The first annual State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Summit: Define. Design. Evolve. was founded in 2018 with the goal of bringing together an entire industry at a critical transition point in our niche business nationally, as well as in our unique hub of Santa Barbara. It sold out 3 months in advance.
Based on the feedback we received from last year, as well as continual industry polls, we devised 4 base items as the priority for the 2019 Summit: 1) Length: participants wanted to go all day long 2) Longer breaks for conversations and networking and 3) Investment price: 90% were comfortable paying $300-$375 for an all-day session.
For 2019, we re-imagined the entire Summit to a whole new level, and decided to curate it to a very specific audience: the leaders of the Santa Barbara wedding and hospitality industry. And by “leaders” it does not necessarily mean business owners- it can be anyone who is passionate about our industry and unique destination wedding & tourism location of Santa Barbara and committed to evolution, ethics, integrity, progress and community. Therefore, we are allowing only 60 seats – less than half of last year’s sold out attendance. This is so every participant can receive almost personalized coaching and connection with speakers and each other all day long.Read More >>
Our Fireside Series continues with another “chat workshop”; but this is not your typical wedding business workshop. Edgy and sassy, we are really going to go “there” and get things going with some kicking content.
A Pro Mixologist will coach us while we craft two specialty cocktails to sip and savor while we dive into some pot-stirring content. With inspiration from Leadership in Heels, we will tackle some of the most controversial topics facing our industry and community. This session is guaranteed to get you fired up for your own evolution, as well as help foster some radical authenticity much needed in our industry at a crucial time.Read More >>
Part of the Fireside “Chat Workshop” Series, continuing from 2018, the inaugurual one for 2019 brings fresh content that will have you contemplating how you approach your wedding business this year.
Join us at the charming downtown Santa Barbara vacation cottage La Maison for a “power happy hour” with fireside wine (non-alcoholic options also available) and light appetizers and take a look at some invaluable relevant content to get you revved up for doing business differently this year. Highlights include:Read More >>
On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, an entire industry came together in the Santa Barbara region for the first ever State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Fireside Summit “Define. Design. Evolve.”
The event, which was sold out 3 months in advance, was described as “the leading industry event of our area of all time” by one of the attendees. After 20 years in the Santa Barbara wedding industry as an event planner, trainer and speaker, I witnessed many changes over the years, but none so rapid and dramatic as the last 5-7 years. And what was happening on a national level was compounded ten fold in the unique niche of the American Riviera: Santa Barbara, CA with the recent Thomas Fire and Flood , plus the challenges in our area with private estates hosting events. After observing numerous industry social media groups’ conversations, I noticed there was an incredible opportunity to help colleagues define what was going on so they could custom design a plan best for them, and most importantly: evolve. In order to evolve, however, a foundation of understanding had to happen.Read More >>
Whether you are a fellow event partner (vendor), or a wedding/event client, the ethics and integrity with which your chosen professional wedding consultant approaches his/her work can make all the difference in the outcome of the wedding/event. We adhere to some standards that some may call “old-fashioned”, but in the end, we are referred by many of our fellow event partners and chosen over some planners because our commitment to integrity and ethics benefits them, as well as our clients. Here are top most commonly-violated ethics in the wedding industry and how we handle them:
- Accepting kick-backs or incentives. While some event partners offer kick-backs or monetary incentives to wedding coordinators who book their services, we refuse to accept them or offer them. Why? If we accepted personal gain from an event partner for referring them, our allegiance then shifts from our paying client (who is paying us to look out after their best interest) to the event partner providing the best incentive (or any incentive at all over another vendor who may not offer it). We promise our clients that we will provide them referrals to the event partners who are the best for them: this includes their spending plan, style, vision, and more. If we are accepting any kick-backs from event partners, our allegiance will then not be with our client who is paying us and will shift to the event partner we prefer to get the best kick-back from. “But everyone does it,” a Hotel GM told me one time. I still politely declined. One very prominent event partner in our area openly offers the choice of kick-backs to event planners or the choice of passing on the savings to their clients. I choose the latter and my clients love me for it. They are confident that I have their best interest at heart and then the bidding “game” truly becomes about the event partner seeking my client’s business and not my business.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
at the historic
The Fireside Wine With a Wedding Planner series continues with perhaps the first-ever Santa Barbara Wedding Industry Summit: “The State of the Santa Barbara Wedding Industry: Define. Design. Evolve”.
On Wednesday, January 31st, we welcomed wedding professionals from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara’s own wine country for a “mini summit” at Ventura Rental Party Center. This was an encore presentation of our last sold-out Wedding Planner Newcomer Mentorship/PowerLunch Experience, and I was excited to share even more updated information and offer the opportunity for collaboration at the end. As attendees arrived, they were greeted with sparkling bubbly and tablescape inspiration styled and designed by the professional talent at Ventura Rental. As with all our workshops, our signature “Little Black Box” made an appearance, too. Photographer Isabel Gomes from Isabel Lawrence Photography was on hand to capture the story of the afternoon in photos (see below).Read More >>
Continuing the Wedding Planner Mentorship Series is Fireside Wine With a Wedding Planner, an informal “chat workshop”, which will explore in more detail two of the most popular topics from the Wedding Planner Newcomer PowerLunch #1 on October 25th. You spoke and we listened. The top two topics requested for more intense detail from our last workshop were: 1) Deciding What You Will Offer (packages, hourly rates, flat fees, the extent of types of coordination/planning/design) and 2) Marketing & PR for the Independent Contractor & Small Business: Cost-Effective, Powerful Methods (including tune-up tips for current endeavors to capture revenue during this prime booking season, which is now through February)
+PLUS+ Bonus Content: delving into the one factor no form, market research, budget projection or potential client filter questionnaire can do for you with regard to sales & booking new business. We will continue to take a more in-depth look at that #1 Source of Revenue we discussed in our first workshop on October 25th & the factor many miss when building their wedding planning business. Bring your most pressing questions, because this informal chat workshop around the cozy fire allows for some personalized consultation!
What makes this workshop especially unique is the intimate nature and the fact we are reserving a whole section for you – the wedding consultant/professional- to bring your most pressing business and marketing questions for professional consulting from an expert – as well as some of your peers.
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A Santa Barbara wedding and expert wedding planner are, in fact, within reach. The Affordable Wedding Planning Series allows couples to re-invest what they save from hiring a full-service wedding consultant back into their priorities for their wedding. From The Mobile Wedding Planning Tour For Two, Ceremony-Only Coordination, and The Jump Start, to Full Service Support, investments range from $350 to $1695, providing exceptional value for those needing professional wedding expertise, guidance and resources with limited budgets. This series offers 4 easy-to-understand and affordable planning options for the couple watching their money who is also willing and able to be more DIY. Planning options below.Read More >>
When we announced to some of our closest friends that we just got married in a secret destination elopement to Santa Fe, New Mexico, one text came back immediately from a long-time friend: “We want to host a reception for you when you return to celebrate.” Seeing as this text was from one of the area’s leading event partners and her daughter, a professional wedding and event planner who had been my Associate for so many years, we knew we were in for something special. But just how special, we did not know until we arrived at the private home of our hosts Heidi and Mike Whitcomb, owners of Ventura Rental Party Center for a grand celebration in style. Event planners extraordinaire Heidi and Ashley of Events by Ashley W. produced a night we – and our family and friends- will never forget. My husband and I did not do one bit of the planning nor were we involved at all. We provided them with a guest list and literally just showed up and stepped into our reception. In fact, being on the other side of planning a wedding was almost overwhelming. I remember staring at our wedding cake for cake-cutting not quite sure how to tackle it, despite the fact I’ve counseled hundreds of couples for over 15 years on this exact act.Read More >>