The 2018 International Wedding Trends Report is in, and there is a clear consensus among our industry experts: the future of success in the business of weddings is inextricably tied to technology. These are the Top wedding trends for 2018 creatives, the ones that will help shape the entire year ahead.
While there may have been a time early in the advent of the Internet when wedding professionals could hide under the nearest rock. Avoid learning the latest software, apps or tools and still experience success. That time has officially passed! Publicity, communication, production – every step of the client acquisition and satisfaction process involves technology these days.
Our (Virtual) Reality
“Everything around us is digitalized,” confirms Joumana Tannous, Managing Partner of Aghareed. “Instagram, for example, has become an essential tool, especially in our industry,” she says. The Bridal Bar’s Founder, Harmony Walton, agrees, saying, “Social media, specifically Instagram is how couples discover and vet potential wedding vendors.” Being found and staying relevant in today’s market means understanding platforms like Instagram and learning to use them effectively.
Technology for Business Management
Many of our experts highlight the need for effective client management software, as well as the importance of finding programs and apps to streamline your business and save valuable time. Others see the benefit to businesses of enhancing the customer experience through technology. Katherine Oyer, Director of PR & Partnerships for Aisle Planner predicts that certain technology which has been considered a luxury in the past will become a necessity in 2018. “Online payment processing,” for example, “has become an absolute must,” says Oyer. In addition to convenience, online payment capability adds value as, “Clients often want to utilize credit cards to earn a variety of points and rewards for such a high ticket event,” Oyer notes.
The Challenge of Striking Balance
While technology will allow clients to be more involved than ever in their planning process, Tara Fay, Owner of Xena Productions, acknowledges that this can be a double-edged sword. “Brides are becoming their own researchers,” says Fay, “and are coming to planners with their own weddings already planned (in their minds).”
“They not only have color palettes already researched,” she continues, “but also will have full storyboard presentations ready for their theme. (This is) not always the best option, as it won’t necessarily work in their venue,” or with their guest count, budget or other limitations. In 2018, wedding professionals will have to be able to balance the need for and accessibility of client involvement, and their roles as experts.
Thankfully, if the wedding industry does anything particularly well, it’s continuing education. We have high-quality conferences, live courses, virtual lessons and banks of resources that are often highly accessible. Since our technology is evolving so quickly around us, it’s no longer just “nice” to occasionally brush up your skills – it’s essential.
Kim Sayatovic, Founder and Creative Director of Belladeux Event Design, LLC doesn’t miss an opportunity to stay sharp. “If there is available continuing education, then I take the class, read the article or attend the lecture,” she says. “You will always stay stagnant in business if you aren’t continually trying to improve.”
2018 will bring a greater demand for business-revolutionizing technology, along with more opportunities than ever to learn and apply it. Are you ready?
Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.
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