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Meet Karen Lee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Lee.

Hi Karen, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
When I was presented with an opportunity to work with a friend’s exciting new company, Your Wedding TV, I jumped in, never imagining where it would eventually lead me. Initially, I wrote and produced segments and articles for this local TV show, website and magazine, providing information, tips and advice to help couples navigate everything there is to consider once they become engaged.

Soon the company started producing bridal shows, which are basically a consumer trade show on steroids – an afternoon where engaged couples along with their family and friends come to find services and products for their big day, see all the latest trends and take advantage of promotions, and giveaways. With a background in sales and marketing, I began also working on these shows. I developed great relationships within the industry, built a strong client base and was soon organizing and producing every facet of the events, including elaborate runway fashion shows. This led to me ultimately purchasing the company.

Fast forward to today… I’m now president of the Florida Wedding Expo and Your Wedding TV, and in 2020 became the licensee/owner of Perfect Wedding Guide Central Florida, which as part of the national Perfect Wedding Guide network provides online resources for couples to connect with wedding vendors and vice-versa.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
As with any business, there are challenges, especially when you are always innovating and trying new things to grow and expand. If something doesn’t work out, I find a solution and look for the silver lining. I’ve always believed that learning from a wrong decision at the very least can serve to prevent you from making a more costly mistake down the road.

Probably the biggest struggle we’ve faced has been how to have our events in the face of the CO-VID 19 pandemic. The event industry as a whole was one of the hardest hit and as a company, we were challenged with doing whatever we possibly could to help our vendors get back to business as quickly as possible and help engaged couples find solutions. When everything shut down and we had to postpone several shows for the first time ever, we provided opportunities to virtually connect our wedding vendors, through our social media platforms, to couples looking for advice and creative ways to proceed with their wedding plans.

As soon as it was possible, we brought back our in-person events. This past September, the Florida Wedding Expo was the first publicly attended event that came back to the Orange County Convention Center which is second largest convention center in the country. We spent months planning and consulting with experts, developing partnerships with key organizations to help us implement the guidelines and protocols that were needed to facilitate the event safely. We modified and restructured several aspects of the show and it was a huge success, exceeding everyone’s expectations. We’re now in production for our summer show this July, which will be our fourth event during the pandemic.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Florida Wedding Expo by Your Wedding TV has grown exponentially, becoming the largest wedding expo in the state, attended by thousands of engaged couples each year. We never compromise on quality, integrity or consistency and my goal is to make each show even better than the last. Thanks to this basic principle we’re continually recognized by our participants and attendees as the leading event of its kind and an invaluable marketing resource for the wedding and event industry.

Averaging over 90% repeat vendor participation, our reputation for excellence and the positive outcomes experienced by our participants is what we are most proud of. Also, we’re known for our multi-media, state-of-the-art runway fashion show which is a highlight of our events and always the most exciting part of the day!

In these digital times, our events provide an opportunity for engaged couples to meet and chat with potential vendors for one of the most anticipated days of their lives, something that should not just be left to online searches and texting. Time spent attending the Florida Wedding Expo provides endless ideas and inspiration, helping couples determine their needs and wants, find the vendors they identify and feel comfortable with, and even save money on their wedding budget. All this and some amazing food sampling, cake tastings and a little bubbly to celebrate, while focusing on “everything weddings” with their fiancé and crew!

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
FAMILY! I have a super supportive, fantastic husband, three wonderful, caring, and successful children and three incredible (and adorable) grandchildren that are just the joy of my world! I’m so very lucky that we all live near one another and truly enjoy spending time together.

Taking the family connection a step further, my daughter Jessica Kelly, has been working with me for over five years as an integral part of the company, making the Florida Wedding Expo and Perfect Wedding Guide Central Florida a true family and women-run business. We’re excited to continue growing and incorporating the latest trends, technology, new features and fresh ideas into our events!

 Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sterling Photography International Castaldo Studio

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