Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are You An Event Designer Or a Wedding Coordinator

Have you ever been asked what you specialize in? While we have a team of 11 planners, some are really great at coordination and some are great at creating a vision. It's like a dentist who has been doing traditional dentistry for 20 years. He knows he's great at cleaning and fillings. But the minute you start asking for dental implants instead of a bridge, you need to go elsewhere. He's just an honest guy who's comfortable in his zone, and doesn't feel after 20 years that he wants to expand his practice. Simple minded and OK with it. I totally get that. You can't be good at everything. Not every planner is a great designer, super budget savvy or the creator of the process. However, they may be awesome at putting together an agenda and have a whole set of files on how to stay organized. That's a great gift to have. I like to challenge myself with the smaller budgets. It keeps me on my toes. Actually, I like to give our smaller budget accounts to our day of coordinators because I want them to find their creative side. It may not get them there 100%, but how will they know unless they try? I do get the evil eye on occassion when I do this. Without a challenge, how much fun can this career be? I'm being totally serious here. You may decide you stink at matching pinks, but when it comes to maintaining the day, most people can't put a flame next to you cause your so hot! Venues love you because your system totally keeps you on top of your game and you don't get in their way, you enhance their business with an extra set of eyes. It's totally a winning situation. I think diversity in our industry is good. Several clients ask us why we are so different, and the truth is, we have no idea. We don't worry about what others are doing. That's one area that can cause one to fail. If you ever go down this road, you might as well call it a day. Who cares what you competition is doing and what they charge? And why do you assume they're your competition? It may be that same scenario where they have the perfect eye and you may have the brains with putting it all together. What's the better fit? I guess this is contingent on your client. How will you know what they need? How will you know if you are the right fit? All good questions. What questions could you ask to make them talk about the "most important" qualities a planner must have? There are so many planners who charge and arm and leg, I agree. Some would say I do. It's contingent on what someone wants from us. We are not a tangible product. We are totally service related. We are in sales ladies and gentleman! We sell ourselves first and skills second. If someone doesn't like you, how do you expect them to like your work? While some clients might shop by budget and the "best " price, you do get what you pay for. I have heard stories and gals they are not pretty. You can low ball us, but it's not going to help you grow your business, your selling yourself short. If your OK with this, that's your business. If you start comparing yourself to others, your pretty much in a hole and may never come out. Taking ones ideas under consideration is considered a compliment. Now not using these tools "your" way might be considered plagarism. I have had my share of that. You may think I'm nuts, but I refuse to close a client after our first meeting. I want to make sure they really like what we have to offer and that we feel we can reciprocate what they want. There's nothing worse than not meeting your clients needs and ending the relationship because it was a bad fit. This should be dealt with starting with hello... How many of you have ended a relationship with a client due to difference of opinion or maybe your personalities were just not gelling...I know you can all relate. It's the worst feeling to say I had to let the client go. But in your heart, if you carry the passion and wish everyone you work with to be happy and enjoy this, you'll be respected later on for not continuing the relationship. Have I had to end relationships? Yes. Did I hate doing it, I really did. And if after the relationship is over, they may go elsewhere. You ask yourself what made her go with that planner? What do they provide you ask? Good question, but not one you should be worried about. Spend more time wondering about how you can be different and you'll never have to worry about people sabotaging your domain per say. There's only one thing you should be thinking about in this business, and that is how you are going to make a difference and your creativity. What will make you different is what you should be asking yourself. Work on this...There's always going to be another planner, she may connect with someone better than you. That's OK! This doesn't mean you are bad, or are doing something wrong. It means you weren't the right fit. I know it hurts to see this at times. I still feel sad when I feel like I had an awesome meeting and I know we are going to connect at some point, and they don't call back. It's hard not to wonder why? You may even write them a note asking what made them go elsewhere. I don't think it's a bad thing to do. But the questions should stop there. Who cares if "luxury planners" gets the job, another bride is right around the corner. Do you have any idea how many women get engaged every year? How about just Nov around Thanksgiving and through NYE..19% of Americans get engaged! Do you have any idea how many brides want a planner? They want someone to watch their back. To be the unbiased person who tells them the truth when she knows others won't. That's actually a cool title and a privilege that someone really cares about your opinion. This is why they chose you. If you get a chance after you have planned someones wedding, why don't you ask her why she picked you? I think you may find something really sweet about yourself that only an outsider can explain. Not a bad place to be ladies...Not at all. Now get out there and make a difference. Heck, it's Jan! You have lots of time to figure out how this year is going to be better than last. It may be a bad economy for America, but girls are still getting married and the demand to find their vision is not going away. We are here to assist in the best way possible. Do you have a motto? Do you know why your good at what you do? If you don't know this, I would get out there and find out what your specialty is. Ask around, you might surprise yourself! xo SG


Bride Sophisticate said...

As a woman just getting into the "biz" I think this is great advice. Thanks for the food for thought today. Have a wonderful weekend!

get real with samantha goldberg said...

Thank you! If I gave advice that helped my mission is complete. I know how hard it is out there. I've been working with events for so long and I still learn something new everyday. The one piece of advice I was given years ago was to NEVER worry about your competition. If you have time to do this, you obviously are not spending time focusing on something that will make you stand out above the rest! I've taken this advice with me for the last 17years!

How is your year looking so far? Where are you located?

I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!

Not That Sassi Planner Again???

Bling and Pearls Can Be The Icing on The Cake!

Bling and Pearls Can Be The Icing on The Cake!
Too Good Too Eat.

Just admit it, I say off the wall things...And it works!