My father (who is the most brilliant man I know) once told me that “in order to succeed, you must give people something that they need, even if they don’t know that they need it.” I’ve carried this thought around with me for the last few years, and am finally beginning to understand its immense importance. In the world of event planning, and the world of advertising (in which I currently work), this sentiment is hard to grasp. Advertising is the first thing to go when budgets are cut, and event planners drop out of the consideration set if budgets are tight. So the main question to ask yourself is, how can I become invaluable?
Coco Chanel has mastered the art of creating a sense of urgency, desire, and satisfaction around a industry that people can simply do without. How can we take her learnings and implement them in a field of a similar “low need, high attraction” ratio?
Here are my thoughts. I’m hoping to come back and add to this post as I learn.
1. Know your client better than she knows herself. Hang on her every word, absorb every piece of creative ideation she throws your way. Notice the nuances in her likes and dislikes. Does she like navy but hate teal? Does she like sparkle but hate crystals? You can never ask too many questions – you both want her day to be perfect, she won’t mind you being precise.
2. Remind her that her wedding is her biggest day, and that you’re there to make sure everything is seamless. One of the main pillars of wedding planner invaluability (apparently my new made up word) is taking a bride’s stress, and alleviating it/making it your own. She won’t need to worry about a thing. You can’t put a price on that!
3. Be the best at what you do. When a woman is looking for a planner, she shouldn’t need a list of five potentials. Her choice should be glaringly obvious – YOU. Find a way to offer what no other planner can. Cultivate a specialty and stick with it. Ask vendors if you can shadow them for a few days. Learn everything about flowers, food, decor. Know the industry like the back of your hand.
4. Remember that your client is never wrong. Period. If she wants to have her wedding in a hot air balloon overlooking Navy Pier during the Chicago Air and Water show, so be it. A wedding planner’s role is not to crush the dreams of her bride, it’s to make them come true (cheeseball!!!).
Now of course, all of these are my opinions, and I’m sure I’ll re-write, edit, delete, add, etc. as I learn the ins-and-outs of the industry, but I will keep you all in the loop regardless. We’re here to learn together!
PS – Check out this amazing Chanel-inspired baby shower on Hostess with the Mostess. It’s ADORABLE! And they had a perfume customization station!