WPE '09 Overview
Well WPE 09 has now come to a close with our attendees brimming with enthusiasm over the tips and knowledge they have learnt. Every attendee has also said they want to attend WPE 10 which is fantastic news. Just some of the feedback is listed below.
“It was good to have time to focus without other external factors” Designer Wedding Days
“Very inspirational. Very helpful being able to ask planners for tips and advice” Always Andri
“Some excellent speakers and have learnt some useful tips” Tania-Tapel
“So much will help as new planner, implementing new procedures. Done confidence world of good.” Lush Plush and Lavish
“So much to do can’t wait to get stuck in.” Pure Silk Weddings
“Felt expensive at first, but after event can see it was worth every penny” Dimples Events
For those that couldn’t attend we felt you might be interested in an overview of the seminar to give you an insight into what happened.
Thursday 26th February
The directors arrived on Thursday afternoon to set up the rooms and go over the schedule with the staff from Down Hall Hotel. We then camped out in Sandy & Andrea’s room and duly set out filling the swag bags with goodies from wedding companies including miniature jam from Butterflies & Daisies, chocolates from The Lanesborough Hotel and Your London Wedding Magazine. We practiced our speeches then settled in for the night ready to get up early on Friday morning.
Friday 27th February
The directors arrived at 8:30 ready to set the stationery out for attendees and test the laptop & projector. Wedding planners arrived early from 9am, so eager were they to get started! In fact attendees came from all over the UK including Wiltshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Kent, Surrey, London & Essex.
The session started with a welcome by Bernadette, our training director, before handing over at 10:45 to Andy from Action Coach who inspired the planners with their sales advice and reiterated how important it was to have a 5 year plan for the business. He also asked how many of us dedicate time to work on the business not just in it, suddenly the room went quiet with planners realising they need to schedule time into their diaries. Their talk was rated as one of the most useful and helped planners focus on remembering the bigger picture when running a business.
After a short coffee break with cakes & nibbles we settled back to listen to Paula from Do Your Own PR; Paula has presented at our workshops before so we knew she’d be great. We didn’t however expect a bit of musical chairs as she put us into our PR style groups! It was brilliant seeing who were natural PR ‘Writers’, ‘Speakers’ or ‘Movers and Shakers’. She gave us some fantastic tips on creating innovative PR and reiterated the benefits of blogs and twitter for increasing our profiles. Feedback from attendees on this presentation was very high especially as Paula presents in a natural manner perfect for wedding planners.
The wedding planners then networked over lunch with the presenters and attendees swapping tips and advice. Whilst everyone was mingling Artful Splodgers set up the room with toys ready for their presentation. The afternoon session then started at 2pm, Nikki explained the benefits of having a crèche and the questions you should be asking companies, she then asked everyone to design their own bowl with the bowl & pens provided. Well it was pretty apparent who the creative planners were verses the organisational type!
At 2:30 we had a very knowledgeable talk from Kayem Design on Search Engine Optimisation, such a confusing but important topic, somehow Steve managed to explain the basics simply. We were given some tips on checking our website SEO so we are very thankful for his presentation.
After another short coffee break Fiona from Style 2 You gave a presentation on how important image is to a wedding planner, talking about how her life was changed by wearing the right clothes & colour. She talked about what the different colours meant for first impressions.
At 4:30 Mark from the Short Film Company gave a history lesson on videography before talking about the styles available now for videos. Not only did he present on the day but he was around all day to film the seminar, thank you Mark!
Mark then handed over to our company mascot, namely Lloyd from Lloyd Dobbie Photography who has supported the UKAWP since 2006. He talked about the trends emerging in photography with some fantastic shots of the bridal party in weddings in Japan (literally in supermarket trolleys!). He also talked through why professional portrait shots are important. Like Mark, Lloyd had been busy snapping away all day, thanks Lloyd.
The presentations ended with a humorous forecast report from Kelly & Sandy who I think made great ‘weathergirls’. Lloyd was then available to take photos of anyone that needed a new portrait shot, in the meantime the planners freshened up then headed to the bar for pre dinner cocktails.
The private dining room looked stunning with the chair covers and candelabras provided by Mediterranean Occasions and blue napkins from Just 4 Linen along with stationery from Chartula. Over dinner there was lots of laughter and gossip and of course lots of wine. Some planners headed to the bar after dinner for more laughter and conversations ranging from children to weddings and even peacocks! It was the wee hours before we all headed back to our rooms with the realisation that we started again at 8:30 on Saturday…
Join us on Friday for the second installment of our overview of WPE’09
Photo credits: Lloyd Dobbie