WHAT TO TAKE TO THE MEETING
A pad and pen to take notes with
A copy of the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ questions listed later in this module
A copy of the ‘planning the ceremony’ questions listed later in this module
Some suggestions for locations, venues and suppliers etc
Leaflets and brochures from your suggested suppliers etc
And if you take a mobile phone with you, remember to switch it off. You’ll look truly unprofessional if halfway through a meeting a friend calls to see if you fancy going out for a drink in the evening. Keep your work life and home/social life separate.
In the beginning, your client may have a vague idea of want they want. But that is why they have come to you. They need help to make their event plans become a reality. Therefore, you must keep in mind the following guidelines when meeting with a client to plan an event.
Here are a couple sample questions:
What is the projected date and location for your event? This is perhaps the most basic of questions but it is important for your client to provide a direct answer. It can be a bad sign if you sense a lot of indecision or conflict with this topic. Now of course some clients will need your help with choosing a venue, but they really should have at least a couple places in mind. You can spend a significant amount of time shopping venues, and you’ll spend even more if the client has no idea what they want.
What is the goal of the event? This simply asks the client what they want to get out of the event. If they are attempting to reach out to a wider clientele, earn a loyal following, reward the existing followers – all of these things will dictate the feel of the event. As an event planner, you are can facilitate the success of any of these intentions.
Organization in event planning is key. Write all the answers above down or take your cell phone and record the conversation so you can listen to it later and process all the information thrown your way. Do you think you are ready to be the best event planner you can be? Take this quiz by Cheryl Cecchetto and find out if you are ready:
1. Do you go above and beyond to “wow” the client?
2. Do you prioritize customer service and customer satisfaction?
3. Are you extremely attentive to detail?
4. Are your clients always fully informed?
5. Do you respond to your clients on the same business day?
6. Do you strive to build quality relationships and honest conversation?
7. Do you stay in touch with your clients all year round?
8. Do you share their highs and lows?
9. Do you exceed expectations?
10. Do you have original ideas?
11. Do you focus on what is right for your client?
12. Do you tell the truth when you make a mistake?
13. Do you deliver what you say you’re going to?
14. Do you feel that you deserve customer loyalty, and if so, do you nurture it?
15. Do you approach every client as a potential long-term client?
16. Do you prioritize the needs and preferences of your clients more than your potential earnings?
17. Do you treat your employees as you would treat a client whom you want to see year after year?
18. Do you make sure that every day of work is meaningful to you and your client?
19. Is your client’s philosophy clear from the start, and do you agree with that philosophy?
20. Do you know your client’s interests and the event mission statement?
21. Do you actively listen to your clients and ask them how they feel?
22. Do you allow them to share their honest opinions?
23. Are you open to new approaches with each project?
24. Do you live up to your commitments and meet deadlines?
25. Do you reach for the stars?
The Scoring System:
Give yourself one point for each question where your answer is yes.
25: Switch places with me.
20 to 24: You’re on the right track.
15 to 19: Stop and reassess everything.
10 to 14: You may not want to be the front person of the company.
5 to 9: You’re in the wrong business.
0 to 4: You’re not ready to be in business.