Virtual Reality and Its Impact on the Wedding Industry

Sandy Hammer, AllSeated

Technology never ceases to amaze us – even in the wedding industry, where we are accustomed to watching for and incorporating new innovations into our bags full of tricks. One of the most exciting recent advances is the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) capability. It is revolutionizing the way that we work with clients, market destinations and visualize design. Its impact on the wedding industry is expected to be huge.

What Is Virtual Reality?

In the recent past it was the stuff of movies, games, and imagination –  put on a pair of Goggles and be transported to destinations as far as the other side of the globe (and beyond). Today, however, you can purchase a pair of such goggles from Apple or Android, download an app to access your project or event, and see the entire venue as if you are standing directly in the room. This vivid visualization pre-delivers experiences to venues and couples in a way that has never previously been possible in this industry!

What Are the Wedding Industry Implications of VR?

This new technology will allow wedding professionals to work with couples from afar with more ease and peace of mind for all involved. Couples will be able to see their space and your designs before they set foot in it in real life. The VR experience replaces a photo slideshow, video or schematic. This kind of engaging interaction with the space makes both preliminary sales and upselling easier.

Increase Sales

We have updated AllSeated, for example, to include technology that interacts with a wide range of VR headsets, including Facebook’s Oculus, HTC’s Vive and the Samsung Gear VR. Some of our customers have reported closing more than ten new events per year solely due to the event visualization experience we provide. Incorporating VR technology into your sales process is expected to have the same effect on wedding sales across the board.

Whether you sell local weddings or destination events, you can look forward to the advancements that will soon be available to you thanks to VR technology. Turn your bridal show or trade show booth into an imagination station and invite your couples in to your venues and designs. You will soon see an improvement in the number and quality of bookings you successfully secure. It’s a form of tech advancement that has been long anticipated. Enjoy its benefits!

With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.



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The Ins and Outs of Mastermind Groups

By Lane' Richards, Something Borrowed

You’ve probably heard of a Mastermind Group but aren’t exactly sure what all the hype is about. We all know as wedding professionals that your time, energy and resources are very limited. You don’t want to join yet another program that may not produce the results you were hoping for. Let's take a closer look at Masterminds and see how they can be of value to the growth of your wedding business.

 What is a Mastermind?

A Mastermind Group is peer-to-peer mentoring with a mixture of brainstorming, education and accountability. They are a way to accelerate the success of your business as you focus on your most important issues.

They are a concept first introduced in the early 1900’s by Napoleon Hill via his book, “The Law to Success.” They are new to most people, but have gained popularity over the past couple of years. Masterminds are a great way to get motivated and to make better business decisions and cost much less than working one on one with a business coach.

Is a Mastermind Group for You?

Masterminds are not for everyone. They can be intense and you must be open to both sharing and exploring new ideas with others. They’re ideal if you’re passionate about your business and want to not only reach but exceed your goals. You have to be willing to be an active participant to reap the full benefits. Each group member relies on your expertise to help guide them through an issue, so it’s not a place to be a bystander or sit quietly in the corner. What you put into it is what you’ll get out of it, so it’s important to not only show up, but be fully present.

What to Expect

Meeting consistency. Mastermind Groups meet once or twice a month at a set date and time, taking the guesswork out of finding a good time for the entire group.

Virtual collaboration. Since most Masterminds meet virtually, you are not tied to finding a group in your geographic location, opening the doors for you to be part of a group that fits with your niche, expertise and time constraints.

Small groups. Space is usually limited to up to 6-8 people which allows each person enough time on the Mastermind calls. A smaller group also means stronger connections.

Simple meeting structure. Mastermind Groups have standard format for each meeting. To get warmed up, they may open with a celebration or win from the previous meeting. Then, each participant has time in the “hot seat” to share the problem or challenge they are facing. All group members then take turns sharing ideas they have for the hot seat member. To close the meeting out, each member takes turns sharing one thing they’d like to be held accountable for.

When you take part in a Mastermind Group, you’ll start to see a shift in your confidence and what you accomplish. You’ll have breakthrough moments and a greater sense of clarity as you work through obstacles that may be holding you back. A coach and peers will guide you as you tackle challenges and solve problems together. Best of all, you’ll have fun participating in one!

 Lane’ Richards is the multidisciplinary entrepreneur and creative genius behind Something Borrowed Portland. In 2017 Lane’ started Wedding Pro Coaching; offering mastermind business coaching and educational programs to independent creatives looking to navigate - and succeed - in the crowded wedding industry.


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Tips to Make Business Forecasting Less Overwhelming

By Kevin Dennis, WeddingIQ

As the owner or manager of a growing business, you shoulder the responsibility not just of current day-to-day operations, but what will happen in the future as well. While a crystal ball would be super helpful, magic is not an option. You need to apply your expertise and your past experience to looking ahead and anticipating what is likely to come next so you can be totally prepared for the next opportunities and challenges. You need to learn to forecast like a pro.

Business forecasting, or looking into the future to predict what is to come, doesn’t have to be a daunting, overwhelming task, however. If you approach it wisely, it can easily become a routine – one with the power to help you navigate towards future success.

Forecasting Tools

One of our most valuable forecasting tools is our CRM software. It enables us to create a comprehensive database of our leads and our active and past clients. Part of knowing what to expect in the future is having an extremely clear view of what occurred in the past. Our database helps us see the areas and circumstances under which we were most successful, and to take note of the situations that were challenges.

What to Include

Set tangible goals or benchmarks in your forecast, like a monetary goal you hope to reach in the future, or a number of events you want to book in a given time period. You could also include the amount of money you anticipate your couples will spend per event. Figuring out where you want to go, then comparing it with the reality of your known and anticipated expenses and obstacles can help you create a plan that will help you overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

When forecasting, it is important that your predictions be realistic. Don’t just anticipate the good times. Build in padding for the more difficult times as well. Being conservative with your income estimates and a little guarded about prospective success will ultimately help you find balance.

The Biggest Mistake

The single biggest mistake that most businesses make is not forecasting at all. Maybe it’s easier not to think about the future, or maybe you’re afraid you won’t like what you find. The only path forward, though, is one that acknowledges the successes and failures of the past, and attempts to prepare for them in the future.

Are you ready to guide your company through its next phases of growth? Start forecasting today!



Reflecting and Planning for the Year Ahead

By Emily Sullivan, Emily Sullivan Events

This year is coming to a close, which means it’s time to put plans in place for the year ahead. As a wedding planner, this delights me to no end, but it’s not lost on me that for most business owners, it is a dreaded task.

To make things more manageable, I am going to walk you through my tried and true processes of analyzing 2017 and preparing for 2018.

Money, Money, Money

Finances are crucial to the success or failure of your business, but you shouldn't just be looking at the money as a whole. Instead, you need to break it down to find out when bookings are usually slower or what was your best time of year. When you look at these, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover. More importantly if you can thoroughly understand your earning cycle, then you can set realistic goals and plan for the slower time periods.


Marketing normally makes up a significant portion of one’s business, so it deserves a proper review at least annually. Carve out time to take a look back at the number of leads you received from each promotional strategy, and then see how many of those actually turn into clients.

You’ll need to have an honest talk with yourself and decide whether you truly took advantage of the tools and perks that come with your advertising packages. Did you maintain your respective online profiles? Follow up with their leads lists?

This type of analysis will allow you to make better informed decisions about what investments make the most sense to continue in the coming year.

Team Members

Do not forget about the key players in your company. When I took a good hard look at my team, I realized that one of my members was exceptional at social media, blogging and search engine optimization. It is where she wanted to focus her attention, so we made the switch and it has equally benefitted my business as well as her own professional experience.

Also, get their opinions on how they feel execution of an event or daily processes can be simplified or delegated. Have them look at their productivity and schedule, and see how they think it can be improved. Take yourself and your team off-site to a retreat or lunch. Sometimes getting outside of your typical work environment will allow you to dive deeper and think clearer yielding exceptional results for a fruitful year!


Before the start of the year, I always like to look at the calendar year ahead and see how it is shaping up. This will allow you to plan out a better work-life balance of knowing what months you are already overextended so you can plan around it. You can also see if you need to hire part-time employees to execute everything without sacrificing quality of work.

If you are looking to make the process even easier for 2018, I suggest breaking it down throughout the year. My team and I meet seasonally to discuss how we can improve and to reevaluate procedures. The worst thing is when you go an entire year struggling, when little things can be tweaked and changed to make it a more prosperous year for you.


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WeddingIQ welcomes guest posts from wedding professionals and industry experts on all topics relevant to running a wedding business. Please review our guest contributor guidelines and email us with your submissions!


Handling Travel Expenses

By Kevin Dennis, WeddingIQ

Being able to travel for work is something that always sounds really fun and glamorous to people, and don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is. However, there is a lot of back-end work that goes into it. From scheduling to booking and of course, managing expenses. Your trip can quickly go from exciting to stressful, but with a few simple tips you’ll have no problem handling your travel expenses.

Get Organized

Good organization is the secret weapon for most seasoned travelers. For your hotels and airfare, using an app that stores everything in one place for quick and easy access is key. I use TripIt, which has been a huge time saver. As for other expenses while on the trip, be sure you’re keeping all of your receipts. I found that having a designated folder in my suitcase makes it easy for me to empty out my wallet at the end of each night. That way, I know everything is there and I can refer back to it when I’m home in the office.

Additional Employees

If you have additional employees joining you, you’re going to want to have some way for them easily get around, buy meals, etc. Issuing a company credit card has worked well for me. They are given a strict spending limit and are required to complete an expense report immediately following the trip. If you aren’t comfortable with that, the next best option is to simply reimburse them. Be sure they are keeping their receipts and have them fill out an expense report for everything they put on their card.

Set a Budget

Set a budget before your trip of what you’d be comfortable spending and stick to it. Remember that you’re there for work and not fun. I’ve seen a lot of people blow off conference classes to go out and see the sights, which means they’re spending money instead of learning how to make money. You paid to be there, so it’s your responsibility to get the most out of it.

Determine ROI

After the conference/trip, sit down and look at how much you spent and determine if the ROI is worth it. It’s going to be hard to evaluate, because results may take some time, but taking a close look at your finances can show you some changes you can make on another trip.

The only question left now is, where are you headed to next?