My team and I sat around my kitchen table this morning and talked about lots of things but there was a focus on content. We have a new employee joining us, which is always good because new people around the table push us regulars to think. Colleen’s questions were about our content, our marketing and the direction we are headed. Again, the answer was the same, we want to be focussed on planning. We want to do what we do best and plan events.
We are often mistaken for a decorating company and sometimes even caterers but we’re not. Our strength is in event logistics. You need someone to detail the crap out of an itinerary we’re your people. Want someone to make sure your event will run on time exactly as planned. That’s us! Want someone to trouble shoot challenges through the planning process and execution? You couldn’t ask for a better team to do just that. And you need us to make it look pretty, ya we’ll make sure that happens too! And I don’t know about the rest of my team but you certainly don’t want me cooking for your guests.
The discussion headed toward the, how do we showcase what we do best. It’s so hard to show you what planners do and what value we bring to the table. Decorators can use photos of all the pretty but those of us who are literally behind the scenes are not as easy to showcase. I have posted photos of my itinerary work before which was great but showing you week after week doodled and edited itineraries will become boring and less effective. So we decided it was time for us to start to show you more of what we do by using our words and taking photos of our everyday work.
After the meeting finished I started to do some work for one of our clients and I thought this would be a perfect example of what we do. So here we go, here is what I did for this client this morning. This client is getting married in Jamaica in May (woohoo, I’m going to Jamaica!!). My job today was to review the wedding packages the resort offers and provide some advice to my client about which package would be best. What I am about to tell you applies to all of our clients, not just wedding clients. And it applies to every aspect of an event that we plan. We review and analyze all the details and options to make sure our client is making the best choice for them based on the details of the event and what we know about our client.
This particular venue offers 4 wedding packages. The first package is the one that draws everyone to destination weddings – Free! The next package is what they call their Classic. Followed by the Royal and the Caprice. I laid out all the options in a nicely detailed chart for our client. The chart included all the things each package includes and what is not included. When you lay it out in detail realizing that you are paying extra for a resort t-shirt, a discount on a spa treatment and paying for 10 people that aren’t coming can be a huge savings. In this particular case, if my client follows my recommendation I just saved them $650. The chart also included a breakdown of prices…in Canadian dollars. I laid out all the package costs, options and fine print in their own currency so that the client knows exactly what they are paying for and how much. No surprises. Lastly, I provided my own opinion on each package and all the available options based on my expertise and my personal experience. I pride myself on being honest and open with my clients when providing my opinion. They don’t have to follow my suggestion but at least I know I gave them the all the options and my honest opinion and they were able to make an informed choice.
In this particular case I have recommended to the client that they go with the not-so-free free package because it gets them everything they need. It doesn’t include everything they wanted but based on budget and further discussion about priorities this is definitely the best choice for them. By making this choice they are going to get everything they need for a perfect wedding and will have money left over for some of the wants on their list that I think will be more effective at creating a memorable event for their guests.
Without our review, insight and knowledge our client likely would have booked the most expensive package, upgraded to a suite and been disappointed with the actual results on site because there are some details that are not exactly as they may be described in the brochure. Event planners are trained to focus on details, ask the right questions and provide advice based on our knowledge and experience. Our job is make sure you are getting exactly what you need and want for your event at the best possible price to effectively fit in your budget. It excites me to do that for our clients. It is hugely satisfying.