The Meet and Greet
Once you are past the inquiry phone call, it is now time for you to use the basic information you have collected and brainstorm for your meet and greet. The goal after the initial phone call is to use the basic information given and elaborate on any ideas to prepare for the next interaction with the prospective client. There can be an exchange of proposed menus, a mention of house cocktails, and a summary of a floor plan. This transfer of information can be done through mail, fax, telephone, or e-mail, and it occurs before the initial meeting.
During your first meeting, you will provide a description of the event you can produce, perhaps using ideas from past events. Remember, your first meeting may not be a meeting at all. The session may be done over the phone or through e-mail. These sessions are tricky because while you want to impress the client with great images, you may not have a signed contract. Be protective of your ideas until the client has signed with you and you have secured a deposit.
A few minutes before the prospective client arrives, familiarize yourself with her material. Have a copy of all of the information you have sent on hand as well as your notes from the initial phone conversation. Draft a proposal, budget, and contract in case your inquiry is ready to take the next step and become your client during the initial meeting. For information yet to be determined, simply put “TBD” (to be determined) on the line. Your scrapbook and letters of reference should also be available.
A meet and greet is the initial face-to-face meeting between you and a prospective client. Meeting a prospective client is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Taking steps to prepare yourself for the meet and greet will bring you closer to landing the client and the event.
Remember, you are hoping to host this person's event. From the time the prospective client walks through the door, show her how serious you take the host position by offering her a beverage, taking her coat, and pulling out her chair. Upon departure, ask if the client needs a recommendation for dinner, directions back to her car, or a taxi called.