As an event planner, you can imagine the scores of people we deal with every year. From couples, to their families, and much more; we have seen a noticeable change in how everyone communicates.
In the past 3 years there has been a large increase in couples that have issues with face to face interactions. Phones, email, text, and messages have made it impossible to develop quality relationships with clients.
Planning an event of any size takes a level of communication that allows for both parties to easily reflect on their ideas and get across the intended message. These parties must also feel they have equal say in the inner workings of the planning process. For the client, they need to tell what their vision is and trust their planner to fulfill it.
For the planner, it is our responsibility to hear the vision, get our facts straight, and then keep the client to a realistic level based on their budget, venue and many other factors, as well as completing the task(s). This cannot be done effectively in any other form than face to face!
For me personally, I am not a fan of websites like Pinterest, which give clients unrealistic expectations as to how their event should look. Especially when the client’s budget does not match their expectation. I am sure that I am not the most popular person in this process, as I am the one that has to be the proverbial “bad guy” and let them down easily.
The Knot, Wedding Wire, and other similar sites are also platforms I wish I did not have to list my business with. These sites are only a tool for price shopping with over 95% of people that we meet through them. Coming back to my original point about communications… If sites like these didn’t exist, the client would get a more specialized interaction because they would be forced to make a phone call and actually speak with a person!
I don’t think the general public realizes the enormity of issues that not having more face to face contact makes. Furthermore, the people using these sites tend to be the same ones that want to do everything by text, email, or whatever their preference. Anything but in-person, and this is the same reason for the lack of relationship which would eventually get you the level of customer service that you deserve and want.
As a business that is built on customer service and relationships, I think you can see the position we are put into when that part of the process is taken for granted. Also, why pay for a wedding planner, when behind closed doors on your phone and computer, you are doing it all anyway? From my side of things, it is imperative that clients understand the difference in an event they plan and how we do things. Better left for another blog 🙂
I spend countless hours making sure that I understand what our clients wishes are, setup the staff to make it happen, and a ton of stuff in between (we are not going to go through all of it). All in order to have the bride walk in the door after 2-3 months of next to no communications with me and she had changed everything we originally discussed.
This literally happened to me this year at their event in July. Months and months of work went out the door because instead of working with me in detail, I would get little glimpses through few meetings, pictures, and even less in person descriptions. The last 6 weeks the bride quit talking to me and kept having her fiance call me with her issues, because she literally had not formed a relationship with me enough to respect all the work we had done. Sadly, this bride could not deal with the conflict she had created, in person or even by phone. You can imagine my surprise when I reminded this same couple that they would need to make sure they had someone to take their personal items home with them from the wedding. Because it is in our contract that although we will be happy to take all of your stuff to the event, we will not be bringing it back to our shop. I got a very angry groom calling me because supposedly “that was the only reason we hired a wedding planner for.”
Let me take a big breath here…
Please go out and read what the definition of a wedding planner is. I think that says it all!
Needless to say, this is less than the outcome that we want for any of our clients. No kidding folks, we really do want a great outcome for you and us. Otherwise, why would I stress myself out planning your perfect day?
A bit of advice for clients utilizing a planner for your event: make sure to get in and have at least one face-to-face meeting a month, no matter how satisfied you are with where you sit in the process. Also, be diligent in making sure that your “vision” is understood and makes sense to all the other factors of the event. Like me, I am sure your planner will appreciate it!
The relationship between you and your planner will be one of the most important to date. Don’t you want to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth?
Happy Planning 🙂