Top Economical Ways To Maximize New & Repeat Business During the Predicted Wedding Downspend Late 2019 | New Series: Part 1

88192DF8-B7C8-4498-BAC7-A52498D010C1In case you missed it, it’s all over the news:  economists are stating that a serious recession is about to hit us towards the latter part of this year, predicting people will be losing jobs, homes and more.  Even wedding economists have been forewarning wedding businesses of this potential shift.

Whether or not it actually comes to pass, statistics have proven that with these kind of predictions, people tend to panic and pull back significantly on their spending, even if out of fear alone.   Wedding businesses are likely to experience some collateral damage of this economic prediction whether it comes true or not.  So practicing value-aware marketing and advertising never goes out of vogue, and is a sage way to invest your hard-earned income for your creative business marketing plan.   After all, late 2019 is when we traditionally start marketing hard to get those 2020 event bookings.  Continue reading “Top Economical Ways To Maximize New & Repeat Business During the Predicted Wedding Downspend Late 2019 | New Series: Part 1”

Infusing “Take 5’s” Into Your Service Model: Lessons from Walt Disney World’s Former Executive Vice President of Operations

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Soaring with magic at 35,000 feet somewhere over Arizona …

My grandfather was friends with Ward Kimball, one of Walt Disney’s most well-known lead animators.  I was raised on Disney, The Firehouse Five Plus Two,  and hundreds of trips to Disneyland growing up.  Both my grandfather and parents raised me on the soul of Disneyland and the core, which went way beyond the fun rides and character encounters.  When I had a daughter of my own, I started her in the Disney tradition at 16 months old.  While we live over two hours north of Anaheim, we were die-hard Annual Pass Holders and made about 8 trips down every year of my daughter’s life.  If I wasn’t so busy running my business in Santa Barbara at the time, I would definitely have visited even more often!   Needless to say, my now 13 year old daughter has been indoctrinated in the Disney experience, which is that “magic” that goes way beyond what one sees with their eyes at first glance in the park.   It is a feel.  But what is that “magic” and how does Disney do it?  Continue reading “Infusing “Take 5’s” Into Your Service Model: Lessons from Walt Disney World’s Former Executive Vice President of Operations”

When Mistakes Are Made in Creative Business: To Refund or Not to Refund… Or To Rebuild a Relationship

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Photo: Tim Halberg

The mark of a great leader (or company) is not in that they never make mistakes or fall short in customer’s eyes from time to time, but in how they handle the dissatisfaction of their customers in reconciling the relationship and not necessarily just the issue.  It also involves incredible integrity and ethics to admit to having made the mistake (true industry leaders do not try and cover up mistakes) and then most importantly:  seeking to make everything right.  Continue reading “When Mistakes Are Made in Creative Business: To Refund or Not to Refund… Or To Rebuild a Relationship”

What Toxic Repeat Clients Are Costing You

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The other day I was talking to an event service provider and they were telling me about a wedding coordinator who always sucks the life out of them. They ask for donations of the service provider’s products for their non-profit events, don’t get back to them in a timely manner and is hugely unresponsive.   Their energy is always a downer and they criticize everything.   Two weeks ago, another event partner was telling me that they have a client who repeatedly “beats them down” for pricing and they are afraid to let them go because they are repeat business.

Let’s just stop right there. Continue reading “What Toxic Repeat Clients Are Costing You”

Networking Success as a Working Parent: 4 Top Tips

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My Daughter Grace & Me

There is no doubt that networking for career success will never go away.  However, how we network is changing dramatically (that’s a whole other BLOG).  And if you’re a working parent, it can be especially challenging.

When I had my daughter, I had my own event planning business for several years;  but as a single mother, I had to navigate running my business and continuing networking in some very creative ways .   Now that I’ve remarried  with a blended family,  running my business, still raising my now almost thirteen-year old, there are more challenges than ever to maintaining those essential relationships and networking opportunities (which, by the way, experts say you can be  42%–74% more successful in sales/business than those who don’t do any networking) .  The trick is to get incredibly creative. Here are my top tips for how I network as a working parent: Continue reading “Networking Success as a Working Parent: 4 Top Tips”

What Creatives Can Learn from Royal Wedding: When the Trend Becomes More of the “How” Than the “What”

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Photo From Royal Family Instagram @TheRoyalFamily

Like many of the people all over the world, I tuned in to watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry exchange vows on Saturday, May 19th.   My alarm was set for 4am PST, and I sat there in my jammies with my hot cuppa wrapped in a blanket.  My reasons for watching varied: from heavy British influence and family all my life, extensive travel to England, being a die-hard romantic, my support of Princess Diana in honor of her youngest getting married,  to being a 20-year wedding planning veteran and always intrigued by special events.

Creatives (that is, people in my industry – the wedding industry) love design detail.  And while I love creative design, I have a particular passion for paying attention to some things that are often overlooked for those obsessed exclusively with aesthetics.  Meghan and Harry’s wedding was known as “The People’s Wedding“.  What can we learn from that as Creatives in business?  As I watched their entire wedding, it became very clear that the actual items that were done for the wedding would not become the next “trend” as much as how they did their wedding.  So, while others may be trying to duplicate the cake and floral design (and there is nothing wrong with that – if clients are asking for it), I suggest that there are some key points for the soul and the “how” they did their wedding , that if paid attention to, will help far more with a Creative’s marketing plan and continuing to be relevant to the bridal couples of today: Continue reading “What Creatives Can Learn from Royal Wedding: When the Trend Becomes More of the “How” Than the “What””

The 3 Things Missing in Inquiry Responses That Break Your Business

image1-2You never have a second chance to make a first impression.  And with today’s clientele, two things are requisite in responses:   1) Personalization  2) Speed  and  I will add a third one to that:  the quality of grace or graciousness.

Auto-responses that are generic and  intended to give clients some kind of a response are almost as good as not giving a response.  They served a purpose in the ’90’s and early 2000’s.  It used to be we were viewed as more efficient using those auto-responses.  But today’s super-savvy clientele seek the personal touch and a personal relationship with you.  Like it or not, it’s the way things are now.  They will book with those they like as their primary deciding factor.  Do whatever you have to do to make it happen, but every response to a client should be personal. Continue reading “The 3 Things Missing in Inquiry Responses That Break Your Business”