“Should I join a wedding or event planner association?”
I hear this question often and my answer is always yes. Whether you are part of a local or national association, the benefits always outweigh the cost if you choose the right association for you and your business. When evaluating different associations, consider asking these questions about the organization:
Is the wedding planner association a local, national or international organization? If it is international or national, is there a local chapter that has frequent meetings, networking opportunities, and educational resources? An association with a local chapter is most beneficial however if you live in a remote area, it is still helpful to be a member if you can occasionally travel to attend a meeting or conference. If the organization has a local chapter, ask to attend a meeting or two as a guest to see if the association is a good fit for you.
What kind of educational opportunities are offered? Are there regional or national event planner conferences you could attend? Are there online courses or certifications available through this association? Are there workshops that would be helpful for you?
What is the cost? Is there an annual fee or monthly fee? Do members also pay for meetings? What is the cost to attend meetings and events as a member?
What are all of the membership benefits? Some associations have discounts available to members for insurance, financial, legal, and other professional services. Other associations are strongly focused on providing education. There are associations specifically for event planners and organizations that serve the entire events industry. Consider what each association has to offer and what is most important to you.
Once you join an event planner association, commit to attending meetings and events as well as connecting with other members both in person and online. If you do not put effort into the association, you won’t get much out of your membership. Being part of a reputable industry association adds credibility to your business. Once you become a member, display the association logo on your website and in your marketing materials. Consider these strategies for effective networking as a wedding planner.
As your business grows, evaluate your membership(s) each year. When I started my wedding planning business, I belonged to one association for the first four years then switched to a different association that fit my needs better after my business and knowledge expanded.
If you are part of a wedding or event planner association, please share in the comments which association you belong to and what you like about it!