This episode of The Wedding Biz is Andy’s first roundtable event held on the last day of Engage at Nizuc, Mexico. The roundtable guests for this episode are Rishi Patel, the CEO of HMR Designs, Carrie Goldberg, the Travel and Weddings Director at Harpers Bizzaar, and Christina Matteucci, the Executive Director of David Beahm Destinations. During the roundtable, Andy and each of his guests bring up a key takeaway that they got during the conference and discuss them as a group.
Andy’s takeaway from the conference was from Christina’s message of “audacious transparency.” Christina speaks about what she meant by that, and the group talks about vulnerability and owning your own personality. They discuss how social media can give a client a false perception of who you are, so when you meet the client for the first time, it is like an audition.
Christina’s surprising takeaway was from a breakout session with Bruce Russell and Tara Fay wedding and event planners with their TV show, My Big Day: Home Or Away. She loved what they said about taking care of each other behind the scenes because the TV show pits them against each other on-screen. The group speaks about always taking care of each other in the industry, information, and trade secret sharing because there is plenty of business to go around, and everyone’s point of view is different.
Rishi feels like knowing what you are selling is the biggest takeaway for him. The group agree and discuss how knowing what you have to offer makes it possible for the client to feel joy at the end of the day. You have to be yourself because you can’t be like anyone else, and what you are can’t be stolen. They also chat about how one of the focuses of this Engage was redefining the word luxury as a more authentic emotion, and how what used to be so different and unique is now quite common.
A key takeaway for Carrie was pricing and making money. If you are not making a profit, then you are not in a business you have a hobby. The brain trust says that you should know what your profit margins are before the event even happens. After the fact, you should analyze it and decide what you will do or who you will work with on the next event.
Listen in as the group discusses how they are preparing for whenever the next economic recession hits and getting lean now instead of waiting for the economy to force the issue. Keep listening after the roundtable for some great takeaways from other attendees of the conference like Sarah Schreiber of Martha Stewart Weddings, Julie Novack with PartySlate, Meggie Francisco with Meggie Francisco Events, Nicole Braghin of Plan Design Events and many more. They all have lovely things to say about what they learned at Engage, and you won’t want to miss any nuggets of wisdom they share.
[01:31] Welcome to the show, Rishi, Carrie, and Christina!!
[02:57] Christina tells us about “audacious transparency” and what she means by those words.
[04:15] Rishi gives us his insight into transparent and owning your own personality.
[04:51] Carrie agrees that if you are vulnerable with your clients, then they can be vulnerable to you.
[05:29] They all discuss how social media can give clients a false perception of who you are before they ever meet you. You always have to bring it to the audition.
[09:11] Don’t try to win every client, just the ones that are right for you.
[10:39] Rishi talks about his epiphany of “the things that land in your lap are meant to be and the ones that don’t aren’t.”
[11:26] Is it more important for them to see the brand or the human side?
[12:37] Christina speaks about the takeaway she had from the conference.
[14:45] Taking care of each other in the industry behind the scenes is so important.
[17:43] Rishi’s takeaway is that you need to know what you are selling.
[20:07] Does the client feel joy at the end of the day?
[22:16] Redefining the word “luxury” as a more authentic emotion was a big topic at this Engage conference.
[24:18] The words planning, design, and production are thrown around to much. Rishi believes that terms like that need transparency and what the definition of each is.
[26:40] Carrie’s key takeaway was pricing and making money.
[28:36] Rishi agrees that you should not be doing a job if it is not profitable and enough profit to make it worthwhile.
[32:10] How are you prepared to handle a recession when it happens? What do you see happening in the industry in 2020?
[35:00] Carrie speaks about diversity and inclusivity and sustainability. Going green as much as possible and contributing.
[36:42] Andy talks about getting lean now before the economy forces the change.
[38:17] Thank you all for doing this, it has been a pleasure.
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