23 March 2023
How I Work With Clients
Quite a few of my clients have never used an event professional before and are dipping their toe into the events world, so it is my job to make the experience as clear and enjoyable as possible.
Over the years, I have honed how I work with clients and I am astute to their personality types quite early. I have people who give me a top line brief and just want me to go and get on with it, and then others who want to be involved in every single detail along the way – and both are totally fine, as long as I prepare for that.
When a new client approaches to work with me, the first thing I will do is arrange a call or a Zoom, or if local to me a catch up over a coffee, to check we are aligned. Being trusted to run someone’s event is a very personal thing and, as much as I want to check I can work with them, they need to make sure they want to work with me, as often we’ll be in each other’s pockets for the weeks and months leading up to the event.
As in life, sometimes the energy is off and that’s fine. It’s nothing personal from each side, but I always trust my instincts and if I feel it’s not the right partnership, I will politely decline. This hardly happens at all I have to say!
Once we have the kick-off meet, we both get to ask questions and get a feel for the event. It is here I ask about the objectives of the event, why it is happening, what outcomes they want, and what are their priorities. Of course, this ranges considerably for corporate and private events, but the big things that don’t change are feelings and how people want their attendees to feel during the event.
Often, the client can be a little overwhelmed as there are so many moving parts and it is my job to calmly go through each element, address any watchouts or things that can’t be achieved, so we get a realistic plan on both sides. Once we are both happy with the brief and timescales, I get to work!
This is when I start dipping into my list of venues, suppliers and contacts. Part of my role is to be on top of venues, know of new openings and refurbishments. Clients love taking people to a new venue, so I always make sure I am as up to date as I can and spend a lot of time visiting venues to potentially work with. Often, during the kick-off session, I have several venues and suppliers in mind, and I start doing a mind map of the event and who could be involved.
This is great as I can call on tried and trusted suppliers, and venues, that I know will deliver to a premium standard in line with my values. I start making the calls and enquiries and provisionally booking in the important things first: venue, suppliers and any headline act.
Once the venue and suppliers are booked, I can then dive into the detail, which I love. This is where the little touches happen and the things that guests remember and comment on. Of course, all is budget-dependant, but there are definitely a few tricks of the trade I can bring to the party!
An important thing is to keep talking to the client every step of the way, so they feel they have got full visibility on what is going on. This makes them feel at ease, involves them in all decision making and together, we see the event come to life.