The most successful way for event planners and floral designers to work well together is to establish and maintain good communication with each other. Every planner and florist have different ways of working. The disconnect I often see is when a florist has a specific style they like to create, a particular budget or a minimum price but those details are not clearly communicated to the local event planners. It is especially important to share this information if you get an inquiry from a planner you have not worked with before or if you have recently established or changed your minimum price.
I love to get updates from floral designers (and other vendors) when they update their branding, pricing, minimums or target market. This saves me so much time and helps me do a better job for my clients. Don’t be afraid to send an email to local event planners that describes your personal style, the venues you like best, your minimums and the ideal budgets you work best with. You may want to let other local floral designers know these details too so you can properly refer each other when you are booked.
As a planner, our job is to match clients with the floral designers who best fit their style and personality. If a planner brings you a potential client that isn’t a good fit, don’t be afraid to communicate this to the planner. It will be better for you, the planner and the client. It is scary to turn down good business but you also don’t want to be miserable or set yourself up for failure.
Another key to success is to only take as many events as you can handle without compromising quality or service. We have all been there – we take on too many events at a time and either burn-out or our service level goes down. When the level of customer service drops or response times are more than a few days from a referred vendor, it reflects badly on the planner. If I recommend a florist but it takes an extra week to get a proposal back, I have to explain this to my clients and justify why I recommended that particular vendor in the first place.
From a design perspective, I love to collaborate with the floral designers I work with. I spend time with my clients determining the design basics before the floral meeting but I let my clients know that we may come up with new or slightly different ideas once we meet with the florist. With a planner’s background in design and logistics combined with a florist’s talent and experience, we can create a final design that is better than either of us can do on our own. I know that not all planners work this way which is another key component of communication. Take time to learn how each planner likes to work throughout the planning and design process.
Here are the questions to ask event planners you work with:
* What types of events, styles, budgets and clients do you like to work with?
* Do you prefer that I communicate only with you or should I also copy the client on emails?
* Should I send payment reminders to you or the client?
* Will you be attending the consultation and follow up floral meetings?
* Do you like to do mock-ups after a client books the florist?
* If the wedding is small, do you prefer to “strike” the florals on the wedding day then return the vases to me or would you rather we include our “strike” fee in the proposal?
* Do you expect the florist to go to linen meetings, lighting meetings, do mock-ups and/or attend the final walkthrough?
By keeping the answers to these questions on file and communicating how you work to event planners, you can keep the integrity of your business and also have successful relationships with event planners.
This post was written by Debbie Orwat, Owner and Editor of the Planner’s Lounge. Planner’s Lounge is a resource site and community for wedding and event planners to relax, talk, learn and inspire.