Wedding MBA is a 3 day conference geared towards helping vendors that support the wedding industry.  The 2,500+ attendees were a geographic mix of Wedding Planners, Photographers, DJ’s, Florists, and 1 album company: Zookbinders.

The 2 main sponsors are The Knot and WeddingWire, and the keynote speakers talked about how: “Each year, us vendors get older, but our target client remains the same age”, and offered tips on what photographers need to know in order to stay viable.  Here’s our list of key takeaways:

Social Media: There are now 2.1 Billion people on Social Media! 61% of clients will follow you on Social Media. 40% will comment. 34% will contact you, and most telling… 62% feel you’re outdated if you’re not on Social Media!

When deciding which Social Media to employ in order to connect with engaged couples, the rule of “Facebook +2” still applies. Per WeddingWire CMO  Sonny Ganguly, the 3 most important are: Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram:  

Pinterest is THE best way to communicate with brides. 80% of all pins are re-pins.  2/3’s of all pins come from businesses. Brides are 5x more active on Pinterest than Facebook!

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Facebook is still the largest, which makes it a must. 41% of brides say it’s the #1 influencer for making purchasing decisions. Best time to post is midweek between 1-3 PM, which is when traffic is heaviest.

Instagram will soon replace Facebook as the most important. “Insta” was bought by Facebook (for 22B!) because 53% of 18-29 year-olds use it.  It’s great for posting photos and videos which makes it a must for Pro Photographers.

Twitter is great for Business to Business, but there’s not a lot of couple interaction.

Google + is not ideal for engaging with brides because of the lack of sharing content.

YouTube is owned by Google, which makes it great for improving SEO, however once a visitor goes from your blog or website to YouTube, it’s hard to get them back.

Snapchat is the up and coming social media and is very popular with teenagers and early 20’s. As this group gets older it could become of the 3 essential social channels.

 

Kristen Maxwell Cooper of The Knot shared the below stats which come from their annual survey of 1,500 brides:

Today’s bride is 29 and today’s groom is 31.

77% live together before they’re married, raising the average household income, and ultimately their wedding budget.

$2,556 is the average amount spent on photography, and this includes engagement photos.

58% hired multiple photographers.

“Greige” which is a blend of Grey and Beige and has become a very hot color.

Kristin explained that DIY isn’t really DIY, but personalization. Brides are not necessarily buying glue-guns and glitter to do the work themselves,  but directing their vendors as to what they’re looking for.

Ask for reviews, and post reviews and testimonials on your social media. They’re perceived to be more believable than anything YOU say about your business.

Many vendors such as florists, cake-bakers and wedding tent companies are filming the “behind-the-scenes” work that goes into the wedding prep to share with brides and grooms.  Reach out to these vendors to see if these photos can be incorporated into a special album of “behind-the scenes” which can be more than just the bride getting ready. This could be a great sample album to show during a consultation to show how you stand out from your competition. Behind the Scenes photos make for great posts as the contest is unique.  

The rise of “messaging” – couples are using email less and relying on messaging more (text, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber etc.), so make sure you’re on the messaging services they’re using. Six of the top 10 apps are messaging!

Brides spend a good portion of their “work day” planning their wedding, especially from 1:00 – 3:00.

The founder of Wedding MBA Will Hegarty is a former Pro Photographer. The 2016 show will be Oct 3-5 in Las Vegas and is a recommended for photographers who are looking for deeper insight into the wedding industry and how to stay ahead of the curve. What other conferences do you recommend outside of the major expos like: WPPI, Imaging USA and Photo Plus?