August 31, 2010
These days, most people start in the event business by wearing two hats. They most likely take gradual steps out of their old boring job into the new and exciting world of the event industry. There is always that “cross-over” period of adjustment.
If you’re a newcomer I strongly suggest that if you have never done an event, even if it’s offering your time for free to friends and family, that you get some basic experience before you actually do your first job for pay.
Even if you have another job, your process before interviewing a client should be the same as anyone: preparation, preparation, research and preparation.
To prepare properly, this is what I suggest:
- Give the client the confidence you are giving them the best service possible. Do this by doing your homework and putting the time in to get some experience.
- You need to gather visual materials from the freebies you gave your friends and family. A picture has the power of a thousand words. Talk about all the things that went RIGHT with the event, and how you accomplished your goals.
- Your new client does not need to know you have another job. And no, I do not consider this omission lying. You just need to be 100% sure you have enough time and effort to execute this job flawlessly.
I have heard of many folks who have gone through this transition with great ease. I encourage everyone to give up that dreaded boring job and follow your dream job. However, like anything else, it takes careful planning and patience to establish credibility and a good reputation.
Please tell me, do you feel that it’s lying if you don’t mention to your clients that you have another job? If you’re transitioning between careers, what boring business are you giving up and what are your starting? What are the ups and downs of transitioning?
August 30, 2010
I am finally becoming adjusted to the importance of market research. In other words, what the hell are my competitors doing and how much are they charging? Not too long ago I ran my business with blinders, not caring or oblivious to what anyone was doing. The problem with this is that you have no idea of your market value, and how much to charge or not charge your clients.
Obviously you cannot just pick up your phone and ask your competitors how much they charge. (Though I have had many vendors posing as clients trying to get my pricing in a very sneaky way. Shame on you.)
So, for this week’s To Do list let’s try to work on my suggestions for gathering information in your area:
August 27, 2010
As you know, every week I like to do a Your Turn post so we can get to know each other better. Obviously, by reading through your posts I know that most of us are in the events industry, but I got to wondering…
Which of you out there are wedding planners and which of you are event designers? And if you’re an event designer, is there a wedding planner whom you love to work with? And why?
For example, I love working my good friend and amazing planner Marcy Blum.
Let me know!
August 26, 2010
Have you ever been so excited about a job that you just wanted to give it away? It could have happened this way: You meet wonderful clients and you instantly fall in love with them. They tell you about their job, you can easily visualize the design in your head and maybe this could be the most amazing job you have ever done.
However, this always happens next: You come back to reality to discuss the mundane. Money. Costs.
The thing is, from the bottom of my heart, I think events should be about transporting your guests for those few hours to a world of warmth, beauty, elegance and grandeur, giving them that once in a lifetime experience.
The bummer is that this comes with the cost of a price tag. In my humble assessment, I think that if most folks had the financial resources, we would see a lot more of these life changing moments within events. That is how generous I think most people are.
In the meantime, we still need to work on creating memorable events within a budget–even for those who have very deep pockets.
Most millionaires and billionaires got there by being very smart about how they spend their money, make no mistake about this.
I am still hoping and praying for that one client to actually say: Preston the sky is the limit, just do your thing.
To ensure you don’t price yourself out of a job, check out a few of my tips: