Planninga party should be FUN. However, with all the emotional baggage thatcan be attached to a wedding, birthday party or even a corporate anniversaryparty it is easy to forget that it is a business transaction and certainetiquette is appropriate.
Asa client, being prepared, respectful and just plain-old-nice can reap greatbenefits – you will likely receive better overall service and maybe even anupgrade or two! Here are a few tips to help along the way:
1. Make anappointment, even if it’s not required. If possible, callvendors at least one week in advance and meet on an “off” day of the week likea Tuesday or Wednesday (event industry pros often take off on Mondays and getbusier toward the weekend). Having the planner’s undivided attention willlead to a more productive and thorough planning session.
2.Choose a spokesperson. Even if there is a committee planningyour annual fundraiser or if your great Aunt insists on being on allwedding-related correspondence, choosing a single point of contact cuts backimmensely on opportunities for miscommunication.
3. Googleit. Online party planning resources abound – from theknot to evite,which has an entire section devoted to party ideas, etiquette andbudgeting. Also check out the venue’s website and downloadpertinent information before you pick up the phone. If it is obviousyou’ve invested time and energy into the planning process, the vendor ismore likely to invest her time and energy into winning you as a client!
4. Speakup, with manners. A seasoned professional will beable to anticipate many potential problems or hiccups at an event, but they arenot mind readers! If you have questions or something’s not quite right,don’t be afraid to speak up in a clear but respectful way. It is theplanner’s job to address any problems or concerns on your behalf before, duringand after the event.
5. Recognizea job well done. If a planner went above and beyond to make yourexperience special, thank her. This can take many forms, but a monetarytip or a simple thank you note are universally appreciated. Alternatively, in today’s digital age a positive online review makes a bigimpact, as it can increase referral business and is a public affirmation of thecompany’s credibility.
Formore insight on planning like a pro, check out celebrity wedding designer Preston Bailey’s blog. He offers a refreshingly honest point of view on a variety of eventplanning topics and sticky situations…and happens to be one of my personalfavorites.