Troubleshooting the event is the act of imagining certain details of the event going wrong. By imagining certain details going wrong, you can envision solutions or put a backup plan into effect. Confirming the details is the ideal time to troubleshoot the details of the event.
An apprehensive client may need a bit of reassuring as the event gets closer. It may not be enough to simply reassure your client with dialogue. An apprehensive or negative client will find ways to criticize the event if everything does not go according to plan. There are different steps you can take to be proactive and troubleshoot the event with your client.
Chances are the venue you are working with will be having an event prior to yours. Ask the facility planner if you can arrange a site visit prior to the start time of another event. Seeing the venue set with linens, flatware, and centerpieces can put your client at ease and trigger different ideas for his event. Viewing the venue with your client may also jog your imagination as well. Either way, you cannot lose. The client will have a firm understanding as to how her event will be set up.
A menu tasting before an event is popular for large functions, but it does make you wonder how a chef can cook a tasting menu in December for an event occurring in July. Produce availability changes with the seasons, as will the availability of meats and shellfish, not to mention the cost of ingredients fluctuating. It may be a good idea to invite a client to a menu tasting a few weeks before the event rather than a few months before. Tasting the menu is one way to troubleshoot the availability of the ingredients.
Troubleshooting Your Vendors
Much like the venue setup, you can offer to troubleshoot your vendors with your client. When the floral designer is arranging flowers for an event similar to your client's, ask her for an appointment. Your client can view the flower arrangements and troubleshoot any aspects of the arrangements he would like to change. An especially nice touch is sending your client a similar floral arrangement to her home.
In the past, clients were invited to other events to preview entertainment as well. The hosts of these events now frown upon this practice. Musicians now send a sampling of shows through compact discs and videos.
In the initial phase of the planning process, you might have written “pending” or “to be determined” for certain details such as the wine selections or rental inventory. When confirming the details with your client, acknowledge all pending details. Work with your client to finalize these details.
Troubleshooting with Your Staff
Visiting the venue and vendors might not be worth the time for a small meeting or casual dinner. Still, it is a good idea to troubleshoot each event with a staff member. Together you can decide which details need to be elaborated and which details may not work as well. Any concerns can be brought to the attention of the client before the event.
Checking items off of your list has its advantages. You are beginning final preparations on the event you have worked so hard to plan. Hopefully your organization is paying off at this time and you have breezed through your confirmations with your client and vendors. With the event now days away, being organized is critical. The result is confidence in yourself and a stress-free event.