With over 120 business seminars and tons of wedding professionals—from caterers to photographers to florists—in attendance, we attend Wedding MBA in Las Vegas annually, and it seems like every single year we learn a little bit more about how to get the absolute most out of the coveted conference. Today, we’re breaking down our top tricks and tips for wedding professionals attending Wedding MBA. Read on, and learn how to get the highest return on that ticket investment possible:
Bring a notebook and a handful of pens, and download a voice recording app.
This may sound like common sense, but with so many people relying on technology for note-taking these days, oftentimes people forget to pack a good ole’ fashioned notebook and some reliable pens. You never know when your phone battery will die, and writing things down by hand is proven to help you remember things better. While some exhibitor booths will hand out pens, don’t count on it. And running out of ink just when a session gets really good is the worst. We also recommend ensuring you’ve got a great recording app on your phone. Last year, we voice-recorded a few sessions and took notes, and reviewing the two (notes + recording) together after the conference was so helpful!
Take notes. Take notes. Take notes.
When you’re in the convention center, look at each of those rooms not as a hall, but as a classroom. Bring a notebook or laptop or whatever it is you prefer to use take notes. Pay attention. Take time at the end of each day when you’re back at your hotel to go through your notes, set action items, and highlight or Post-It items you want to follow up on when you return home. And when you do get home—after a day of rest—sit down and review your notes. Then, make a list of action items based off of your review session. Wedding MBA is an amazing thing—it gives you an opportunity to continue your education, and to improve upon your current business practices. But it’s what you do afterward with this knowledge that is key.
Free up as much memory on your phone as possible.
Backup and remove all those photos of your dog or kids or most recent wedding. Delete any text chains that are filled with photos, gifs or videos. You’ll thank me when you find yourself snapping a picture with celebrity planner Sasha Souza, David Tutera or The Knot‘s Carly Roney—you don’t want to be caught in a “no memory space” situation when you’re meeting your wedding idols!
Bring a portable mobile device charger or battery booster.
Weakened cell tower signal in the Las Vegas Convention Center makes your cell phone work harder to send and receive data, which means your phone can go from 95% to 5% just like that—especially if you’re on social media (and, let’s face it, we all will be). If you don’t already have a portable charger, now is a good time to invest in one (they’re not that expensive) and include it on your packing list for this event. While I love the few booths that offered charging stations, it’s still likely you’ll have to wait for an available charger, and you’ll end up missing something important if you’re stuck at a charging station waiting for that precious juice. That being said, if you do end up getting stuck at a charging station, make the most of it! Introduce yourself to the person charging next to you (rather than staring down at your device)—you never know who you’re going to meet! If all else fails, remember that Postmates, an on-demand anything delivery service, is available in Las Vegas. So, if you’re really in need of a charger, you can visit the Postmates website, order one from the nearest Apple store or Best Buy, and a Postmate will deliver it right to the convention center doorsteps.
Pack for temperature fluctuation.
Las Vegas is hot—even in November (trust us). The convention center, on the other hand, is cold (and oftentimes freezing). Bring a light sweater or jacket with you every day, especially if you run cold.
Attend the WeddingWire and The Knot Parties.
Typically, these are on the same nights—ATTEND BOTH! You won’t regret it. RSVP to the big parties (WeddingWire and The Knot) sooner rather than later—ticket availability dries up as the date nears, and you don’t want to miss these unbelievable celebrations.
Leave a little room in your suitcase.
Pack smart, and also pack light. Be sure to leave extra room in your carry-on or suitcase for all the swag you’ll be taking home with you!
Use social media to find a convention buddy ahead of time.
We’ve heard so many people say they don’t want to attend Wedding MBA because they don’t want to go alone—and we totally understand that feeling. But there’s a great way to secure a convention buddy ahead of time—post on social media that you’ll be attending. You’ll discover any friends who are attending and can make plans in advance to meet up. Having a friend or industry acquaintance by your side is always a plus when navigating the conference. If you’re having a hard time getting any bites on your personal social channels, post to social media / Facebook groups you’re in (such as Savvy Business Owners, the Refine Group, or even We Are Aisle Planners) and make personal connections before the event. The perks: You won’t have to sit alone at lunch, and you may just get a chance to catch up with old friends who you would have never known were attending otherwise!
Wear comfortable shoes.
An obvious one, right? Well, not exactly—as wedding professionals, we’re always striving to look our best, which sometimes means making a terribly uncomfortable wardrobe choice. But trust us, even if you’re staying at the Westgate, Renaissance Las Vegas or the Courtyard Las Vegas Convention Center right next door to the conference, it’s still a trek to the convention center. And even if you’ve booked a hotel on the monorail track, you’ll still have some serious walking to do once you’re inside the convention center. So save your heels for The Knot and WeddingWire parties, and opt for comfy, worn-in, tried-and-true walking shoes for the conference itself.
Hail the power of the monorail.
Staying at a hotel on the monorail line makes getting around Las Vegas a heck of a lot easier. Monorail tickets run $29 for a three-day pass, and there’s a spot conveniently located just in front of the convention center. Remember, Uber and Lyft are now in Las Vegas, too, which can be another easy option for getting around Sin City.
Bring PLENTY of business cards.
Wedding MBA provides constant opportunities to network and meet like-minded professionals. Tuck business cards into the back of your badge holder for easy access and refill as needed.
Bring a refillable water bottle and snacks.
As with any convention center, bottled water is expensive and, while some booths will pass out water bottles, the well runs dry—especially when you need it the most! The same goes for snacks. Pack snacks to get you through each day (preferably the kind of snacks that have packaging that won’t make a ton of noise). There’s a good selection of food at the convention center, but the lines can be long. The cafeteria downstairs has a great healthy selection (and salad bar!) and a coffee shop to boot if you need that little caffeine boost before digging back in. The days are long and you need to keep your energy, concentration, and focus on point!
Plan for next year and save.
Purchase your tickets while you’re there for next year’s Wedding MBA. Tickets are deeply discounted (almost two for the price of one), and you can always roll over your registration to the following year or transfer your ticket to another wedding professional if, for any reason, you cannot attend.
Overall, Wedding MBA is one of the most informative, fun, and energetic conferences we’ve ever been to. We love making the trek inland each year for a few days of networking and continued education in Sin City, and we hope you’ll join us in November. Tickets are still available through the Wedding MBA website—don’t hesitate to look for us at the Aisle Planner Booth and come say hello when you’re there. You can also reach out ahead of time to let us know you’ll be there and to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the Aisle Planner team!