This year I flew out to Vegas for Wedding MBA 2023 and it was a blast! I caught up with my American educator friends, investigated new technology for all of you and met many new friends along the way. With 5800 delegates and SO much great education to choose from, Wedding MBA is one of the biggest wedding industry conferences in the world.
During this years event I caught up with the speakers, exhibitors and attendees to find out what they had been learning so I could share it with all of you!
Next years Wedding MBA is taking place from November 12th -14th 2024 – so who’s coming with me to Vegas?
A huge thank you to all my contributors for this episode:
The importance of attending networking events (00:02:52) Becca highlights the importance of attending networking events and conferences to make connections and gain inspiration.
Exploring software options in the wedding industry (00:04:37) Becca discusses the expo at the conference and the importance of staying up-to-date with software trends and finding tools to make business operations easier.
The impact of visibility and unexpected recognition (00:07:19) Becca shares a personal experience of being recognized at the conference, emphasizing the importance of visibility and reminding listeners that people are seeing and being inspired by their work.
The importance of online presence (00:08:15) Clients judge your business based on your online presence, even if they don’t engage with your posts.
Continuing education and personal development (00:09:09) Investing in education and learning from conferences and podcasts is crucial for business growth.
Implementing what you learn (00:10:04) Taking action and implementing the knowledge gained from conferences and trainings is essential for creating real change in your business.
Hear from the Wedding MBA attendees (00:13:00) Becca finds out what this years attendees and speakers learnt at Wedding MBA.
Becca: People say that everything in Las Vegas is bigger, brighter and beyond expectation. And having spent a week there, I can tell you that that’s absolutely true. And even the wedding industry is bigger, brighter and beyond expectation when it comes to Las Vegas and being a wedding MBA. I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business marketing expert, speaker, and blogger, and you’re listening to the Wedding Pros Who Are Ready to Grow podcast.
I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get going with today’s episode. I spent the last week out in Las Vegas attending Wedding MBA. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s essentially the biggest wedding industry conference in the world. Last week, 5, 800 wedding professionals descended into Las Vegas for this year’s conference. There were 5, 800 people in a room and I absolutely loved it.
Think photographers, DJs, celebrants, florists, cake makers, venue owners, and some of the most incredible speakers that you’re ever going to hear in the industry. It was magnificent. It’s been on my bucket list to get over to wedding MBA for quite a number of years now, and it did not disappoint. I loved it.
You know that I love being in a room with other wedding pros. You know that that is where I thrive and it definitely did not disappoint. So in today’s episode, I wanted to share with you some of my experience out at wedding MBA, some of the things I learned, and while I was out there, I recorded some people giving their thoughts too.
So I’m going to share those with you later on in this episode. So first up, why did I decide to go to Wedding MBA? Well, first of all, I wanted to go and experience the event. We have nothing of that size or scale here in the UK, and I’d heard that it was big and I’d heard that it was amazing. And so I wanted to go and get inspired, see what’s going on in the education world, in the wedding world.
out in the United States and see how much further ahead they are than here in the UK. I wanted to relish the opportunity to be in the room with so many other wedding pros. I knew I could make some great connections and chat with people. And the other kind of a little bit selfish reason really was that I knew so many of my educator friends, people who’ve been on this very podcast that you’ve heard, were all going to be in Las Vegas.
on the same week. Now they are based all over the States and therefore it’s hard for me to ever meet them in real life. So the fact that all of my online friends were going to be in one city for one week of the year, it was an absolute no brainer for me to go out there and give them all a massive hug.
I hugged everyone. I loved it. It was so good to meet these people in real life, hang out and realize on the podcast.
I’m a big believer of being in the room. So the first takeaway that I want to share with you from Wedding MBA was the importance of getting out of your own house and being in the room with other wedding professionals. I know there are some incredible online summits. I love online summits. I love being part of them, but nothing.
And I mean, nothing beats being in a room and being able to hug people, being able to chat to people, being able to talk over a cup of coffee or over a croissant, it’s so much better than just being stuck behind your computer online. So my first takeaway is that if it’s been a while since you’ve been out to a networking event or been out to a conference, I really recommend that you get out your comfort zone and go.
Now lots of people said to me, you really traveling the other side of the world to go to this wedding industry conference. Do you really need to go all the way to Las Vegas? to do this. And my answer having been is absolutely yes. I would have traveled double the length of time to get there because to be in the room with that many inspiring people to talk about business was so, so worth it.
The networking and the people you meet at an industry conference is another level. So my first thing is if you have not been to something for a little while. And you’re realizing you’re spending more of your time inside than outside networking. Then I want you to find an event to go to next year.
Perhaps that’s a networking event. Perhaps it’s a wedding expo, or perhaps you should come out to Vegas with me next year as well. One of my favorite parts of Wedding MBA was the expo. I actually spent a lot of time in the expo more so than in some of the educational talks. Because one of my aims for going out to Vegas was to find out what software is going on out in America that maybe some of my UK wedding pros, you guys could use in your businesses that would make your business easier.
Now there were over 250 exhibits in the expo. So there was plenty of people to talk to a wide mixture of different people, but there were so many different software companies. So I spent my time going around talking to the different software companies, trying to find out what they Did, what they were helping people with and how I thought it could help you back in the uk.
Now, some of those softwares are not yet available in the UK sadly, but they are looking to it, and I think after my conversations with them, hopefully it’ll go up there to do list as well. But I think it’s really important for all of us to keep on top of trends, to keep on top of. software to find out what’s coming and how we can do better in our businesses, because it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and to do things the same way all of the time.
uses the same piece of software. Actually, there are things out there being designed all of the time that are going to make your lives easier, your jobs easier. So it’s really important to get on top of those. And I’ll be sharing some of those different pieces of software. Some of the people I met. over the coming weeks on the podcast and on Instagram and in my Facebook group, especially as and when they’re launched here in the UK.
But it’s a reminder really to, if there’s a job you’re doing a lot of the time in your business, look at whether or not there’s someone out there or something out there, a piece of software that can help you with that, make your life easier and. Automate it. And again, get out there and do your research because I was amazed at how many pieces of software there are out there that I didn’t even know existed.
There’s some other parts of Vegas that really stood out to me and were a good reminder to me in my own business and hopefully will serve as a good reminder to you in your business as well. Do you ever feel like you’re posting on Instagram, posting on Facebook, writing emails to people? For putting stuff out there, being visible online and you feel like no one sees it or it maybe feels like just the same people are seeing it over and over again.
The same few people are commenting. Your mom’s always there with the first like, and sometimes you feel like, why am I even doing this? Is there any point to this? Is this helping me in my business? Is anyone seeing all of this helpful information that I’m putting out there, or for me, is anyone listening to this podcast?
Now I know that we know that there are people because I can look at my podcast figures and I can see numbers in the hundreds or thousands. I can look at my Instagram or my Facebook post and you do the same, and it’ll say, 500 people viewed this. But we don’t really quantify that in our heads. I think it’s hard for us to imagine 500 people looking at it, and sometimes we can get a bit downhearted and feel like we’re working really hard and no one is taking any notice.
Well for me, Las Vegas was an incredible confidence boost in an unexpected way because I landed in Vegas. I had a great weekend. I went down to get my badge and I was collecting my lanyard on the first day and all of a sudden this voice just went, are you Becca Pountney? So I looked at her and I was like, yes.
Yes, I am. I’m Becca Pountney. How do you know who I am? And she said to me, I love your podcast. I’ve taken your courses. I just love everything you do. I’m so excited that you’re here in Vegas. I’m so excited to meet you. We had a big hug. We had a big catch up. And it was a real reminder to me that actually people do see what we do.
People do see that we’re visible, even in unexpected ways. And actually, as I went around the conference, I met loads of people that had listened to my podcast or had heard my teaching, or had heard me as a guest on other people’s podcasts. And it was a real reminder that actually, yes, just because people aren’t always commenting or sending us an email saying that they’re listening to us, or they’re not necessarily liking our posts even on social media, it doesn’t mean that they’re not watching, learning, growing, being.
Being inspired, understanding. And so when you’re feeling a little bit downhearted about your own visibility, remember every bit of visibility counts and people are seeing it and people are inspired. And trust me, your clients will go and they will Instagram stalk you. They will look all over your website while they try to work out whether or not they want to work with you or not.
So just because they’re not liking those posts or just because they’re not commenting on those posts doesn’t mean that they’re not looking at them and making a judgment on your business. So if you’re feeling a little bit down, a bit like before I went to Vegas, just remember this story and remember actually people are out there and people are looking.
While I was out in Vegas, I met with loads and loads of different wedding pros. I was interviewing people for this very podcast episode. I was chatting to people everywhere I went. I was talking with the speakers. And one thing that really struck me was the importance of that continuing education. There were people in that room that had only just gone into business, there were people in that room who had been in business many, many years, there were people in that room who were speaking and had been in business for many, many years.
However, there is always something new to learn. There is always something new to bring into your business. Whether you’re on the stage or whether you’re brand new to business, you may have an idea that nobody else has, and you may have a gap in your business that nobody else has, and that is why it’s so important in your business and in your wedding industry to keep on investing in education, to keep on learning and to.
be a sponge. When you go to a conference like that, you know, there’ll be sessions that are more helpful to you than others, but just because they’re not helpful to you doesn’t mean they weren’t helpful to somebody else. And it may just be one tiny little nugget from one little speaker that you implement into your business that can transform absolutely everything.
So if you feel like you’ve maybe. lacks a little bit when it comes to your own personal development, continuing education, then again, it’s a reminder to you that you never know everything. None of us ever know everything, and there’s always more to learn. So make sure when you look forward to 2024, as you start to plan out next year, that you’re ensuring that you have got that educational piece to your business, that you are keeping up with trends, that you are keeping up with social media and marketing, that you are.
Going to conferences, listening to podcasts, doing trainings, being in memberships and keeping yourself up to date because every single one of us has more that we can learn and more ways that we can improve and develop our businesses. The other part of that is that we need to make sure that we’re doing and not just learning.
I think it’s really easy to go to a conference and sit and absorb and hear what the speakers are saying and hear what people are telling you and hear what the exhibitors are saying to you and then going home and just cracking on with life. Actually, if you don’t implement anything that anyone says, nothing’s going to change.
As I always say, if nothing changes, nothing changes. So when you do invest in education, when you do learn something, it’s really important you then work out, okay, what are my steps with this? What are the action steps that I’m going to take now to make this a difference in my business, which things from these talks can I take away and think, yeah, I can run with that.
I’m going to take that piece of information and this is what I’m going to do so that when you get to the same time next year, you can reflect and think, okay, I went to that conference. I learned this and this is the impact it’s had on my business because these are the number of things I changed and these of how they’ve helped me to grow.
So again, if you are investing in personal development and education, you also need to make sure you’re taking. action. Now, as I mentioned earlier, one of the things I did while I was out at the conference this year was to go around the room and chat with my speaker friends to chat with random people that I bumped into in the crowd and ask them about what their big takeaways were from this year’s conference.
I knew that lots of my listeners weren’t able to be there in person. So I wanted to hear from other people, the little nuggets, the little things that they’d been learning, what they’d gained from being there at Wedding MBA so that they could share them with you. So in a moment, I’m going to hand over to all of them.
They’re going to introduce themselves and they’re going to talk about what it is that they learned over the last week. Now, please do bear with me with the sound quality. As you can imagine, I was recording on my phone in a conference of 5, 800 people. There was lots of background noise. There was lots going on.
So not all of the sound quality is perfect. But I think what they’re saying is more important than the sound quality. So try and not let that distract you. Buckle in and let’s hear what everyone has to say about what they learned this week at Wedding MBA.
Emma: My name is Emma Cockerham with Infinity Events based out of Memphis, Tennessee.
And the biggest thing that I learned here at the Wedding MBA is about timeline genius and how it can enhance my business.
Alan: Hi, it’s Alan Berg here at the Wedding MBA. And the one thing I want you to take away is. You need to follow up at least one more time than you’re doing right now, because if they haven’t told you, no, it doesn’t mean that they booked somebody else.
And if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Andrea: Hey, I’m Andrea Shah and I’m a copywriter for wedding pros. And this year at wedding MBA, one of the favorite things that I learned, Was from Paulina Yang who talked about how luxury is all about selling a fantasy and all of your marketing content needs to reflect that
Gracie: Hi, I’m Gracie Silva, and I am the Boho Chic Dreams floral designer owner based in Santa Barbara, California and one thing that I learned today at the wedding MBA and over the last few days is that make sure to be authentic and be to your clients and find vendors that support their goals and their visions and, , design authentically.
I think being authentic is probably the most important thing.
Kathy: I’m Kathy from I Do Decorating and Rental Service, located in Wisconsin. My biggest takeaway from Wedding MBA so far is that I need to be more organic in our hosting on social media, doing time lapse videos. photos, gathering lots more information while we are at work.
People want to see the behind the scenes. Info as much as the end product.
Celia: Hi, I’m Celia from the Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire, UK, and I have come over to the Wedding MBA to just learn new things, to be completely surrounded in inspiration, what’s going on in the States, to see the new food and drink trends coming out.
The AI session was incredible being delivered from a U. S. perspective. And my goodness, is this worth coming to
Ben: what’s up the UK worlds? This has Ben here from
photo booth. That’s G I F Y Y Y. Three Y’s there. All right. What I love about wedding MBA is meeting amazing people like Becca. It’s a networking, it’s getting around, it’s seeing what’s up and what’s going on in the industry.
Yeah, I really appreciate that. And that’s, that’s an important part of your business is to be connected.
Jasmine: Hi, I’m Jasmine. I’m representing my company, Jasmine and company. We’re a wedding planning firm in Orange County, California. Let’s see the biggest takeaway I have from wedding MBA is not only the motivation and the inspiration to take my business to the next level, but I think I’ve got.
Some real actionable items and tools to make it happen.
Janae: I’m Janae from Cake and Crumble, a gluten free luxury wedding cake company in Seattle, Washington. And I think what I am learning most about being at the wedding MBA is how important networking with other vendors with other tracks is because you really learn more about their stories, what they do at the wedding and the.
part that you play in that story. So a wedding planner is building a story for their clients and for the guests, and you are one of the storylines. And so how can you best work together? And I think the more that you know about what other vendors are doing, the more you come across as an authority in your own field for your wedding couple.
And when you, when you seem to be an authority on the subject, they just trust you and they let you do their thing. They stop questioning you. They stop nickel and diming you and they just want what you have. And so I appreciate, of course, everything that I’m learning from, you know, the cake and the catering and any food industry bits, but I’m really soaking up a lot of the information that’s coming from planners and florists.
and photographers and just really, really that engagement and recognizing that we’re all in this together. We all have the same failures and the same fears. Connecting with other people has been just a fantastic experience and I love being here.
Jenny: Hi, my name is Jenny McAlpine and I’m a wedding planner in Kelowna, British Columbia and Canada.
I’m here for my seventh time at wedding MBA and This time, one thing that I really wanted to focus on was how to automate more, how to have less overwhelm in my life, more calmness, more clarity, more organization. And that is my biggest focus this year.
Joshua: My name is Joshua. I’m the manager of the Goldsboro event center from Goldsboro, North Carolina.
I’m here at the wedding NBA. I think my biggest takeaway from all of my sessions so far as I know that my business is just going to thrive even better than it has been. So the first thing I’m going to implement when I get back to my venue is going to be more, real life pictures instead of just stage pictures.
Leah: Hi, this is Leah Weinberg from Oduberg Law and Legally Set reporting from Wedding MBA. My biggest takeaway from the conference is to charge your worth. We all bring something unique to the table and understanding your value is critical. And don’t worry about what other people are doing. You do you, charge accordingly.
And I promise you, you’re going to hit that point in your business when you can just. sell your, you know, your value, you’re confident in your business and you’re able just to sell yourself really easily.
Leslie: Hello, this is Leslie from Morningside Inn in Frederick, Maryland. And, this has been a great show.
We’ve learned a lot. And I would say my biggest takeaway is easily to pay more attention to the numbers of our business to do more analysis. On, when we’re selling weddings, how we’re selling weddings and, the package pricing that we’re offering.
Margeaux: Hi there. I’m Margeaux with the Wedding Summit Series, a free online summit for wedding pros.
Join our money edition, December 4th through 6th, free online. I spoke in the planner track about my worst. Client ever and how it’s skyrocketed my business when I hope people take away from my talk and wedding MBA in general is That whatever you are experiencing as a wedding pro. I know it feels like it’s only happening to you, but it’s not It’s happening to all of us client angst is up concerns about money are up.
We are all experiencing it So I hope people walk away with some tips and strategies to help combat that And know that you are in a community of wedding pros that are here for you.
Anna: Hi there, I’m Anna Coates, the editor of Marry Me Tampa Bay. We are a regional publication in Florida. My biggest takeaway from Wedding MBA is the continuing education.
It’s so important to realize not just what’s happening in your area, but what’s happening in the wedding industry in general. And Wedding MBA is the perfect avenue for that. Hey there, I’m Megan Neely with OFD Consulting. I’m a wedding publicist. And more recently a wedding MBA speaker. And there’s so many takeaways while I’m here, but I think the biggest thing that I’ve been pushing and I hope people understand is it’s all about visibility for next year.
Right now, we’re in sort of uneven times and I want people to embrace visibility strategies, whether that’s pr, marketing, social media. Take a look at what you’re doing, audit your efforts, and just really prioritize being visible in front of the right markets.
Renee: Hi, it’s Renee Dalo. And, I have a bunch of businesses.
Which one do you want to know about? Moxie Bright Events, Talk with Renee Dalo, Better with Renee Dalo. One thing I want people to take away from what I talked about today or this week, for planners, I want them to take away that the timeline is a collaborative document and it is not a dictatorship, but it is a community document.
Sarah: Hello, I’m Sarah from Sarah Does SEO. I’m going to be speaking on the wedding MBA stage later today. My biggest takeaway from MBA so far is that wedding pros. Should start using many chat to start automating some Instagram responses.
Terrica: Hey, I am Terrica, a wedding industry educator, coach, and speaker. The one thing that I want you to know about wedding MBA and using everything it is that you have learned.
It’s that you’re worth it, whatever it is that you want to do your gift, your art that you provide to tell the love story of your couples. You are worth every penny that you charge and more. So please invoice them for it.
Meredith: Hey flower friends. This is Meredith from the flower cart in Carrollton, Georgia. I’m so excited to be here at wedding MBA.
The most I’m taking back from this. Is pricing transparency. Can’t wait to bring it back home to Carrollton.
Jessica: My name is Jessica Bishop and I’m the founder of thebudgetsavvybride. com and host of the Bouquet Toss podcast. And this is my first time attending Wedding MBA. And I would say my biggest takeaway is just the value of in person networking and building relationships with other talented wedding pros in this industry.
It’s just invaluable to get that face-to-face. Time to make those connections.
Jonathan: Hey, my name is Jonathan Eammon. I’m the host of the Venue Rx podcast and also the CEO and founder of WEVA which is a wedding and event venue association and, really excited to be here.
Becca: And what’s the one thing you’ve taken away from wedding NBA or you want people to take away from wedding MBA
Jonathan: wedding mBA is a really. Awesome opportunity to connect with people, you know, of course, there’s amazing seminars and sessions and things like that you can attend. But I’ve really found value out of the connections that I’ve made for the people that I’ve met. And that is something that I think is really special and something I hope people take away, as they meet people in the halls and in the exhibit hall and all the conferences.
Haley: Hey y’all. My name is Haley and I’m with Lion Hills Vineyard right outside Atlanta, Georgia. One thing I learned from Wedding MBA is that it’s not just one size fits all. You have to figure out what works best for your couples. Make sure to follow us on Instagram to see our beautiful couples and wedding inspo at Lion Hills Vineyard.
Shannon: Hi, this is Shannon, the conference director and vice president of the Wedding MBA. It’s a wrap right now. We are so excited because we had the best wedding MBA ever. We had 5, 800 attendees that all met each other with close to 240 booths, so breaking them down right now, and it was a huge success.
I think the best thing for me are the people, all the people that you meet, the people you connect with and what you learn along the way.
Becca: I loved it. Thank you, Shannon, as well for finishing off the podcast in style. She does an incredible job pulling this huge conference together, and I know that she’s already starting to make plans for 2024.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing a little bit more about my experience out in Las Vegas, what I learned, what I felt inspired to share with you, and also to hear from the speakers and the attendees and Shannon herself about what they learned at Wedding MBA. Hopefully there’s something. In there for you.
I hope to be back at Wedding MBA next year, hopefully sharing my marketing knowledge with each and every one of you. And you know what? I think some of you should come with me next year. So watch this space for more details on next year’s trip to Las Vegas. I’ll see you next time.