Just too set the board straight, for those of you who don’t know what ‘Wedding MBA’ means your not alone. Like every specialty these days, even the wedding industry has it’s share of societies and conventions intent on providing further education and networking for those in the wedding industry.
The Wedding MBA is one such nation gathering held every fall in Las Vegas. It’s even so big; just over 2,500 attendees this year, that it requires space in the massive Las Vegas Convention Center. This years edition was held on September 14-17th.
So what is this all about? Well, you would think that the wedding field is fairly non-changing. Boy you couldn’t be more wrong. This gathering is highlighted by over 60 individual sessions held by many of the industry elite with the intention on passing to the gathered what’s new, and innovative in the bridal space. The traditions that are held so close to marriage are always under assault and this new crop of brides – respectfully called Millennials – is changing the whole wedding and reception dichotomy just as Gen X did, and the Yuppies before that.
A quick example of the ‘new’ ways of doing business is reflected by something as simple as the way we all communicate now. In days past (maybe years is a better term), one would ‘call’ someone to help on a wedding and if the person wasn’t there – you would leave a message and wait a response. Today and for that matter tomorrow, you have maybe 30 minutes to respond to the potential client or effectively lose out on the opportunity to provide your wedding services to them. This because the Millennial generation carries around with them a mobile device – a cellphone – that allows for instantaneous communication and pleasure. The average person these days spends over 4 hours a day staring at their smartphone. Their used for everything from texting, emailing, researching, and once in awhile – actually calling someone.
Communication isn’t the only take-away from this years WMBA. The overall feeling among the attendees and the wedding experts is that the great recession is really behind for us now, and that ‘some’ of the effects on our mindset might become the new normal. Weddings, at least locally are becoming shorting and dare I say it, cheaper. It’s the reception that is getting more, and more of the attention in today’s bride. They are more into the personalization (thanks Pinterest) and making of a statement; less is more. The average wedding/reception may still come in at around $28,000 on average, but it’s being done with a reduced head count of guests and the lucky few that do get to come – the ‘experience is much richer. Better location, better menu, more guest goodies like a photo booth and favors. Gone is the day of handing each guest a bag of Kisses in a nice ouch.
This is just a skimming of the surface of the takeaways of this year’s WMBA. Pages and pages of notes and images still have to be transcribed and uploaded, but the fact remains that these weddings are a changing just as the times are changing and the wedding professionals of today have better have their ear to the ground or the bride of today and tomorrow will not be returning that day-old message!