Monday, March 31, 2008

Best of...2008

Well - the new issue of The Knot's Best of 2008 is out!  I have not seen it yet but just read on the fabulous Agnes Lopez's Blog that she was named as an "Editor's Pick" as a best photographer in North Florida!  Congrats Agnes!  Well deserved - we have enjoyed working with her and her amazing images of our Kessler client: Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine.

Will update further once I see the actual magazine but in the meantime, so be sure to let me know if YOU make the list!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Find: The Wedding Chicks

Lots to catch up on here on the Blog!  Just back from a cruise to the Bahamas followed by a quick series of meetings in Grand Cayman last week so digging out...

In the meantime, discovered this super *fun* new Blog via WeddingBee today: The Wedding Chicks: {Sassy Weddings} for Cool Chicks.  Check it out! Love the unique point of view and definite sassy style already!  Good luck to the chicks!

More soon I promise - heading out today to the  super swanky Tavistock Cup golf tournament here in Orlando at the Isleworth Country Club.  Patrick and I are looking forward to seeing Tiger play in person {and arrive at the course via helicopter!}.  Will report back afterwards!

Happy Monday!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Art of [Client] Engagement

"Engaged customers, according to PeopleMetrics, promote the company or brand, intend to return in the future, go out of their way to do business with the company, and feel passion, even love, for the brand and experience."

We are all about engagement here at Engaging Concepts - at every level - in fact, we have built our business on it!  It seems as if everywhere I turn these days the marketing *buzz* is about creating customer engagement.  Every brand is trying to figure out the best way to 'engage' their customers, guests or clients. 
Those of us in the wedding industry have such a unique opportunity to 'engage' our clients because first of all - they are coming to us already engaged [ok, ok - not just in the physical sense but also emotionally!]!!  This major lifestage event is so important to them that they only want to work with companies that excite them and engage them at every turn.  

The payoff?  Passionate Brand Evangelists for your business.  Priceless word-of-mouth exposure. Returning guests, clients or customers for life.

The challenge?  Getting everyone in your organization to not only understand but then buy into the importance of customer engagement. Think of non-wedding industry companies that embody customer and employee engagement and then ways in which you can apply some of those successful principles to your business model.  

Having just gone through an intensive 2 weeks of making the switch from PC to Mac - I am blown away by the unprecedented level of engagement at every possible touch-point by Apple. You could say the same for many others. This is just one of the many topics of discussion we plan to explore in depth at the first ENGAGE!08...would love to hear your thoughts on brands/companies that truly embody "The Art of Engagement" both in wedding-world and outside of it!  Much more to come on this very relevant topic!

Fab Ring shot by The Image is Found [and be sure to RSS their incredible Blog!]

Friday, March 14, 2008

Have You Met Emma Yet?

"email marketing in style" 
- just how perfect is that tagline for our industry?!?  I have seen a few HTML newsletters appear in my inbox recently that had a great sense of design and flair and when I scrolled to the bottom I noticed they were 'powered by Emma' and immediately clicked on the fun and quirky icon to see what it was all about.  

Sign me up!  In fact, I just did.  For anyone who wants to communicate their message and latest news or products with potential consumers or other industry professionals this is a perfect and very cost-effective option.  It includes custom designed branding and has a flexible account set up that can expand and contract as your needs fluctuate during your different marketing projects and cycles. Plus, I just love the refreshing approach they take - it actually makes me look forward to diving in and creating my next communication piece! Just shows that smart marketing does not take itself too seriously and that infusing *fun* into traditionally formal and staid projects is successful!

Speaking of that - be on the lookout for an exciting announcement very soon regarding the long-awaited ENGAGE!08 -- click here to sign up to receive the Emma-powered breaking news!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"The Smart Planner" Blog

I wanted to share the great new Blog started recently by Liene Stevens of Blue Orchid Designs entitled The Smart Planner: Resources for Professional Wedding Consultants. It is already packed with great tips for wedding industry types and offers a very unique perspective.

Just another great example of how blogs have given a 'voice' to so many talented people allowing us all to benefit from their experience and point-of-view.  Liene emailed me shortly after launching the blog with this introduction:

"As you know, the wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar business, but many people operating wedding businesses don't have the first clue as to how to go about the business side of their work.  They may excel at designing luxurious events, but lack in knowledge of how to set price points or how to go about the basics of customer service.  I know that I have personally been frustrated by the lack of relevant, and up-to-date information on the market specifically for wedding planners.  There are a lot of great resources for photographers and they have made great strides in raising the bar in that area of the industry.  I would love for planners to do the same - to learn how to educate couples as to why consultants are important, to run their businesses in a way that turns a profit and is not merely an expensive hobby, and to operate in an integrous manner.  

In the lifespan of my blog for my wedding planning company, Blue Orchid Designs, I have noticed from the statistics that about half of my daily readership are event planners.  The "teaching posts" I have done have received a great response and I felt it was time to separate the audiences and create a new blog to specifically discuss issues pertaining to running a wedding consulting business."

Be sure to check out both The Smart Planner and Liene's first blog Blue Orchid Designs - 'must reads' for sure!  

Friday, March 7, 2008

Leave it to the gals over at BFF Bridal to do it again!  They have just announced their latest fab "Best in Bridal" event focused on Beauty and Style at the W New York Union Square. Is sure to be amazing - I just love their unique point-of-view, fresh perspective and luxe approach to staging wedding events!!

Making the [HUGE!] switch!!!

Sorry that it has been extra-quiet on the blog this past week.  I have been in computer limbo since last Friday [!!!] as I have been making the big switch over from 20+ years as a PC user to brand, spanking new MacBook Pro! Getting all of my files over has not been an easy task and even managed to confound the Mac "geniuses" but it appears that it is now official [not sure they had ever seen over 13,000 emails in an Inbox before...].  I feel a little like I have been dropped onto another [albeit much 'hipper'] planet but will trust everyone that RAVES about Apple that this too shall pass and I will soon be totally cool and up to speed and back to blogging more regularly! 
Now back to this whole new [bright, shiny]  world...!