By Paul Pannone
In this moment of time when the wedding business finds itself in flux, it looks for leadership and finds none. For many in the past the stroke of a check to the Knot and a few other resources made marketing simple; easy and perhaps mindless. But by today’s rising consumer expectations, that approach no longer works. For those still running their business that way, the days are numbered.
It took an assembly of over thirty diverse and sometimes perverse people to trash the dress, break from tradition and expand the mind beyond what’s acceptable, professional and advised. Governed by the single rule of NO rules, the Wedding Water Cooler sometimes gets ahead of itself and thinks the rest of the world is able to process thoughts and information at lightning speed the way some members can. But the Coolies are learning the world outside their forum doesn’t work that way.
In typical fashion the Wedding Water Cooler was ablaze once again last night in heated exchanges that would make the devil reach for iced tea. It was almost comical to watch members of the Cooler that think they’re the shit in small, limited markets, take on vendors that think they’re big shots in major markets but don’t exude standards in some of their presentations. But those are the risks we take by mixing big-balled know-it-all personalities with small-frame, geeky know-it-all curmudgeon figurines wielding sharp objects– POP goes the ego.
The Congress Cooler?
The flare ups are infrequent but they’re there. In contrast, I’ve witnessed other forums where everyone is so professional, kind and disgustingly polite and nothing of substance ever gets accomplished. More and more high-profile members of the group say they tolerate some of the antics knowing that when crunch time comes, valid, important and game-changing information comes out of the group.
Respected wedding analyst and creator of the group, Christine Boulton, addressed the forum saying,” We are players in a industry that is in a state of flux. Seismic changes have been occurring in weddings and in the industry that supports them for the last several years. Among our members are some very bright minds, minds that have been watching these changes and working diligently to adapt and change with the times. My thought in bringing a group of varied wedding professionals together for discussions was to help clarify these changes and help chart a course to what the wedding industry must become to survive.
The Water Cooler welcomed several members so far in 2012 including apparel industry veteran, Paul Eilenberg.
“This is a fascinating assembly of wedding professionals that can deliver accurate information at an amazing speed,” he told eWedNewz.
Eilenberg had a question about the use of costly accessories with wedding dresses. Within minutes, WWC experts were able to deliver information to help with the decision-making process. Eilenberg got to experience first-hand the talented people of the group. Later in the same evening, his eyes popped out with the liberal way the process works.
“There’s no doubt the amount of talent we have in this group. If there is a topic– even an ambiguous one– the process of getting to the answer doesn’t stop until every scenario is dissected in every way possible. It is scary at times but the results that the world sees is all that counts,” says Jim Duhe.
Duhe himself is known for a rant or two in his time but now stands in the midst of upcoming talent he acknowledges are unafraid to speak their mind. Duhe stuck it out, staying when other wedding professionals took flight out of the Cooler feeling it got to be too much. eWedNewz tracks the ex-Coolies and notices changes to their businesses. We’re also watching the impact of newZ and information derived from WWC discussions and how it’s reshaping the business.
Members of the Cooler agree, with the way the world is today nothing gets solved unless questions are raised, questions are discussed, questions are questioned and finally– questions are answered. Perhaps Congress should take a closer look at how the Wedding Water Cooler works.
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