keynote speakers

day 1

Melissa Wilmot, Rock Paper Coin


A communicator by profession and in the wedding business by passion, Melissa merges her experience and expertise to share Rock Paper Coin with everyone she encounters. She loves meeting new people, cultivating relationships, and constantly striving for success as she helps grow Rock Paper Coin. Melissa’s background includes time spent working in the Oregon State Capitol, and leading public affairs and public relations departments, as well as years in the startup world, after she launched her wedding startup, WedBrilliant, in 2014. Born and raised mostly in Africa, Melissa still loves to travel the world and is probably mid-planning her next getaway with her husband, Matt, and her two sons, Grady and Nolan. Her home is now in Portland, Oregon, where she keeps busy dining at some of the best restaurants in the country. Melissa’s also not opposed to substituting dessert for pretty much any meal!


Get On Board: How to Utilize ChatGPT and Cutting-Edge Technologies to Boost Your Wedding Business


In this presentation, Melissa will explore the potential of ChatGPT and other advanced technologies to revolutionize the wedding industry. We will discuss how wedding professionals can leverage these tools to enhance their services, streamline their operations, and ultimately grow their businesses. Attendees will come away with a deeper understanding of the role of technology in the industry and practical, tangible tips for implementing it all effectively.


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. Technology can help wedding professionals provide better service to their clients by automating routine tasks, improving communication, and enabling personalized experiences.

2. ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help wedding professionals generate leads, answer potential client inquiries, and provide expert advice, all in real-time.

3. To effectively leverage technology, wedding professionals must invest time and resources in learning about new tools, understanding their customers' needs, and integrating technology into their business strategies. With the right approach, technology can be a powerful enabler of growth and success in the wedding industry.

brit Bertino, ceremonies unveiled


Since opening her own company in 2002, Brit Bertino has become one of the most sought-after event producers. Planning spectacular events is just something Brit Bertino was born to do. When you bring together her experience, overall business knowledge, leadership skills, innovative ideas, unique solutions, and comprehensive understanding and implementation of the countless details, you get one-of-a-kind, amazing events that exceed expectations, each and every time. Brit Bertino began her career working for a broadcasting company producing concerts and events for elite musicians, then she moved on to producing weddings for cruise lines, traveling, and planning exotic celebrations for her clientele. Ultimately she settled in Las Vegas and began Brit Bertino Event Excellence, never looking back and only looking forward!

Currently, her business is based in Northern California and in Las Vegas, Nevada during peak seasons but also features many desired international and domestic destinations. As she travels with her elite clientele to their exotic locations to produce, her business takes her across the globe, providing over-the-top, exceptional, one-of-a-kind celebrations. She offers professional event management, destination management, and design services for any event type or size of event. Her clients include an array of celebrities and socialites. Brit is sure to give you and your guests a breathtaking experience with memories that will last a lifetime.


Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in Wedding Planning. Creating Unforgettable Moments that Honor Love in All its Forms


In today's ever-changing world, couples are seeking wedding celebrations that reflect their unique identities and cultural backgrounds. As wedding planners, it is essential for us to embrace diversity and inclusion, ensuring that every couple's love story is celebrated authentically and respectfully. This engaging presentation dives into the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion in wedding planning and explores practical strategies to create unforgettable moments that honor love in all its forms.


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. Understanding the Power of Diversity

2. Culturally Sensitive Planning

3. Building an Inclusive Vendor Network

4. Navigating Challenging Conversations

Tom chelednik, weddingpro


Tom Chelednik has over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing with 15 specifically in the wedding industry. From 2008 - 2020, Tom held several sales positions at The Knot, including Regional Director of Sales and Director of Training and Enablement. He led teams that were instrumental in growing and retaining new business across 20 states and Canada, ultimately helping wedding professionals book more weddings and grow their businesses. During his time at The Knot, Tom traveled the country 70% of each year to speak with and learn from wedding professionals. Tom is passionate about sharing the knowledge he has gained over the years and continues to coach pros, specifically to help them increase their leads and bookings. In addition to The Knot, Tom was the COO of The Treasury Venue Collection in St. Augustine, Florida where he learned first hand what it was like to operate a wedding venue. During that time he also helped build an online learning platform called Venue Profit Pro, which was designed for wedding venues across the country to improve their marketing and sales results. Tom rejoined The Knot Worldwide in the summer of 2022 and is now managing The Customer Success Teams. When he's not traveling around the country, you can find Tom spending time with his family that now includes two grandchildren.


The Lead Game has Changed: Getting to More Conversations That Get More Bookings


WeddingPros, who successfully convert leads to bookings, are constantly evaluating their follow-up process and content. With the Generation Z crowd, it’s more important than ever to build trust and rapport. So, we’re going to unlock and share secrets that will increase the chances of actual conversations that turn into real bookings for you.


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. Strategize to improve your lead process

2. Improve your follow-up content with examples that work

3. Automate your follow-up process to book more leads


Website: WeddingPro

IG: @weddingpro

FB: /chelednik

Leah Weinberg, oduberG LLP


Leah Weinberg - Co-Founder of Oduberg LLP and Co-Owner of contract template shop Legally Set is an attorney, a recovering wedding planner, and the author of The Wedding Roller Coaster. After nearly a decade in the wedding industry as the owner of Color Pop Events, a New York City-based wedding planning company, Leah is returning to her roots as an attorney to assist her former colleagues in the events industry, along with other entrepreneurs and business owners. Her work and insights have been published online and in print with Vogue, the New York Times, People, CNN, CNBC, Bravo, Martha Stewart, and The Knot, among others. A WeddingPro Educator with The Knot + WeddingWire since 2020, Leah travels throughout the country sharing insight with her peers regionally, as well as at national conferences such as Alt Summit, NACE Experience, and The Special Event.


Is It Time for a Legal Tune Up? A Guide for Seasoned Wedding Pros


When business is booming and your client pipeline is full, you may find that your backend operations start collecting dust. While letting your systems or processes languish is one thing, allowing the legal components of your business to go untouched can leave you at serious risk — and by the time you find out, it’s usually too late. In this session, Leah takes attendees through the legal foundation of running a company of any size and speaks to the importance of establishing a relationship with an attorney before you actually need one. She’ll explore every corner of your business from a legal standpoint, including classifying team members, updating contracts, website policies, and email marketing requirements.


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. What to look for in the contracts of freelancers that you’re hiring

2. Potential liability pitfalls to be aware of when working with clients and colleagues

3. When it’s critical to get your attorney involved and legal tasks you might be able to handle on your own


Website: Oduberg

IG: @theleahweinberg

FB: /legallyset

day 2

mark chapman, The I do society


Having an impact on small businesses across the nation wasn’t on Mark’s radar at all as a young 20-something starting out in the wedding industry. He was hustling hard like any young entrepreneur, but as we all eventually find out - you reach a limit to growth because you only have so much time and money.

After experiencing burnout from all the energy spent at local networking events and mediocre marketing opportunities, Mark needed to find a different way to promote his family’s wedding photography studio. He took a course on Google Ads and to his great surprise, LOVED it.

He quickly became fascinated with using advertising automation & data to reach couples who were actively searching (even while he slept!) instead of all the time spent networking with people who weren’t in need of his wedding services nor actively looking for them.

Local friends in the industry heard of his success with advertising and started asking for his help. It wasn’t long before he decided to trade in his camera for a nicer laptop so he could engage this unexpected passion for helping other wedding pros avoid the burnout he experienced and help them reach the right couples with the power of great ads.

Fast forward many years (and lots of new gray hairs!), Mark has successfully built the wedding industry’s leading authority on advertising: The I Do Society. He frequently shares his knowledge in virtual meetings online, as well as taking the stage at industry conferences like Wedding MBA, Better Bridal Group, The Marquee Show, The White Dress Society, Bridal Show Producers International, and many others.


Google Ads: Reach & Convert Couples Who Are Actively Searching For You


Google Ads can deliver a consistent stream of quality leads…when done correctly. This powerful platform has many dangerous pitfalls to avoid, but with the right campaign strategies it can be used to fill your funnel with quality leads. Learn exactly how to create a campaign to get in front of the right couples who are actively searching for a wedding business like yours and are ready to take the next step.


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. What NOT to do with Google Ads that even Google won’t tell you (and most attendees who are currently running ads are probably doing)

2. Step-by-step guide on how to create an effective campaign, write the best ad copy and employ demographic targeting.

3. How to measure conversions and determine your ROI so you can use data rather than feelings to improve your campaigns and get more results for less money.

nayri, wedding fashion expert


Given today’s dynamic world, Nayri beautifully leverages technology to create a unique, unforgettable customer experience. From being a bestselling author to styling brides, online branding, YouTubing, speaking, coaching, and educating, Nayri has turned Lovella Bridal into the successful bridal brand it is today. She specializes in overall business branding, online presence, team building, and implementing sales and marketing initiatives. Her innovative strategies make her an industry leader and pioneer.


Social Media Strategy: Dominating Your Market Online with IG, TikTok & YouTube Shorts


How to grow and dominate your online presence on IG, TikTok & YouTube Shorts with simple techniques for micro productions. Micro productions can be fun and inexpensive to make. Get ready to promote your brand to wedding couples by entertaining them with short videos to get seen by thousands of the right people, and stop being the world's best-kept secret!


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. Strategies on how to maximize one video recording on all three platforms (IG, TikTok, YouTube Shorts)

2. Shortcuts for content creation in one recording

3. Simple video techniques & edits

terrica, HustleQuarters


Spreading her metropolitan style throughout the low country as an award-winning event planner, Terrica has been creating exquisite weddings and events in the Golden Isles area for the past eighteen years. Her weddings and expertise have been featured in The Knot, Reader’s Digest, Martha Stewart Weddings, HLN tv, Style Me Pretty, PeopleTV, and many others.

Combining that experience with humor, compassion, and hustle, she travels the globe teaching at workshops, retreats, and conferences. Known as the Motherhustler, through her educational hub HustleQuarters, she has helped over 4000 wedding professionals confidently increase their pricing, perfect their sales process, and create dynamic back offices that help their businesses run like well-oiled machines.

A Speaker of the Year nominee for the National Association of Catering and Events ONE Award, Terrica's engagements have taken her around the world speaking at IADWP, Catersource, Wedding MBA, NACE National, The Coterie Retreat, and a host of local chapters and professional groups in the US. A popular educator for The Knot and Wedding Wire, she launched her new industry education systems, Wedding Hustle University, and Wedding Pro Workshop, to provide niche and nuanced education that help wedding professionals implement and build their businesses quickly and efficiently.

Terrica loves being connected to those in the wedding industry, hosting the “She Doesn’t Even Go Here” podcast while being a guest on many others such as VenueRX, Rock My Weddings, The Power of Purpose, Weddings for Real and more. Additionally, she is also a passionate leader within the industry, spearheading the Unity Through Community initiative to make the wedding industry more diverse and inclusive, and sits on the advisory board for Fellowship for Change, a program from WeddingPro to elevate historically underrepresented demographics in the industry.

As an avid lover of cake and champagne, you'll find her at home in the Golden Isles with her four kids and disgruntled cat. When not entertaining family and friends, she’s frequently binging on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Game of Thrones (except season 8).


7 Steps to Yes: Irresistible Proposals for the Modern Couple


Couples will receive on average 25 proposals as they start planning their event. Standing out from the crowd isn't just imperative, it's necessary! Otherwise, your hardworking and talent will just boil down to cost. This innovative and interactive session will show you how to go from Overlooked to Overbooked with your service proposals, by incorporating couple centered, company inspired details to win all of your events.


Key Presentation Takeaways


1. Refining one's target / ideal market

2. Developing a workflow for incoming leads and sales

3. Tech arsenal for everyone, even the technophobe

4. Non-sleazy sales approach that work

jordan heller, Suncoast Wedding and Event Leaders


In the events industry, Jordan Heller is a jack of all trades but a master of.... one. Networking. After a failed catering company and a podcast that was sadly ahead of its time, Jordan moved into venue sales and event planning at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He sold half-million-dollar weddings and worked with a team to plan large public events and intimate member dining experiences. Jordan began privately producing over-the-top networking events for the local wedding and event industry twice a year. As their popularity grew, he was able to turn these events into a full-time membership association called Suncoast Wedding & Event Leaders (SWEL). Jordan continues to produce monthly events for his 175 members and publishes and annual wedding magazine. His favorite fail was once being fired from a job and, because of networking, had 3 new job offers by the end of the same day.


10 Things Vendors Hate About You: A Panel Discussion


Ever feel like you can't make headway with certain vendors? Our reputations are the best currency we have, but how do we increase our stock value in the industry? In this panel discussion, 4 seasoned professionals along with moderator Jordan Heller will get real, raw and honest about the 10 behaviors that are keeping other vendors from investing time and energy to work with you.


Key Presentation Takeaways

1. Hear common social faux pas that you've probably made at one time and understand why it makes people not want to work with you

2. Get no-nonsense pointers on how to harness the power of networking and social media to turn things around

3. Learn tips on how to form better relationships in the industry that turn into referral revenue


Website: SWEL

IG: @swelevents

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