Who Has The Check?

In our industry it isn’t unusual for vendors and venues to offer us all kinds of free things as a way to familiarize ourselves with their products or services. We tend to be very careful about accepting those offers as we don’t want to become known as “those girls”. You know who I am talking about. They are the ones that only want the free stuff but actually have no intention of utilizing the services or products that have been offered.

So when an offer comes in for a free tasting, a free tour, free gift baskets etc. we evaluate what is being offered against our own services before deciding yes or no. We want to provide the very best to our clients and sometimes that means saying no to potential vendors that offer something that isn’t what the majority of our client’s are looking for. We understand how expensive marketing can be and we don’t think it is right to take a company’s “free offer” for something if we really don’t feel they have something of value for us to offer our clients.  

That being said, when we do say yes to an offer we have learned over time to clarify what exactly is being offered. For example, one time our entire event planning team had been wooed by a “not to be named” high end restaurant. They wanted us to come and experience their food and tour their restaurant to see the event space they had. We hemmed and hawed for several weeks and finally decided to add it to an already planned facility tour day.

One of the staff confirmed with the contact at the restaurant and off we went. When we arrived for lunch and gave them our name at the hostess counter (like we had been instructed) they looked at us funny which should have been our first clue that things were not as they seemed.

We were led to a cramped little table in a back corner. It wasn’t really the best showcase of their tables but the restaurant was about half full. We asked our waitress if they could let our contact know we were here. Again, we got a funny look from the waitress that we didn’t really pay attention to. Did we just miss clue number 2? A few moments go by and one of the catering sales people joins us but not our contact because they are out for the day. (What? Really?) Clue number three that things are not right. We are told by the catering sales rep to try a couple of the appetizers, which we did. We ordered a lovely full meal and even indulged in decadent desserts to round it all out. The final aha moment…

So, what to do when they bring you the bill for a meal you were told was going to be complimentary? We looked at each other, paid the bill, left the restaurant and frantically called our bookkeeper to explain the huge credit card charge that would be coming through unauthorized. The point is, enjoy the perks of being a planner when it matches what the services of your firm offer and be very sure that the offer is complimentary before you indulge and possible break the bank, or at the very least, the expense account.

Road Trip Debacles

Ever just know that if you get in the car with a friend to go somewhere it will inevitably end up with something going awry? Oh it is sure to include lots of laughter and another “never going to forget that” story to tell people but you know something, anything could happen to make it a debacle.

We are event planners so you would think that we seldom have those days because we pay attention to details. A contraire, when it comes to the details of our lives it is a very different thing than when we are being hired by a client. We have experienced everything from pumping gas into the company van when it was already full to being absolutely positive of a shortcut that ended up taking us longer because of road closures.

Whatever the adventure we find ourselves currently in; it is laughter that gets us through. Professional though we may be, we are a zany group of women that know how to really just live in the moment and fun doing so. Of course, when that moment leads us down a path we weren’t quite expecting we know how to think on our feet and come up with a plan B.

Either way we know we are in for an adventure when we are together. I guess that is why it is so great to work with your best friends. We would love to hear about some of your favorite road trip debacles too!