A Busy Start to 2023: Highlights From Our Eventful Year So Far
Welcome to the most recent update from WeddingDates. We are delighted to share the exciting news and achievements of our company and team during the first four months of 2023. It has been a bustling and fulfilling start to the year, with new customer acquisitions, International Women’s Day celebrations, recognition of outstanding team members, the release of our annual Wedding Industry report, and the announcement of new updates to WedPro, our Sales Pipeline Management Software.
In this blog post, we will delve into the latest developments at WeddingDates, highlighting our unwavering commitment to continuous improvement and our steadfast dedication to serving our loyal customers and team. Let’s take a glimpse at our most recent news and updates.
Celebrating Success: WeddingDates’ Latest Company and Team News
We believe in celebrating wins, achievements and milestones, and the first four months of 2023 have been filled with exciting news for our company and team.
Welcoming New Customers to Our WedPro Community
We are thrilled to welcome a good number of new customers to our WedPro community. As a leading provider of software solutions for the wedding industry, we are proud to support wedding venues and suppliers in their journey to success. It’s a pleasure to have these new additions on board and be a part of their growth story.
We would like to extend a warm welcome to the following hotels in Ireland and the UK that signed up for WedPro in 2023: Castlemartyr Resort, Holiday Inn Dover, Best Western Woodlands Hotel, Best Western Garfield House Hotel, Stone House Hotel, The Tithe Barn, The Kings Arms, The Queens Head Inn, Best Western Plough and Harrow, Barton Manor and Rochestown Park Hotel. Here’s to a bright and successful future together!
We’re proud to celebrate the achievements of our team members. Sarah O’Farrell, our Head of Operations, recently marked her 3-year work anniversary with WeddingDates, and we’re grateful for her dedication and contributions to our success.
Sarah was also recognised as a finalist in the Resilience category at the 2022 LIFT Ireland Awards, showcasing her exceptional leadership in both her personal and professional life. As a company, we were honoured to receive a certificate from LIFT Ireland, recognising WeddingDates as a “living LIFT” partner organisation, promoting leadership and personal development among our team.
April Wellness Month
Jasmin Waller, our Customer Success Specialist put together a bunch of activities the team could enjoy during the month of April as part of the WeddingDates Wellness Month initiative. Some of the activities include 10-minute meditation, online yoga sessions, 30-minute walks, photo-of-the-day prompts and a virtual pub.
Celebrating International Women’s Day in March
March was a special month for us as we joined the global celebration of International Women’s Day. At WeddingDates, we recognise and appreciate the contributions of all the amazing women in our team and in the wider hospitality industry. We celebrated the achievements, talents, and leadership of women, and reiterated our commitment to gender equality and diversity.
Ciara Crossan, CEO and Founder of WeddingDates has been busy sharing insights into her entrepreneurial journey through various podcasts. She recently appeared on “24 Stories,” a podcast that features stories from entrepreneurs and business leaders, where she shared her journey as a female entrepreneur in the wedding industry. She also appeared on “Growing Forward” with Virginia Foley, discussing her experience and lessons learned in building and scaling a successful business. This podcast formed part of Foley’s Iconic Women series.
Webinar and Industry Report
In February, we released our eighth annual Wedding Industry Report, sharing key findings and trends in the wedding industry. Ciara also hosted two successful webinars to discuss the report and provide valuable insights to our community. We are committed to providing valuable resources and knowledge to support the growth and success of our customers and the wider wedding industry.
If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your copy of the report now and download it today.
New Additions to the Team
We’re delighted to welcome Mizan Potgieter to our team as our B2B Marketing Specialist. Mizan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our marketing efforts, and we’re excited to have her on board as we continue to grow and expand our services in the wedding industry. We were also lucky enough to have third-year MTU student Ali Byrne join our team as a Marketing Intern for 15 weeks.
Celebrating 15 Years in the Wedding Industry
In February, we celebrated a significant milestone – 15 years in the wedding industry! We’re proud of our journey and the impact we’ve made on the industry, helping wedding venues and suppliers connect with couples and grow their businesses. We’re grateful for the support of our community and excited for the future ahead.
Events and Conferences We Attended
We believe in the power of continuous learning and networking to stay ahead in the industry. That’s why we’ve been busy attending various events in the first four months of 2023 to gain insights, share knowledge, and connect with fellow industry professionals. Let’s take a look at some of the exciting events we’ve been a part of.
Master Innholders Hotel Leadership Conference in London – January 23rd and 24th
In January, Alix and Ciara had the opportunity to attend the prestigious Master Innholders Hotel Leadership Conference in London. This two-day event brought together leaders from the hotel industry to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and innovations. From keynote speeches to panel discussions, the conference was packed with valuable insights and networking opportunities.
In4Hospitality in York, Liverpool, and Manchester – January 25th and 26th
Carys had a busy January attending In4Hospitality events in York, Liverpool, and Manchester. These events provided a platform for hospitality professionals to exchange ideas, learn from industry experts, and discuss best practices. Carys found these events to be informative and insightful, and she was able to network with like-minded professionals.
2023 Best Western AMC in Edinburgh – January 30th and 31st
Ciara and Carys represented our hotel at the 2023 Best Western Annual Members Conference (AMC) in Edinburgh. This event, exclusively for Best Western members, offered a chance to learn about the latest updates, initiatives, and opportunities within the Best Western brand. It was also a great opportunity to meet new people, network with fellow Best Western members from across the region and catch up with some of our loyal customers.
Lakes Hospitality Trade Show – March 2nd
Carys attended the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show along with IN4Hospitality in March. This trade show provided a platform for hospitality businesses to showcase their products and services, and Carys was able to connect with potential suppliers and partners. It was a great opportunity to stay updated on the latest industry trends and innovations.
Networking event with The Club Women’s Network for International Women’s Day – March 18th
Mizan and Ciara attended a networking event with The Club Women’s Network at Republic of Work in Cork to celebrate International Women’s Day in March. This event was a great opportunity to connect with other professional women, share experiences, and gain insights from successful entrepreneurs in various industries.
AwakenHub SheGenerate Big Sister Session – March 16th & April 18th
On the 16th of March and 18th of April, Ciara facilitated a Big Sister training session with participants of AwakenHub’s SheGenerate programme. The topics covered included Email Marketing, Lead Generation and Building a Sales Pipeline. As a vocal advocate for female entrepreneurship, Ciara takes pride in her involvement with organisations that provide support, funding, and empowerment to women who aspire to launch their own businesses.
IN4Hospitality events in Birmingham and Jersey – March 29th and 30th
Carys continued her participation in IN4Hospitality events by attending the events in Birmingham and Jersey in March. These events provided a platform for hospitality professionals to share their expertise, learn from each other, and discuss challenges and opportunities in the industry.
Panel discussion on “How to Scale through Slowdown” at Republic of Work – April 19th
Two members of our marketing team Mizan and Ali joined local Cork entrepreneurs at a panel discussion on Scaling Through Slowdown at Republic of Work in Cork. The panellists included Ciara Crossan, Founder and CEO of WeddingDates, Jamie Heaslip from Stripe and Ian O’Sullivan from LegitFit. They shared their experiences with starting a company, scaling their business and acquiring funding.
During the discussion, our team found the insights to be very valuable. In particular, they were struck by Ciara’s comment on how the pandemic provided to be a significant learning opportunity for her.
“I suppose I would say to anyone starting out, don’t be discouraged. In times of crisis, it is a huge opportunity for idea generation and innovation. Businesses that come up with new ideas will thrive and set themselves up for long-term success.”
Upcoming events: The National Hotel Marketing Conference and HOSPA Webinar – April & May
Our team is also looking forward to attending The National Hotel Marketing Conference on 27th April at the Hilton at St George’s Park. This conference will focus on the latest marketing strategies and trends in the hotel industry, providing valuable insights to boost our hotel’s marketing efforts. Ciara will also be giving a seminar on The Wedding Lifecycle along with Mark Godfrey, Managing Director of Deer Park in Devon, an award-winning wedding venue, which is a must-see.
Additionally, we have the HOSPA Webinar on the 25th of April and Carys will be attending some more In4Hospitality events on the 10th and 11th of May in Cotswolds and Cheltenham. Follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with the latest news and events we’re attending.
New WedPro Product Features
At WeddingDates, we are dedicated to the continuous improvement of WedPro, our Sales Pipeline Management Software, aiming to make it the most efficient and effective tool for our customers. We are thrilled to announce our latest software update, packed with exciting new features that are designed to streamline sales workflows and empower teams to work more efficiently.
Some of the latest features include:
- Adding partners in Enquiry Manager
- Lead contact information
- Unblocking Dates
- Manually entering enquiry for already booked dates
- Timeslots for showround bookings
And so much more coming soon! You can take an in-depth look at these new updates here.
As we continue to strive for excellence in all that we do, we are grateful for the opportunity to share our latest company and team news with our valued customers and partners. We are proud of our achievements and are committed to delivering exceptional service to the wedding industry. Thank you for your continued support, and stay tuned for more exciting updates from WeddingDates. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our offerings, feel free to reach out to us. Here’s to a successful and fulfilling year ahead!