Excerpts from the Rendezvous with Ali Phillips
Ali Phillips is the Chief Wedding Orchestrator of Engaging Events by Ali, Inc and is truly a leader in the wedding industry with over 15 years experience in weddings and events in her hometown of Chicago and over 30 different locations around the globe. Ali has been named one of the Top Chicago Wedding Planners in the Chicago Magazine, recognized as A-List Destination Planner by Destination Weddings & Honeymoons and was selected by the Editor of Brides Magazine as one of Chicago’s favorite wedding planners. She has also been named Best Wedding Consultant in Chicago by The Knot Magazine multiple times.
1) The challenges you saw in 2017 in the wedding industry and how do you see things changing in 2018 & 2019?
I think the largest challenge I saw was an increasing amount of other industry planners/designers. I see this continuing into the next year. What this has helped me do is really focus on the value I bring to my clients so that I stand out from others in the interview process.
Some other challenges I see:
Managing client’s budgets and expectations. Often times client’s ideas from pinterest and instagram they bring to me does not match their budget allotted for their event. Educating clients on the realities of costs and how to make those go the furthest with their design but still stay on budget is going to be important in 2018 and 2019.
Staying up to date and on top of your social media. Instagram and Facebook move fast to continuing to learn best practices will be important in 2018 and beyond. Leads are not just coming from our websites any longer but now coming thru so many different and changing channels like social media.
2) Accordingly to you, what is the key to growing in the wedding planning business?
I think it is so important to continue education, even if you are a veteran in the business. I try and attend one new conference every year and learn new skills to further my depth of knowledge to share with customers. And continue to network, network network!
3) How or on what basis do you choose to work with vendors?
I want to work with vendors that are excited to collaborate and work as a team. The old saying “there is no I in team” stands true for me. I also want to work with people that mutually respect my opinions and value my experience. The best teams in the event industry I have worked with respect one another, are professional but also want to have fun while we create our clients events.
4) What key points do you think the attendees of EWPC in Dubai will take back after the event?
I think that education and networking is so valuable. EWPC in Dubai will allow the attendees to do both of those but also have a little fun and meet new people! We need to always be learning new things and by meeting new people we learn a bit more about other cultures, other traditions and how other businesses stay successful.