Elana Walker is the owner and certified wedding & event planner for Elana Walker Events and the founder of Southern Noir Weddings, a resource for brides of color getting married in the south. With over 10 years of experience in the event industry, Elana has planned weddings all over the US, Bahamas & Mexico with clients ranging from Doctors, Lawyers, Professional Athletes, Actors, Federal Agents and more. Having won several awards for her work and client satisfaction rate, Elana has been featured in numerous publications from Munaluchi Bride, B Collective Magazine, Essence, Style Me Pretty, Brides Magazine, The Knot Magazine and much more!
Elana is an experienced public speaker who covers several topics designed to help wedding professionals improve their business. Her goal is to educate and inspire wedding professionals while making them laugh.
Currently residing in Raleigh, North Carolina, her true inspiration towards success is fueled by her 2 son’s Tre & Clark. The love she has for her son’s makes her strive more and more each day for greatness as she believes she is their blueprint.
Below are some of the conferences and events Elana has spoken at:
Successfully diversifying your business
The face of the wedding industry has had 1 face for such a long time however, the face of the industry does not look the same as it once did. Weddings come in all shades, colors, cultures and traditions and not only should they be celebrated but they should be considered within your business model. The wedding industry is a very diverse place and unless you become more inclusive, your business will be left behind. Changing some of the practices within your business to be more diverse and inclusive can increase your profitability while improving the reputation of your company. Elana will discuss:
- Benefits of diversity & inclusion within your business
- How to authentically diversify your business
- Marketing to a more diverse clientele
- Maintaining diversity within your company
- What you can do within your market to evoke change
Getting the 5 star review
We all want our couples to give us 5 stars but that doesn’t happen with a mediocre service and sometimes, it doesn’t happen when we give a stellar service. I will discuss the art of getting the 5 star review. During her talk you will learn:
- How to set the tone of expectations from the start.
- How to anticipate your clients needs by controlling the process.
- How a little extra can go a long way.
- Setting them up to provide a review: The power is asking the right way
Remaining relevant in the wedding industry
The wedding industry is forever changing and consistency is required to remain relevant and continue to successfully grow! Elana will discuss how to remain relevant though:
- Building your own platform.
- Tapping into other networks by participate and collaborate with other pros.
- Social media consistency.
- Refresh and renewing your brand.
- Applying the element of surprise to keep your audience engaged.
Growing your business by increasing your visibility
Everyone knows how valuable a good wedding PR rep is. They help you grow your business through visibility and are worth every penny however, you may not be in a place where you can afford one. Elana offers tips to kick start the process of gaining more visibility by discussing:
- How to getting published (magazines vs blogs)
- How to write your own press release
- Staying consistent
- Establishing yourself as an expert through tv interviews
Overcoming a bad review
Reviews are very important to the validity of your business and nothing can feel more detrimental than getting a bad review. Don’t worry! Believe it or not, its not the end of the world. Elana will discuss:
- 1st step after receiving the bad review
- How to respond and react
- Ways to fix the bad review
- How to handle false reviews and negative social media posts
How to manage personal FRIENDOR relationships
The wedding industry is a relationship based business and as much as we want to think everyone’s intentions are sincere, they simply are not. Elana will discuss
- How to choose your friendors wisely
- Alignment and association matters
- Ensuring there is give and take
- Protecting yourself against the reputation leach
Click on the links below to check out some of Elana Walker’s tv appearences.
- Bridging the Racial Inequality Gap in the Wedding Industry
- Planning during a pandemic
- WTVD NC Bans events of 100+ including weddings
- CBS 17 Covid-19 & Your Wedding
- WRAL Diner en Blanc
- Indepth Discussion with Spectrum News
- NBC 17 What to wear to a wedding based on the invitation
- Behind the Veil (Savannah, GA)
- Signature CEO Conference (Washington, DC)
- Planner’s Suite Conference (Orlando, FL)
- Empowered Planners Conference (Columbus, OH)
- Association of Bridal Consultants (Chapel Hill, NC)
- NACE Experience 2017 (Houston, TX)
- University of North Carolina – Greensboro (Greensboro, NC)
- Tuesdays Together- (Raleigh, NC)
- North Carolina Wedding Planners Society (Raleigh, NC)
- Winner of the 2016 ISES Trinity Award, EVENT OF THE YEAR!!!
- Winner of the 2016 ISES Trinity Award, Best Wedding Budget :$75,000 to $200,000
- Winner of the 2017 ILEA Trinity Awards, Best Wedding Budget: $75,000 to $200,000
- Winner of Best of the Knot 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
The Knot’s Hall of Fame
Interested in Elana speaking at your next event? Fill out the form below