By Paul Pannone
It’s the middle of summer and the time for seminars with cheesy titled events that began promoting themselves the day after the last one ended a year ago. With “Double Your Wedding Business” as the battle cry, eWedNewz discussed the claim with the Wedding Water Cooler discussion group asking over 30 members what one member asked us; is it legal to make such a claim?
Beware of seminars and sources that claim to hold the “secret” to success. There’s no secret; hard work and knowing your market are the key elements to being successful.
Wedding Planner, Diane Freeland, told other Cooler members,” I do not think they are legally claiming that you wedding business will be doubled by attending the Wedding MBA. It is an attention getter or tagline like “Best Pizza In The World”. I (think) they are trying to attract attendees, plain and simple. They are not guaranteeing that your business will double.
If I attended and my business did not double, can I file a lawsuit based on that line- don”t think so. I think hey are saying that the conference can provide you with the tools to double your business. Some may and some may not So, should they say “Potential to Double Your Business” to play it safe. Potential is not really a “buzz” word.”
Cooler members talked over valid points considering business maturity and, most important, whether a local market’s potential to allow sales volume to double exists. Specifics discussed among WWC members concluded the tagline’s meaning goes with a grain of salt.
Wedding planner, Wendy Hartigan, told the Water Cooler, “I agree with Diane. And, I can’t imagine anyone that would believe their (wedding) business would double just because they attended. I know some of the people that attend this conference and speak – I know I wouldn’t learn anything from any of them! Maybe it is just an excuse to raise money “for a good cause” and to have a vacation full of wedding experts.”
Esteemed speakers scheduled to appear at the event includes Bill Heaton of Great Bridal Expo. Heaton and other members of the Water Cooler support industry events that give “take away” information” to vendors that invest time and money to be part of such wedding industry gatherings.
“Clearly, there is much more to this but I essentially agree with Diane. Personally, I know of several instances where a business owner has significantly increased their business revenue by putting new ideas picked up at one conference/seminar or another; MBA is just one of those,” said Heaton.
Bill Heaton, an avid proponent of face-to-face marketing and wedding industry icon, believes in pressing flesh.
Steve Lang of Mon Cheri also believes in the power of education. For Lang there is a direct correlation between the success of his accounts (stores he sells to), their general health and ability to buy.
“I have been teaching stores for years and it works. I just invested in a 3 acre facility to create the Bridal and Social Occasion University. Why would I do this? Education works and is an investment that pays dividends over a lifetime. I have been conducting this three-day seminar for years all around the country and have put thousands of people through with great results. Because of the results I now have a permanent facility to teach stores and offer accreditation to owners and staff. You see, it is all a circle; the most advanced nations became that way through education. I invest so much in my stores because it is an investment in myself and my employees as well,” feels Lang.
Lang told eWedNewz this year’s seminar is in Atlanta December 5-7 at the Bridal Mart. Afterwards monthly seminars planned in Mon Cheri’s new facility will begin.
eWedNewz watches the growth of targeted events bypassing “industry” formats. An example includes the more focused approach by Kelli Gonzalez. Gonzalez, supported by manufacturers that want to see healthier stores in the same way Lang approaches his business, has heavily promoted an event in August in Atlanta. The event will draw independent formal wear operators wanting to see new lines and buzz items from all over the country.
“It doesn’t matter whether I get the message across or my competition, as long as the right message of marketing and advertising reaches the store owners,” according to Gary Swartz of Perfect Wedding Guide. “I too lose money staging these events but I always hire speakers that give attendees good take away product and feasible information. That’s why I hired dynamic speaker, Christine Boulton for our next seminar,” he told eWedNewz.
As always, we continue to warn business owners to choose their seminars and where they invest hard-earned dollars wisely. The fluff and fairy dust that once fleeced business owners is dwindling but we are still investigating allegations of how wedding personalities posing as “mentors” are unable to deliver on claims– while prospering on the hopes and ignorance of unsuspecting upstarts.
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