As we outlined in January, early in the year many business owners are looking at what changes might best help them develop and augment their businesses over the next year or years. Unsurprisingly here at the UKAWP this has always translated into our highest number of membership enquiries and applications coming in January. However this year this interest and level of applications has continued throughout February and into March. In many cases, according to those applying, they have been considering membership for some time and have just recently decided to go for it. Of course we are delighted and welcome any questions you may have.
So, if you are considering applying for membership, but have questions, please grab a coffee and spend a few minutes listening to our Membership Director talk about membership and reading this summary of the benefits…..
Why apply for Membership?
The wedding industry is not only unregulated but it also attracts hundreds of new businesses every year. In order to become and remain competitive you need find ways of demonstrating your professionalism and commitment to providing excellent service.
One way you can do this is to join our ever increasing member base of professional wedding planners and wedding suppliers, demonstrating that your business has passed our rigorous application process.
Many members tell us that their listing on our directory is their main source of client enquiries. We advertise nationally on behalf of the membership, thus driving bridal traffic to our directory where couples can look for members in their area.
OK, So what are the real benefits of membership then?
The main benefit of joining the UKAWP is becoming part of a UK Alliance which is passionate about the industry and which works hard to promote the benefits of hiring a planner for today’s stylish weddings. By being accepted into the Alliance, applicants will have had to prove their experience and knowledge. Promotion up through the various levels of membership, for planners, is based upon members’ continued education, wedding experience and involvement in the UKAWP. Please refer to the application forms [ Membership ] [ Associate Membership ] [ Destination Membership ] [ Wedding Supplier Membership ].
- Certificate of membership of the UKAWP to be shown to potential clients
- Use of well regarded and recognised ‘Associate Member’, ‘Member’, ‘Supreme Member’, ‘Destination Member’, or ‘Wedding Supplier Member’of the UKAWP logo on website, advertising and marketing materials
- Ability to refer potential clients to the UKAWP Code of Business Practice and application/ promotion process to gain enhanced client confidence
- Inclusion on the UKAWP online database of member companies. This map-based database is searchable by all visitors to the site and every entry includes a listing in two large geographical areas with company logo, description and full contact details including website (Destination Members listed by country)
- Increased media awareness of member companies. The UKAWP has links with a variety of media outlets and has an ongoing press and public relations strategy to increase continually the profile of the Alliance within the wedding industry. Journalists are put in touch with members for interview opportunities/coverage on a very regular basis
- Benefit from the UKAWP’s ongoing advertising plan in wedding media on and offline. Currently this includes key wedding blogs and regular online marketing spend. This alone saves members several hundreds of pounds per annum
- Personal input into how our bride facing marketing budget is spent annually
- A voice and seat at our Annual Member Meeting held in May of each year
- Discounted entry fees to attend any UKAWP meetings, networking events, seminars, workshops or training courses
- Discounted fees for some of our UKAWP Business Tools
- UKAWP branded marketing materials such as brochures, pens and pads and collateral available seasonally. Ideal for any exhibitions or events you are organising or attending
- Access to a network of supportive, approachable and experienced professionals to help, guide and advise on any critical areas of difficulty or concern
- Access to a network of experienced planners to assist where additional staff are needed at weddings at pre-agreed, competitive rates
- Access to a network of keen students for ‘shadowing’ opportunities
- For experienced members and Supreme members, there are sometimes opportunities to mentor students within their first two years of business at pre-agreed rates
- Access to your local ‘Regional Ambassador’ who will be able to support you with local issues
- Superb discounts to offer your clients from the UKAWP’s Partners
- Opportunities to be ‘launched’ as a Member and showcase your work on our Blog, Facebook Page and via Twitter
- Potential to reduce your annual membership fees via discounts from our ‘Member Get Member’ scheme
- Discounted online advertising of vacancies in your business
- Private LinkedIn and Facebook groups to share ideas and concerns and get help from peers
Can I talk to someone before deciding whether to apply?
Of course you can. If you would like to discuss the benefits of membership, which membership type you should apply for or have any other questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact our Membership Director, Sandy Moretta, via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01442 828061.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.