ABC-WI Spring Retreat 2010 Part 1

Today, I went the annual spring retreat for the Wisconsin Branch of Bridal Consultants. There was a lot of really good information that I’ll be featuring over the next few posts, but first let me say that I LOVE Mary Charmoli, our state coordinator. Her educational retreats are always well run and informative. She fosters a really collegial atmosphere between wedding planners. You see, my competition is not other wedding planners; my biggest barrier to being hired by new clients is people having no idea what I do or why it’s worthwhile to hire a wedding/event planner. Therefore, the more experience people have with good event planners (like those who are actively pursuing educational opportunities and professional development), the more likely people are to hire event planners! So, here’s to a collegial relationship among event planners- may we all bring such peace to our clients that hiring us will become standard practice!
Our first presentation this morning was by Nikki Peterson of Crosstown Creative Solutions. Wow, this girl knows her stuff! She talked to us about our websites-actually critiquing some of our websites!  We discussed design basics and creating an effective website by limiting the number of colors and fonts, eliminating busy backgrounds and never publishing a site simply to say “Site Under Construction”.  She gave me a few suggestions to implement that I’m pretty excited about. Then she talked about Search Engine Optimization using SEO tools like key words from google.com/sktool.  Finally she offered a nice overview on using social media like Facebook.  Overall, a really nice presentation…did you know that the best time to send out your e-news letters is mid morning on a Monday?
Mary Charmoli of Saratoga Weddings, gave the next presentation on sales and closing the deal. It’s surprising how much simply comes back to good etiquette- like being punctual, considerate and listening to what your potential client is saying. Focus on what the client needs, and pay attention to non-verbal cues!
Other sections were tabletop designs from around Wisconsin, wedding planner favorites, and a really educational presentation on event lighting!  Check future posts for more on these topics!

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