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Event planners get to work with some really amazing event clients, and some really crazy clients! At the end of the day, it’s what makes event planning fun and keeps you on your toes. Here are 7 clients every eventprof will be able to identify.
As an event planner, you have probably started to notice the various types of event clients you run into and have to work with. Some may be super nice and helpful, and others may very well be a nightmare to work with. It’s important to understand all types of clients, and know when to push back or step away from a bad relationship before it happens. Event planners should keep in mind the types of event clients you may end up working with, and how to deal with them whether things are going great, or seem to be narrowing in on a fuzzy line.
There are several types of clients event planners work with. Below are only a few that seem to pop up more than often.
It’s pretty common that event planners are referred by previous clients, people in their network or vendors to new clientele. It’s always exciting and refreshing to work with new people, but not knowing their background, how they work and what they are looking to accomplish are always stepping stones to make sure you pull off a successful relationship with the new client, and the event you are planning.
Some referrals may have never worked on an event before, so take the time to walk them through the process. These types of clients may have worked previously with other event planners, so they may only like or know one way of planning techniques. As the event planner, it’s your job to step up and explain to these clients your process - walk them through your routine and see if they have any questions. It’s a lot easier to let them know upfront what you will be doing, rather than seeing half way through they are confused or not enjoying the process.
Event planners are already super happy, (sometimes OCD), exuberant people. Working with a client who is also type A can sometimes put a damper on the relationship you form with them. Two people (event planner and client) with over the top personalities may be a recipe for disaster, unless you remember as the planner to stay professional, and always meet the client halfway. Listen to what they have to say, what their ideas are, and always provide quality service, even if the client thinks they know better than you do.
Some overachieving clients tend to text, call, email, and sometimes show up at your door at all hours to ensure things are running smoothly. You will usually see these types of clients in the wedding event area - they are of course just triple checking that everything is running smoothly for their perfect day. And can you blame them? Being an overachiever is a great quality to have, so long as you don’t butt heads with others around you.
The Ideal Client
Then of course, there is the perfect, ideal client. As an event planner these types of clients may only pop up every now and then, so we have to keep in mind that in some way all clients are ideal to work with. The ideal client is usually very open to communicate with, takes direction well, and comes to the table with ideas of their own. They immediately give you their full trust, and openly appreciate your time, skills and knowledge as the event planner.
Ideal clients are usually easy to transition into loyal clients who come back to you time and time again. Create a long-lasting relationship with them that is open, trustworthy and caring. If you do your job well as the event planner, you should be able to secure a lifelong business client and possibly a great friendship as well!
The Promise Breaker
Clients love to promosie they will show up on time, bring checks to meetings, help look for items needed at an event, etc. Event planners all know the importance of making every client sign an agreement that binds them to get items done in a timely manner, provide payment on time, and be respectful to the event planner’s time. Even with a signed contract, a lot of clients fail to adhere to the papers they put their signatures on. These types of clients can manipulate event planners, and sometimes hold things over their head for no reason.
For example, if you have a client who is hosting an intimate meeting for their company and they show up with more people than expected the day of the event, it makes the event planner look bad and unprofessional for not having the room set up correctly, or not having enough food and beverage for everyone in attendance. Be sure you stay on top of this type of client - if something goes wrong they will point fingers at the planner as their first target.
The Clueless One
Although some clients may be super on it like the ideal client, you may find yourself meeting a couple of aloof clients. These types of clients can seem confused, closed-minded and indecisive, which is never a good quality to have working on an event. For example, they may agree with your ideas and plans, but halfway through the project want to take a new direction. Or, worse case they forget the plans that were agreed upon and you have to scramble to get the job done.
These types of clueless clients usually have lots of ideas, and get lost in the smaller, not so important details, which takes up a lot of the planner’s time to sift through.
The Picky One
You can’t plan an event without having worked with a super picky client. This type of client can be picky and a mix of one of the above types. They love to nit pick every single detail, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea, but can end up being a time sucker when events need to stay on track to meet deadlines.
Be careful to set boundaries right up front with clients so they know your role as the planner, and their role as the client. You don’t want a picky person complaining about your ideas and details all the way through the event process. It’s not only a buzzkill, but also a creative kill!
The Grumpy One
Finally, somewhere in the mix of event planner’s clients is always a grump. These are the clients you dread working with - they always have something to complain about, whether it’s the colors of table cloths, or food being served or even the online registration processes. They can never see the good in anything being planned.
For example, you may work with companies who want to sponsor a trade show, but will only do so at a super low discounted rate. Even after discounts are offered, it’s still never enough to make them sign on the dotted line. It’s all about “free” for these clients - anything they can manage to get ahold of for free is like gold. Of course, these clients usually do not get a lot out of events. Trying to attend or sponsor an event for free is basically not attending at all. We all know it costs a good chunk of change to stand out at an event and show off your brand. You don’t have to always spend a lot, but when you do it the correct way (marketing, booth set-up, product displays, speaking) it’s worth it!
Every event planner has worked with several different types of event clients. Some may be the best clients you have ever worked with and come back time and time again, and others are instantly marked as a one-time client you will not want to work with ever again. It’s all part of the fun of event planning!