Sit down for a drink with a group of event professionals and the one thing you are sure to hear is an immense frustration centered on communication. The challenge is certainly not event industry-specific. Recently, Forbes published The Five C’s of Effective Communication - clear, concise, compelling, curious and compassionate. While these all apply, we wanted to dive further into the C’s in event terms and issues we hear event pros sharing all of the time.
One of the challenges we hear, especially from event planners and venues, is that finding contact information for fellow industry pros can be a daunting task. Is your phone number and email easy to find on your website? Many planners and venues will move on and share a potential referral to another professional rather than fill out a contact form on your wedding website.
Whether you are reaching out with a referral or a question, keep your professional conversations professional. Text messages and private message on social media are really popular but easily fall off of your colleague's radar, and it also makes tracking specifics discussed harder than in an email. Get to the point! We are all in the business of telling a couple’s story but in communication keep the details short and sweet.
We are all busy with meetings, networking, rehearsals, the actual event day and dare we say... our time off! Knowing your colleagues, just like knowing your clients helps you to communicate better. Just because you don’t have an event this weekend does not mean your colleague doesn’t and getting an answer for a client six months from now is not something you should expect over a weekend. However, regardless of how busy you might be, a short response and a time to follow up goes a long way toward keeping the lines of communication open.
Getting details from your clients can be like pulling teeth. Once you have them, sharing details of an event with your vendor partners helps to keep everyone in the loop. A catering manager who shares timing and menu selection details goes a long way with an event planner or band. By the same token, a DJ or band may know specifics of introductions, toasts or those all-important surprises! You're a rock star by sharing those with the planner and catering manager. Whatever role you play in an event, there are details you might be the only one to know that directly affect the rest of the day. Sharing them is a big help to those coordinating the efforts. It's a courtesy to focus on the best interests of the couple and the outcome of the event. And, you can score big points toward referrals with the other pros.
No one is an island. A wedding or event is a collaboration of pros that can involve up to 15-20 companies and contracts. Each is an expert in their own field. Sharing ideas, suggestions or details others might need to consider is a sure sign of professionalism. Collaboration and education make everyone look good and better serve your couples. Communication is key to making happy clients, successful events and proud (and paid) pros!