Monday, August 16, 2010

The WEDDvolution

One of the first and biggest lessons any business-owner learns is that you never know who you are going to meet.

Or when.

About four weeks ago I attended a networking party which left me somewhat perplexed. I am by no means a shy person, but I remember standing on the periphery of this large gathering thinking that people were more interested in the victuals and the alcohol (oh, and in schmoozing with people they already knew) than in networking. I came away with a huge sense of disappointment. Questioning why I'd driven all the way there.

It didn't actually become apparent to me until at a week later - when I got a follow up phonecall about my blog from Jessica Coates .. and started to tread the Weddzilla path.

Can I just say ... it's so wonderful to talk to people on the phone and hear enthusiasm in their voice! To hear commitment, and to realise that you're more than just a number to someone. I'll share that at the time I was going through a pretty hefty family crisis. Who, in this day and age, takes the time to check in with a stranger the day after you've talked? Not to see whether you're interested in doing business - but to check up on you because you sounded a little off-key.

Why am I coming at this feature from this angle?

What does this have to do with anything?

To my mind it has everything to do with it - because Weddzilla is all about creating relationships - through personal interaction.

Through conversation.

After Aaron Hall (Weddzilla's CEO) got married, his wife Kristin shared that co-ordinating the wedding had not been much of a pleasure. Finding the right vendors, evaluating prices. Even getting the right advice had been a struggle. Her hard work had paid off, but she wanted more for others embarking on the same journey.

"Why isn't there a site that does this?" she asked.

So Aaron took the idea ... and ran.


Over the course of a year he brought together a team of experts (affectionately dubbed The Gurus), and engaged Sara Morgan to help out with sales.

It very quickly became apparent, however, that Sara's passion lay in putting social trends to work - and in helping people leverage their time.

Weddzilla went live just a couple of months ago - but its rise has been meteoric. It's the first online social wedding platform (think Facebook, think Twitter) to fully integrate the wedding planning process into popular social networks. Ensuring a more efficient, interactive, and social wedding planning experience.

So what's to love about Weddzilla?

What's not to love!!?

First off, it was great to learn that the beta testers are brides from across the country. Known as The B Team, they test new features before they are rolled out. And that's great - because this community is a forum for engaging brides - and putting FUN back into the equation.

Consider the Weddmark.

It's a visual bookmarking tool which makes collecting and organizing inspiration from all over the web a cinch.

And here's the cool part.

Each item weddmarked between now and September 30th gives the bride one entry in the Weddmark Challenge.

The prize?

A chance to win a $1,000 gift registry from Macy's!

But that's not all.

Have you heard about the WEDDIFIEDS?

They're revolutionizing the way brides and vendors connect. Brides can post their service needs - including their budget - and vendors can respond by sending a quote directly to them.

And what else is fabulous?

The Guru-Awards 2010!

Almost 200 blogs have been entered! Another testament to how much Weddzilla has grown in the few months it's been live. Blogs play a huge role in the wedding community and, as Sara said to me over the phone, "Weddzilla wanted to acknowledge that. It's wonderful how receptive people have been."

Speaking for myself, I have to say that my daily reading list has grown exponentially since the call for nominations went out two weeks or so ago. There are some fabulous blogs out there - and I highly recommend you check them out.

Sara had some really exciting news to share, too.

She and Aaron will be speaking at the 7th Annual MBA Convention this September.

An accolade indeed!

Now this last photo brings us back to Aaron and his spouse.

Is this a case of Give a man half an idea and he'll build an empire or Behind every successful man stands a brilliant woman?

Hmmm .... jury's out on this one, I guess!

I leave you with the highlights from Weddzilla's launch party. Be sure to check their You Tube channel. Lots of great stuff from the Gurus on it!

OH .. and keep your eye on the blog this Friday.
There will be not one but TWO giveaways this week.
I'm adding a piece called JESSICA to the Stackables Collection.
To acknowledge the woman who took time out of her busy life to make sure I was okay.



Web Design by JoyfulRose