IOEE Academy status

“Becoming an IOEE Academy is well worth the work for that recognition- that rubber stamp of approval from a known and trusted enterprise organisation.”

Yvonne Bennett (46) runs Liverpool based The Wedding Planners Guild UK, which recently achieved the sought-after status of IOEE Academy. In this, the first of a series of blogs about establishing her business and running IOEE accredited courses for enterprise learners, Yvonne tells us about her journey so far.

“Before I was a wedding planner I worked for one of the major oil companies in the Netherlands, where I lived with my husband. I’ve always been really good at organising and I was asked to organise training for them, so I did! Delegates came from all over the world; I was sorting out flights, visas, hotels and I really loved it. It escalated until colleagues in Europe and America knew me as the person to go to for training, for events and team activities. I was planning everything for them and because I enjoyed it so much I was doing it in my own time. I realised it was something I really wanted to do so I started researching training courses. I came across Wedding Planners International and I thought, ‘Well, I love beauty, I love glitter and glamour! This could be for me.” I went on a training day and from the first moment I just loved it. By 2007 I was running my own business in Rotterdam – The Planner, Event and Wedding Planning.

A few years on, Wedding Planners International asked me if I’d like to bring their training to the UK but at that point my life was heading in a different direction. My husband was very ill. Last year he passed away, which was a life-changing event for me. I was forced to reconsider my future. I went back to Wedding Planners International and agreed to bring their wedding planning training to the UK, as part of my own British business – The Wedding Planners Guild UK. The training I deliver has already been established successfully for 10 years in the Netherlands and Belgium. However, I’ve had the programmes, which were originally in Dutch, translated. Having conducted careful research into the UK’s wedding industry, I’ve rewritten and modified programmes to correspond to my students’ needs as British wedding planners.

I decided that if I wanted to make this successful I needed to set aside being a wedding planner myself and focus on delivering great training. However, because I mix with so many wedding planners, I’m still involved. I keep abreast of the entire wedding industry as a whole, always researching trends and new ideas.

Becoming an IOEE Academy is well worth the work for that recognition- that rubber stamp of approval from a known and trusted enterprise organisation. You must provide the right documentation and demonstrate that your company is equipped to take on the title of Academy. You also have to make sure all your data protection is in place and your quality assurance, and prove that your clients are happy with your services. You also need to achieve certain qualifications. I first expressed interest to the IOEE in becoming an Academy at Christmas time and I got there in early July. Now I’m just waiting to see what the adventure will bring next!”