published his first book last year, Matthew Robbins Inspired Weddings, and it is chocked full of beautiful pictures. He talked about ways we can find inspiration in normal, everyday things and how we can translate those into the events we plan.
The second day of the conference was just as exciting as the first. It began with a Pink Passion breakfast (which we loved since we are kind of partial to pink)!
We split up and attended a few different sessions, some covering more business aspects, like contracts, while others discussed using color and helping brides develop color schemes for their events. The highlight of the day had to be the final presentation by Simon T. Bailey. He was hands down one of the best speakers we’ve ever seen. He has so much energy and personality and really wants to connect to his audience. He encouraged everyone in attendance to “own your moment.” It was a highly motivating experience that really energized us to come back and work on some new things related to our business. We have a lot of new things on the horizon and can’t wait to share them with everyone very soon.
We met a ton of great people and made a ton of new connections with other vendors and wedding consultants from all over the world. We absolutely loved our experience and are so thankful we were able to participate this year. We’ve already signed up to attend next year’s conference…in JAMAICA!!! Sandals Whitehouse will be the location of next year’s ABC conference. The countdown has begun! We are so thoroughly excited for what 2014 will bring!
To view more of our pictures from the conference and other events, follow us on Instagram or search #pweevents.