Last Thursday we had the opportunity to eat, sip and party with some of the most sophisticated and talented wedding professionals -- the members of NYC WIPA (Wedding International Professionals Association) chapter!
Led and organized by Jeffrey Selden of Marcia Selden Catering, it was a fun evening full of of eduction thanks to a panel discussion led by our very own Anja Winikka! Three big designer household names were there -- Christine Traulich of Red Bliss Design, Ed Libby of Ed Libby Events, and Ron Ben-Israel of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes -- to lead a fascinating discussion about branding, social media and more! Here, a few of our favorite takeaways...
Be up front about the cost of your services.
All three panelists agreed that in order to save time and maintain the integrity of your brand, it's crucial to be up front with your clients about the cost of your services. Ron Ben puts his minimum on his website, which helps to qualify their leads and keep the back-and-forth to a minimum. How to ensure clients really understand what they're paying for? "No empty prices," said Ron. Ron loves to show off his space and to have his clients see the staff and sugar-flower making in action because it helps his clients understand the value they're paying for.
Inspiration is fine -- copying is not!
It's almost inevitable that couples will have inspiration that they found and saved from social media, blogs and articles. But the panelists all emphasized that just because a couple wants you to look at their photos and inspiration, that doesn't mean you have to create reproductions of what you see. (Think about it: One of the reasons all three designers are brand names is that they don't copy or reproduce the work of their competitors.) Christine said that sometimes she'll use her clients' photos and inspiration as a starting point, but ultimately produce an entirely different piece of work, unique to that client. In the case that clients insist they reproduce their favorite saved photos? Refer those clients to the person responsible for the original!
Try something new and then own it!
Staying true to your art and your brand has its benefits. For example, Ed has brought in new clients because he has become known for his open reception concept with grazing stations. Christine is known for her elaborate boxed invitations. Ron Ben is known for his artistic creations and impeccable cakes and buttercream. All of those factors are total differentiators for them and help to fortify their brands and create lasting businesses.
In short, it was an incredible evening with great food, company, and conversation. Here, a few of our favorite details of the night (courtesy of the very talented Phillip Van Nostrand)!
Want more? Yeah you do!