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Magazine Article

  


Start-Ups
Creating your own networking group


Joe Broccardo



Planning a wedding is a joyous time for brides, yet it can also be an organizational fiasco. Choosing the photographer, entertainment, florist, caterer, and venue that fit the bill and that complement each other is key.

That's where The OC Wedding Pros come in. An idea based on a brainstorm by myself, Joe Broccardo, owner of Broccardo Photography, and DJ Todd, owner of Essential Mobile Music, The OC Wedding Pros is a network of unique professionals. Founded in 2007, the group brings together the finest of Orange County's professional vendors whose primary market is weddings.

These vendors have been hand-selected; DJ Todd and I have worked with most of them directly and have been impressed by them. My partner Todd says, "Since we've already seen the way clients are handled by these vendors and the quality of work that's done, we trust that our clients will be satisfied every time."

The benefit of working with The OC Wedding Pros is that all the leads that are generated through the website are actual brides. The brides have usually already hired one of the group's members and are looking for other qualified vendors--whether it is a photographer, a florist, or even a harpist, they can find a qualified professional in our network. All the vendors are prequalified. We feel that this creates credible referrals to the other professionals. Most of the members in the group have a direct link from their website to the networking site, which also helps build credibility in the network.

Inclusive Packages

Got packages? A unique part of the group is that it offers inclusive packages. We have a couple of venues and caterers that offer packages where everything is included. For example Priscilla Granger, owner of At Your Service Caterers, offers an all-inclusive wedding package that includes everything you need to throw a successful wedding: venue, florist, minister, DJ, food, and photographer. Having vendors like Priscilla is a major reason why our group is successful.

An additional benefit to The OC Wedding Pros is the ability to refer from within (a built-in networking group). I was referring my clients to other vendors within the industry, and I wasn't receiving referrals back. Now I refer business to the best in Orange County and receive more business myself because of it.

To provide a wide variety of choices to our clients, The OC Wedding Pros have allowed several vendors in each category, creating a larger network. Now our members not only benefit from the group as a whole, they also have friends in their personal professions they can network directly with. This makes the group even stronger--kind of like keeping it in the family.

Joe broccardo, photographer and owner of Broccardo Photography (www.broccardophoto.com; www.theocweddingpros.com), specializes in wedding and family portraiture. He teaches along with mentor Dan McIntyre (www.photosonthego.com) MC/DJ Todd Hustrulid owns Essential Mobile Music.


   







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