By Elise Enloe, MBCTM, ABC Vice President of North American Operations & Director of Education, Oviedo, Fla.

The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) seminars are being refreshed with consistent branding and are no longer being referred to as “Expanding Horizons.”

A cadre of select, senior ABC masters-level members facilitates the seminars, the strength of which lies in its small group interaction. All seminars include a workbook with additional reading, checklists and samples, skill-based activities, and ample time for networking, sharing experiences, and questions and answers.

All of the ABC’s one-day seminars earn two points in Education and Professional Development for advancement. The first three seminars in the education series provide wedding and business skills to those getting established as wedding professionals. “While there are so many opportunities for wedding professionals to attend conferences, seminars, and workshops on marketing, branding, and building their business, the ABC provides more wedding education than any other source. That’s what ABC education does to set the standard of excellence for the wedding industry,” says David Wood, ABC President.


Series One—
ABC’s World of Wedding Planning
Last fall, as part of the restructuring of the educational track, Gloria Boyden, MBC™, and I introduced the World of Wedding Planning (WoW) as ABC’s Education Series One, replacing New Horizons. WoW Planning provides an intensive, introductory sampling of the wedding industry and all of the education the ABC has to offer potential wedding planners, those just establishing their wedding business, and those who have taken certificate courses but need help getting started. It also outlines the association’s roadmap to success through education. Additional ABC masters and state coordinators are being trained this summer to conduct this seminar more locally.


Series Two—
Let Your Business Blossom
The first specialized Expanding Horizons Seminar launched in 2008, Let Your Business Blossom, is targeted to helping those starting a wedding business. This seminar provides a sound basis for wedding business startup issues typically encountered in the first two to five years of business. Many wedding planners are strong, right-brain individuals, intuitive, artistic, and creative—developing their left-brain, analytical, and business skills can be a challenge.

However, don’t be afraid to attend this seminar if you’ve been in business for some time. It benefits all wedding professionals who have never developed a business plan, or are re-launching, rebranding, shifting their business market, or could just use some “fertilizer” to get their business growing. Starting with how to conduct market research, and a review of current wedding industry data and demographics, participants develop short- and long-term goals as well as a mission statement, are given business start-up checklists, and then walk through the elements of developing a business plan. The afternoon is spent covering marketing, contracts, and pricing. ABC’s Weddings as a Business course is suggested to accompany this seminar.


Series Three—
Rehearsal to Reception Rx
The third in the introductory level of ABC seminars, Rehearsal to Reception Rx is a hands-on, skill-based seminar to experience what it takes to get through a typical wedding rehearsal, ceremony, and reception. This seminar originally debuted in 2009, but has been updated for 2013 with additional skill activities. Attendees will participate in a mock rehearsal, cut a wedding cake, and learn to bustle a wedding gown as well as prepare timelines, conduct site inspections, prepare their emergency kit, and learn how to deal with common wedding emergencies.

In the next issue of Wedding Planner Magazine, I’ll review ABC seminar series four, five, and six. These education sessions are for established consultants and wedding professionals.

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