Big Events are a lot of work. It doesn’t matter if you are the host or the vendor. Each one plays a part to create it! Big or small, outdoor or indoor, intimate settings or big halls. Everybody needs to be on board with the vision and realities of the event. Both vendor and client have expectations which sometimes simple and effective communication can make easier on everyone.
1. Getting the question “How much does it cost? This is a difficult question for most vendors to give you during an initial consultation. There are so many factors that go into pricing an event. Aside from the actual price of the items, there is experience, time and artistry, and most importantly service. Trying to be competitive is always a tightrope walked. A client has no clue how much time is spent in the inital phases of the job. Consultations, working out a quote, emails, ordering processing and bookkeeping. That doesn’t include the actual preparing, set up & day of event.
How Brides N Blooms, Wholesale & Designs likes to handle this situation is by flipping it around to the client and asking “What is your budget?” Or, “If I tell you your flowers will cost ‘this much’, how would you feel about that?” That helps a client figure out their comfort level and helps you, the vendor, figure out what you are able to do to match the client’s wants and what you are able to provide.
2. Constant Emails and changes…
It is the nature of this business to do a lot of cross communicating with email. However, if a client is continually changing their mind, or over obsessing with details, it becomes difficult for a vendor to be effective at their job. Too many changes, too many requests about minute details and freak outs can sometimes create problems in the final product. The client will not necessarily remember everything that was said or changed and if what is remembered is different than what the client thought, there will be disappointment all around. A vendor wants as much as the client does for everything to be right!
A good idea is to be clear in your consultations that ALL emails will be answered within a certain time frame. As the vendor, you can make sure your reply is clear and itemized with a subject line that is labeled for that particular issue/question. For the client, ask lots of questions, be very detailed in what you want and trust that the vendor you are choosing is a qualified, capable professional.
3. Don’t Assume Anything
This works both ways… Vendors and Clients. Communication just as in any relationship, is ultimately the key to making sure you get what you pay for and the vendor knows exactly what you want. As a vendor we hear many times a client say “Whatever you think is best! You are the professional”. Those are dangerous words for a vendor to take literally. What visions a client may have in their head many times will not be quite the same as what the vendor is envisioning.
As a vendor, have pictures or literature explaining your work. As a client, have pictures and a prepared list of what you want. Everyone may not be literal…but we all are visual in this industry. A picture is worth a thousand words… and a list is both a vendor and client’s best friend.
Make sure no matter which end of the spectrum you sit, vendor or host, you are honest, communicative and realistic. That way we all can work together to make your event a great one!
Now go out and have yourself a wholesale, fresh flower, communicative day!