What is brand camp? By definition, the "Grow" brand camp is a branding and marketing summit for Grow Brand Campwedding and hospitality professionals in the Northeast. Put on by the Tide-Creative team lead by J Sandifer, Grow is a two day adventure for the fledgling wedding entrepreneur to the seasoned veteran. Our heads were spinning, our creative juices flowing, and our network growing after just one day of this fantastically branded, beautifully staged, content rich event. Inspired by a master at his craft, Dane Sanders, I wanted to make sure to keep my commitment to good habit and blog. This post strays from our typical wedding tips and Maine Barn wedding content and is focused on our fellow wedding business owners, entrepreneurs, and any other small business go-getter that needs some fresh advice to keep going.

Here are a few take-a-ways from the Tedx like talks we heard today:

1. The Secret to being a great entrepreneur is creativity

John Coleman, founder of  the Via Agency in Portland, Maine gave an incredible speech on being an effective entrepreneur and human. He stressed the importance of creativity as a means of differentiation and critical component to any successful entrepreneur. He also touched on a few great points on decision making and the importance of listening to your gut. 

2. Be relevant quickly - you're selling a feeling Grow Brand Camp

Shannon Kinney, founder of the Dream Agency hit the nail on the head when describing the best way to think of your social media branding strategy. What you say, post, tweet, pin, or like has to matter, must resonate with your audience, and must focus on the story you want to tell. Oh yeah, and you have to do it... immediately! Right on Shannon! 

3. Damn, some one's gotta plan these gay weddings!

Bernadette Smith, a LGBT wedding planner had great suggestions and eye opening facts on how to cater to this new genere of wedding. Caring about special family issues, marketing verbiage to not discriminate, and more importantly... some one has to plan these weddings! How about two isles? Or, making sure you refer to your couples as "couples" not just bride and groom. Thanks for the tips, Bernadette, greatly appreciated.

4. We all need to floss more

Dane Sanders, a very respected photographer and author from SoCal, graced us at Grow. He spoke of creating habits, such as flossing every day, and how those habits will make you who you want to be. Write everyday. Wake up, be who you want to be. Read, and read some more. Curate the voices in your head. #weloveyoudane

5. You Are Enough!

Let's say that one more time... " You Are Enough!" - Christine Tremoulet, business blogger and coach. She believes it so much, it's tattooed on her wrist. GO GIRL!

6. With grief, comes hunger

Carla Ten Eyck, a master at the art of photography, gave a heartfelt presentation that reminded all of us that we are who we are. Embrace our emotions, when done with heartfelt intentions it becomes your brand. It is who we are, don't be afraid of it. Post your feelings and put yourself out there. You never know who you are gong to help because of it. Did anyone say Chinese? 

7. Friend-ers, not vendors

Labruce Trammel, Marketing Director of TheNotWedding had a message that we heard loud and clear. The "competition" in the room are not other vendors, make them "Friend-ers." You just never know when you will need each other. 

8. There are 43+ vendors used in every wedding

Rebecca Grinnals, Founder and President of Engage Concepts, was a wealth of information, bridal industry trend facts, and food for very deep thought. Did you know that there are on average 43+ vendors involved at a typical wedding? Whoa?! No wonder our couples are over whelmed. How about 43% of weddings are second marriages. Where is the marketing for THOSE folks? How about, 65% of wedding couples involve their children... where's the marketing? Couples today are looking, not only for pretty, but for fun. No longer is the couple just the center of attention, they want their guests to be wowed, entertained, and given an experience they will never forget.

9. Couples will come and go, but the industry will always be there

I couldn't have said it better, J Sandifer. It's true, couples will come and go, but the vendor friendships, referral network, and industry reputation will all ways be there and be your biggest advocates if you do it right. 

10. Get out there, and Grow!

Don't be afraid to innovate, be a thought leader, help your fellow vendor and grow!

We can't wait until day two. Until then, thank you once again J Sandifer and Tide Creative team for putting on such a fabulous event. Event's like this don't just "happen" and on that short of a deadline. Please come visit us at the Barn! Oh, and can you pass the peanut butter s'mores just one more time?

Grow Brand Camp

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is one of the owners of Granite Ridge Estate & Barn. It's her mission to make sure her couples have the best day of their lives. She writes about all things weddings, event planning, and romance in Maine. She was married at Granite Ridge to her husband Gabe and is now the proud mom of Joanna (a.k.a Baby Jedi).

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