WIPA First Non-Profit Trade Association Launched for US Wedding Industry

November 13, 2008 by Andy Ebon
Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA)

Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA)

There are many wedding organizations offering networking meetings, conferences, education, networking, and/or certification throughout the United States: ACPWC, AFWPI, June Wedding, Inc., Weddings Beautiful, and ABC to name just a handful.

While all these organizations serve their members, to varying degrees, none of them are actually a non-profit trade association (also known as a Business League).

What’s the difference you ask? A non-profit trade association, such as ISES or NACE, and now, WIPA, is owned by its members. It is not operated by an individual or partnership who own the organization, in perpetuity.

The average member of any of organization, national or local, may not care whether the belong to a non-profit trade association; however, it is more than a technicality. It’s a way of doing business.

Further, there is dominant wedding association, nationally. There a variety of certifications, which have their own value, but there is not uniformity among them.

WIPA is the first national non-profit (501c6) trade association created specifically for providers of wedding products and services.

The purpose of WIPA is to educate the public about the value of employing qualified wedding specialists, to set and monitor performance standards for its members, and to provide members with opportunities to enhance their professional growth.

Pioneered by 36 leading authorities in the wedding business, WIPA was introduced to a select group of bridal specialists recently at The Vintage Estate in Napa Valley, California, on October 1st, and at the headquarters of Wildflower Linen in Southern California on October 7th.

WIPA’s Founding Sponsors and Members read like a Who’s Who list in the wedding industry – Auberge du Soleil, Denon & Doyle Entertainment, Good Gracious! Events, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Penton Media (publishers of Special Events magazine) The Carneros Inn, and many other premiere providers.

Joyce Scardina Becker CMP

Joyce Scardina Becker CMP

“We recognized the need for higher level education and professional development opportunities for those employed in the wedding industry,” explains WIPA’s first President, Joyce Scardina Becker, an international award-winning wedding planner and author.  “Our industry has just risen to professional status over the past 20 years, and many unskilled planners and suppliers have been starting new wedding careers at a rapid pace.  There’s an overdue need for a strong code of ethics, and WIPA will set the standards of performance for the wedding industry.  The expert members in WIPA are demanding it.”

As a non-profit association, WIPA is run by its members, who understand what it takes to produce a wedding. WIPA brings together professionals from all wedding disciplines, including cake designers, caterers, entertainment companies, florists, hoteliers, journalists, photographers, rental companies, videographers, wedding planners and many more.

This solid peer network helps WIPA’s professionals produce outstanding results for brides and grooms.  Other national membership service organizations exist in the wedding industry, but they are for-profit entities, in business to generate a monetary return on investment for their owners.  WIPA has been established to satisfy needs that are unmet by the for-profit wedding groups, primarily through superior education, mentoring, certification, career advancement and business support.

WIPA is moving to the forefront of wedding industry education at The Special Event 2009 Conference, which will take place at the San Diego Convention Center on January 27-30, 2009.  At this annual conference that attracts 6,000 event industry professionals from around the world, WIPA members will present six educational seminars on important wedding-related topics.  For more information about The Special Event 2009, visit its website.

The long term plan for WIPA includes local chapters and its own national conference.

Next week, as part of its rollout, WIPA will be hosting launch events on Monday, November 17th, and Tuesday, November 18th, in San Diego and Santa Monica, respectively. These launch events are designed to share information about the benefits of joining this new association.

Monday, November 17th
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
1380 Harbor Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

To RSVP for the San Diego event, please email: jessica@eventsbydesign.com

Tuesday, November 18th
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Fairmont Mirarmar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401

To RSVP for the San Diego event, please email: paula@weddingsbyct.com

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SPECIAL COMMENT: This is ground breaking news. The launch and success of WIPA can be an excellent enhancement to the United States wedding industry. It’s important to find out about, attend launch events, join, and be involved. In this way, wedding professionals can earn both the knowledge and credentials to serve their clients and peers with utmost integrity and ability.

Your reaction, comments, thoughts, and questions are especially welcomed on this news.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog

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Andy Ebon Andy Ebon (78 Posts)

Keith Alan has been in the DJ biz since 1975, started hosting weddings in 1982 and went full-time in 1993. While personally hosting over 60 weddings a year on the weekends, his mid-week programs generate income through out the year. Young children and seniors are the strong points of the business. Outside of the weddings division of Keith Alan Productions, Keith’s summer program, Campardy™ has grown from 1 event in 2000, to 75 events within a 6 week window! Keith is busy with game shows, trivia, photo booths and extreme bingo the other 46 weeks of the year.


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