The 2018 Annual Belief Retreat brought 3 days of deep business talking
and a transformational experience for wedding planners.
From November 12th to 14th, the second edition of “Belief Retreat”, an international meeting and mastermind event for Wedding Planners, took place in Palermo, Italy. Organized by Belief Wedding Planners, it is a 3-day mastermind event for deep business talking, aiming to create a transformational experience for all of those in attendance.
This edition had 14 wedding planners from eight different countries and it included a lot of different activities. There, wedding planners shared knowledge and improved their strategies for a 2019 full of great results.
“The biggest difference between the Belief Retreat and other conferences is the number of attendees and a practical program, so people leave the event with tons of ideas to implement and a plan for the next steps. For the professionals, the best part of the Retreat is the possibility to connect with people from all over the globe, share experiences and create more international business opportunities. It’s deeper, intense and intensive”, says Giovana Duailibe, CEO of Belief Wedding Planners.
The wedding planner in charge to organize the Italian edition was the Event & Wedding Planner Sandra Santoro, from gettingmarriedinitaly®. Belief Retreat was also supported by Confcommercio Palermo.
Want to know what the planners have been discussing during the Belief Retreat? We’ve prepared ten tips to boost your wedding business in 2019. Check it out!
1. Understand your brand and your reputation
“Sometimes you have to take a step back to learn who you and your company are”, says the wedding planner Jacqueline Vazquez, from New York. For her, entrepreneurs should always take a time to think about who they are, because as a wedding planner, your brand should reflect who you are. “A personal brand is a combination of skills and premises. You have to understand what differentiates you from other professionals, what makes you special, your experiences and unique value”, Jacqueline states. The wedding planner also reminds that is also important to figure out your reputation. “What does people say about you? What are you known for? Once you understand all of these, you can create your own plan and your brand statement”, tells Jacqueline.
2. Know very well who your clients are (or who you want them to be)
Take some time to do a very simple exercise: get a piece of paper and describe who your client (or ideal client) is. Where do they live? How old are they? What is their job? What do they like? What are their hobbies? How did they find you? What kind of wedding will they have? What kind of clothes do they wear? This is the exercise that the wedding planner Ilse Diamant, from Mexico, proposed to other attendees of Belief Retreat. “This is what big brands do to engage with their clients. The way we sell weddings today has to do with experiences. And the only way you can create an experience is when you create a story. This exercise will help you to reach them. Once you know who they are, you can follow Instagram accounts that are related to what your clients like, you can choose the best way to talk to them”, she tells. The wedding planner Judy Amado, from Panama, also adds that is important to wear the business in a way to create identification with your client. “Who is the client willing to pay for your services? Who are you serving? What kind of person do you want to be for them? What kind of niche do you want to work with? Who you are has to do with your client. If you want to have different clients, you have to change yourself”, she mentions.
3. Get some time to understand the millennials
Most couples who are getting married today are from the “millennials generation”, so it is almost impossible not to talk about them during the Belief Retreat – and this was the theme that the wedding planner Sandra Santoro, from Italy, chose for her presentation. “Millennials were born in 1980-1990s. They are used to follow their dreams and you have to be good enough to create these dreams for them. They have been raised with this idea that they are special. They seek quality of life and social approval. They are also goal oriented and have strong entrepreneur spirit. That’s why they see a destination wedding as an adventure, an experience. They are socially connected and they want communication to be as fast as possible”, tells Sandra. This also have an impact on the way they relate to brands and how they get informed. “They want to hear stories and have authentic relationships. They are no longer watching television. Printed magazines are used but not as much as they were in the past. They mostly rely on wedding blogs and social media”, she says.
4. Update your social media frequently – it is your shop window!
Since we’re talking to millennials, your social media channels are really important and you have to update it frequently. “You need to change the way you see Instagram and social media, since most of your clients are millennials. Use them to create connections – millennials feel really confident when you are real and show your work. People want to see who is behind the brand. When you use it properly, people start seeing you like a trendsetter in your country, in your region. Also, some clients really want to be in your feed. They feel like a star. Some of them even ask: ‘why haven’t you posted anything about my wedding?'”, says the wedding planner Cecy Pineda, from Mexico. To use your social media channels like a pro, Cecy recommends the following tips: “Use the highlights and do some takeovers with other people (from your staff). Also, keep your brand consistency – keep your logos, slogan, templates and have your own hashtag.This way, when people see it, they know it is your brand. Don’t forget to use locations, tag the other vendors and use hashtags – this can help you to broaden your audience. Use Instagram tools to get to know your clients – you can do surveys with them and ask what they like. Do, at least, three stories per week”.
5. Get out of the box
Every wedding is supposed to be unique. “Clients are never the same. People is never the same. They have different roots, cultures and religions. We all love each other in different ways. So, to get out of the box is the most important thing in the wedding industry nowadays. If we don’t do it, all weddings will be the same. We have no other way to go – if the industry continues to go on this way, we’ll all die as professionals”, says the wedding planner Rui Mota Pinto, from Portugal. To change this scenario, Rui suggests to get to know the clients very well: “We need to understand who they are, where they were born. In the first meeting, I don’t want them with the phones, I don’t want them showing me pictures of other weddings. At first, I need to know who they are. We have characters, a story – I like to call it a love book. I need to know who they are as individuals, who they are as couple and who they will be after the wedding. I do tell love stories – it makes no sense to make it without a title, so all my weddings have a title”. Rui also likes to see wedding planners as dream makers. “We all can be inventors of something – innovation is part of the process. Sometimes people is scared to do this. It is safe to be in the box, each time I get out of the it, I risk my reputation – is doing something that it is not expected bad? The fact is that today it is a necessity – we really need to do it. There is no right or wrong. Don’t worry about that people is going to say that you are wrong. Rationality is the shortest path to mediocrity”, advises Rui.
6. Don’t be afraid of competition
One lesson the wedding planner Judy Amado has left to all attendees of Belief Retreat is to not be afraid of other competitors. “Do not fear competition. Every day we have new competitors. Don’t compare yourself to them or to the amount of money they charge. You are your own biggest competitor”, she claims. Also, Rui adds: “My brand is not what I have done, people don’t know what I am doing tomorrow”.
7. Business and passion should always walk together
For the wedding planner Judy Amado, business and passion should always walk together. “I am from the Baby Boomer generation and they used to relate man to business and woman to passion. But you should never wake up to do something that you don’t want to. You have to be flamboyant, you have to be passionate”, she states. Rui also believes in that: “We have to be happy with what we are doing – because we’re working with happiness, we’re telling happy stories”. Jacqueline agrees with that premise: “You have to find your purpose to do what you are doing. Do it with passion or not at all”.
8. Set goals for the next year and commit yourself to that
As we’re approaching the end of the year, it is always important to take some time to think about your business and your goals for the next year. “How many weddings you have to do to reach your break-even point? Do you know how many clients do you need to survive? How many business do you want to do with this amount of money? How many days do you want to work? How much do you want to grow? This is business. You must answer all of these questions and commit yourself to reach your goals”, explains Judy.
9. Be bold, be brave, risk it – have balls!
Yes, you did not read it wrong. This was the biggest message that Judy Amado left to other attendees. “When I was a young lady, I got a job because I asked for a higher salary. After some time, my boss told me that he hired me because he thought that I had ‘balls’. So you have to believe in yourself and in your business first for others to believe you”, she concludes.
10. Attend the next edition of Belief Retreat
For the wedding planners willing to boost your business and exchange experiences with worldwide wedding planners, the next edition of the Belief Retreat will take place in Panama City, Panama, from November 11 – 13, 2019.
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