Determining the Client's Needs
In this business you will hear many extravagant ideas and requests from clients. Often the event planner and client can find a common solution to make an idea more mainstream while keeping the creativity. On rare occasions, requests become demands, and these are the ones that take some maneuvering to satisfy the client. Telling a client that his cigar-smoking request might severely restrict your ability to find him a venue that permits smoking might make him realize that he needs the venue more than the cigars.
Reading Your Client
Reading a client is an important skill you will acquire as you gain experience in this field. Reading your clients means picking up subtle clues about their demeanor and personality. These clues can assist you in improving your client's experience. For example, if you are meeting a potential client and she inquires about the costs of everything, from your fees down to the table linen, in your initial interview, you guess she may be money-conscious. Therefore, designing a cost-effective menu with little frills is a sure-fire way to get this client to accept your proposal. The same level of intuitive decision-making will only benefit you and your client through the planning stages.
After your initial meeting with a potential client, it is important to process all of the notes you have taken. When it comes time to begin your research, you will want to keep all of your notes close by. An outdoor garden ceremony will not be well received as a venue for a bride who confessed she has severe allergies. A high-end art museum might not be an ideal location for a family reunion with a large number of children on the guest list. And a suggested menu heavy with steak, pork, and chicken may not appeal to a vegetarian staff for their annual fundraiser.
You will find many ways to get information from your clients. Some information will come in the form of outright requests while other information will be harder to decipher. Placing a value on all of the information, no matter how small, will catapult you into the next level of event planning.