Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Brent Bogan, wedding sales manager at The Chicory, has found great success soliciting online reviews from happy customers.

The sources for the images that accompany this blog are varied and diverse. Sometimes I snapped them with my phone, sometimes a subject gets a friend or family member to capture an image, sometimes subjects don’t want to run a photo, so we pull some stock photos, and sometimes subjects send their professional headshots.

Brent Bogan – wedding sales manager at The Chicory, a 20,000-square-foot venue in the Warehouse District – sent me the image to the left. In his job, Bogan shepherds close to 100 to 120 weddings a year, from intimate affairs to lavish $500,00 luxury weddings with 500 guests.

It’s a great shot full of determination and a no-nonsense intensity. He surely looks like he’ll get the job done with no baked potato overcooked, no drunken mother of the bride stumbling about, no missed shots of the couple’s first dance and no pile of juicy meat placed in front of a vegan. But this headshot belies another important part of why Bogan is so good at his job – his exuberant Southern charm and warmth, calmness under pressure, ebullient bearing and joyous smile.

Bogan has been on the job for eight years and most of his reviews on TheKnot.com, an online wedding planner, seem to agree that he’s funny yet professional and always makes the couples instantly feel comfortable.

“I try to concentrate on getting the details right and I’m calm in the front of the house even if it’s crazy behind the house,” he says. “I’m there to take the stress off the couple so they can have the best day of their lives. And it’s always such an honor to be part of that day.”

Bogan’s also an ambassador for The Knot. He contributes to its website and often acts as a guest speaker at wedding industry conventions and conferences.

“The Knot selects 30 wedding professionals each year — out of about 10,000 — and I got one of those spots,” he says. “They select this group from industry leaders, wedding influencers, etc. It’s an honorary position and we are called The Knot Wedding Pros.”

Constructed in 1852, The Chicory began as a coffee warehouse. “We preserved the architectural integrity of the building with its pressed tin ceilings, gas lanterns, exposed brick and original beams,” says Bogan, adding that the venue is staffed by more than 80 employees, from chefs to busboys.

“The key to our success is that we all have our roles to play and we know to stay in our lanes,” he says.

Bogan isn’t shy about soliciting positive reviews from clients.

“I always send an email telling them how great the night was, telling them that their guests had a great time, etc.,” he says. “I end the email with ‘When you have a moment, please leave us a review on TheKnot.com about your experience.’ You can help us win Best of Weddings for the 8th year in a row!’ We generally get a good response to that. I don’t hound them about it, but I ‘tell’ them to leave a review, rather than ‘ask’ them to leave a review.”

On March 16, 2016, Bogan stepped back and let others handle his own special day, his wedding to Herb Oldknow, owner of Herbivore Floral Designs.

“I understand this industry can be extravagant and weddings are expensive, but for our wedding we wanted to be surrounded by all the people we love and who love and support us. They all helped us celebrate one of our best days in our lives. And it was a great party!”

Bogan stays busy with his dogs, watching Saints games and bike riding. He recently became the president of the board of BYOBikes, a nonprofit that distributes bikes to deserving underprivileged children and youth in New Orleans.

His life motto is simple: “We only get one life to live. Live it out loud.”

 

 

 

Categories: Labors of Love

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