10 Truths Our Event Clients Should Know [Video]
With new event businesses starting everyday, it’s no wonder that our clients really don’t know what to expect from vendor to vendor. Here are some of the major truths that we want our clients to understand when it comes to hiring an event professional.
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Hey there, I’m Xander here with EventMB.
On behalf of an industry where our professionals are constantly striving to establish the value that we provide to our clients but are in a market that has a relatively low barrier to entry, we’re going to take a look at some of the major truths that we want our clients to understand when it comes to hiring an event professional. With new event businesses starting everyday, it’s no wonder that our clients really don’t know what to expect from vendor to vendor. If they all were to know these specific truths, our jobs would be a lot easier.
- Somebody will always be able to do something for cheaper. In an industry where there are a lot of vendors doing similar work, there are some that are racing to the bottom. You’re always going to be able to find competitors that are willing to do the work that you’re proposing for cheaper but the end product is going to be nowhere near the quality that you had intended to put into the process. So if you’re clients are coming back to you and saying that you are higher priced than what they are finding from other vendors in the area on the design that you proposed, then it’s likely that they don’t understand some of the implications and the intricacies of that design work.
- They cannot imagine the number of hours that we spend on every single event. The amount of time it takes to produce an event is pretty astronomical when you think of it. There’s so much time spent putting together spreadsheets and templates and communication schedules and load-in schedules and all of the individual planning elements that go into producing an event. Come week of, you’re easily able to put in 100 hours in that one week to be able to produce the perfect event. Our clients don’t always know what it takes to be able to do that.
- The next is sharing the budget. If our clients would just give us their budgets, we would know a lot of things about their event right off the get-go. As event producers, we have a general understanding of what it takes to produce an event and the costs that are associated with some of those things, especially when your services are considered boutique or more high-end, you also know what price point you’re willing to produce an event at. So when your clients are able to share what their budget in mind is, you’re able to see exactly how much they’re dedicating to it, and whether you’re going to be the right service provider to provide an event solution. No hard feelings, it’s not like you’re going to walk into a Ferrari dealership and expect a Ford a price.
- We just can’t handle anymore of the exposure, we’re just going to need regular ol’ cash. As it were, the bank has said no more, we cannot cash any of the exposure or great credit, goodwill from all of these events that are asking us to produce them for free or for a steeply-discounted price. We’re just going to have to use regular ol’ cash. We actively know what events are going to be most strategic for the exposure that we’re going to get out of them, so it turns out we’re probably already having conversations with those events to try to get in front of their audience.
- We can say yes to anything, your wish is our command, seriously, for a price. Anything that our clients are wondering about, anything they want to incorporate, they want to add, just a throw-off idea that they suddenly had in the middle of the night, decided to shoot you an email – “mariachi band? Sure, why not.” All of the things that your clients are wondering about, we can deliver, we can pretty much produce anything, so long as the money is there. And it’s probably going to cost quite a bit so you really need to take a look at what your budget is, and what you’re willing to spend, and inform your clients what these implications are going to look like for add-ons. Is a fire-breathing dragon absolutely necessary for your centerpiece? We can do it. No problem. Can you afford it? Eh, we’ll see.
- Our clients need to know that anything they ask for is probably going to have a cost. Everything costs something. Some venues are going to sell you bottles of water as opposed to putting out dispensers with tap water. You want that extra table to be brought in? Well, then we’re going to be looking at labor costs. You’re going to have to put a linen on that, that’s an extra $40. The chair, the table itself are going to have additional expenses, the food they are going to be putting at that table, all of these little things are going to start adding up so know that any requests that we receive as planners is probably getting logged as an additional charge that we’re going to have to expense at the end.
- Requesting instant proposal turnaround hurts everyone. We don’t have the time to produce quality proposals if we have less than 24 hours, ideally more than 72 hours to put together the best proposal possible. The reason behind that is that often times, we’re working with other vendors and getting information from them. We need the lead time to have those conversations, have some negotiation talk, see what we can do to make the best price available for you and your event and then figuring out how to present that to you as a full package. We don’t have the time to do that if we have less than five hours to get you a proposal, or we won’t be considered for the event. That’s a little ridiculous. Expect a little bit more time to get higher-quality proposals and you’re going to start seeing your events flourish.
- We may be getting a kick-back but don’t be afraid to ask about it. So, when it comes to the event industry, there are a lot of relationships that are established between partners that are just natural working relationships that work out really well. You may have a relationship with a specific hotel where we’ve established that connection and they’ve set up a sales incentive for us to bring more business to their hotels. That might apply across a ton of different vendors for your events. Now, a lot of planners are pretty transparent about this process. But some like to think that it’s a completely separate business process in and of itself. Either way, don’t be afraid to ask. Anyone that’s not willing to be upfront about what their compensation package looks like and what that commission structure is, is probably a bad player that you don’t want to get in bed with.
- Not hiring us, but using our ideas is stealing. So we all know how it goes. The client loved the design proposal, loved every element of it, except for the price. So they’ve taken all of these different proposal ideas and sent them off to different service providers or looked to find different ways to bring it all together through different providers on their own. Well, that’s stealing, simple as that. If you took the time to put together these ideas then presented in a way that was going to communicate something to that particular client, then you deserve the credit that goes along with that. Sure, they might not be hiring you to produce it but they definitely need to pay you for your design work.
- Every event means the world to us, we’re not just blowing smoke here. When it comes to producing events, every single program we are working on, we are 100% in. The love, passion, and energy around creating experiences is what drives us so never let that go.
So as we wrap up, these are the rules of engagement when it comes to working with event planners. As an industry, we’re relatively new but we’re really establishing ourselves quickly. Like any other big-ticket purchase that a company or an individual is going to make, whether it’s a new piece of equipment or a car, a home – all of these big purchases have their own rules and kind of formats on how you move forward through those transactions. The event industry is no different so pay attention to these 10 Things That We Wish All of Our Clients Would Know and you are going to start having better relationships with those clients.
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