Monday, July 9, 2012
Organization and good [business] manners sometimes go hand in hand. It is important to always remember to treat anyone you work with respect and appreciation -- this should not be reserved for clients only. From co-workers, to vendors to your a/v team, always remember that people are much more likely to continue doing a great job for you or at least come back if they like you. So in case you're a little rusty here are some reminders/tips on minding your professional P's & Q's.
If someone does something nice for you, tell them. With a card. While email is convenient, a card shows that you really put thought into it and even took the time to stamp it and mail it. And don't just use one of those generalized cards with the thank you written in it and sign it. Write a brief few sentences about why you are thanking them (thank you so much for your help detailing our logistics for the event!). The reason that cards are important is it gives the person a chance to know you are genuinely acknowledging them for the work they do/did and not just saying thanks because you have to.
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While most people think of this as an organizational thing, which it is, it's also a way to show that you are paying attention. This goes both ways. If you are looking for something, be sure to contact the person even if you don't need them. If they are as put together as they should be, they most likely tracking calls and potential clients. This is particularly important in the bridal industry where you may be in correspondence with someone for weeks or even months. In some instances someone has invested a fair amount of time in helping you so the least you can do is be courteous enough to say "thank you for all of your help, but I am going in a different direction." Likewise you should also make an effort to follow up with people who have reached out to you. People want to work with someone who they feel is invested in what they are doing. I have known of people who think "this place never even called me back..." Sometimes mistakes happen, messages get lost but for the most part you need to be thorough & efficient and make sure each of your clients feel like you could want nothing more than to be working with them.
Keep track of who is saying what about you and if someone says something good, find them and let them know that you appreciate it. If you host an event check twitter, facebook, four square and see if you've gotten any feedback. Send that person an email to acknowledge that you appreciate their feedback. You never know the relationships you can build from even the simplest things. Not to mention you're building better knowledge about what works and what may not work for you events. When it comes to what didn't work, don't be afraid to reach out to less than satisfied attendees as well. You always have room for improvement and those people may be impressed that you listened to their complaints and just decide to come back next year anyway.
A good way to keep track of what's being said about you is to sign up for Google Alerts.
Have a question about event planning? Have a great tip, information or a story to share?
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org