Just last week, Team Maroo headed to Arizona to attend Engage!22 Dove Mountain Summits. For us, it was an opportunity to spend time with over 300 wedding professionals–from planners to photographers, venues, videographers and more. The time spent in Arizona was filled with incredible experiences and inspiring education and speakers. From 2022 burnout to pricing for travel, here are a few of our top takeaways from the week.
1. 2022 Burnout Is Very Real For The Weddings Industry
Thematically, attendees were all abuzz about a serious need for rest and recovery. And it makes sense! After a very long two years of ups and downs–from shutdowns and little to no events to complete overwhelming pent-up demand and now inflation impacting pricing, it’s enough to make anyone want to throw up their hands. Wedding photographer, coach and speaker Gurminder Banga led attendees through a class on finding the calm, balance and peace within and challenged attendees to a 30-day meditation challenge in January. Activities included sound baths, yoga, and hikes in the desert.
2. It’s More Than Okay to Prioritize Your Finances & Future (And Talk About It!)
There were several refreshing conversations and presentations that involved money talk! New Orleans-based wedding planner Michelle Norwood broke down how she thinks about her finances, profits and revenue for the year. She even shared her top business credit card tips to maximizing rewards on travel and more. Dallas-based designer Todd Fiscus of Todd Events shared how he has changed his approach to the business to maximize his profits while enabling him to build a business that will be sustainable long after he retires. Let’s just say we were here for it!
3. Pricing for Travel Proposals Are Trickier Than Ever
Another recurring conversation at Engage! this season was all about the cost of travel and how wedding pros are handling the ever-changing fees around flights, hotels, meals and transportation in general. We sat in on the planners-only and the photographers-only sessions at Engage! where most everyone agreed: a travel clause is a must in every contract and the only way to properly build in travel is to overestimate and consistently manage client expectations as the price fluctuates over the course of the planning. For more on how wedding pros are handling pricing for travel in their proposals, read this: Wedding Pros: Here’s How to Bill & Communicate Travel Costs in 2023
4. Reinventing Yourself & Following Your Passion
Former weddings editor of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine Darcy Miller walked attendees through her journey from wedding editor turned event consultant, author and more. As creatives, it’s so important we continue to not only hone our craft but also evolve our careers and businesses and another speaker who wasn’t shy to share his evolution was Todd Fiscus. He walked attendees through his 30-year journey as a business owner–from running and growing his business into a very large company to now owning and running several smaller brands and businesses.
5. Real Relationship-Building Is (Still) Key To Great Business
Of course everyone in the industry knows that word of mouth referrals are key to driving quality leads and business. And one of the highlights of the week was Lindsey Conklin, of La Reve Films on how to work with planners and make them happy. As a business who relies almost exclusively on wedding planner recommendations, Lindsey walked attendees through his approach to working with planners and treating them as their number one client and priority.
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