Next month a few thousand of the best event pros in the world will gather for the first professional education conference of 2016. Bridal fairs probably just happened last weekend and B’nai Mitzvah fairs and 2018 Bar and Bat Mitzvah dates are being handed out all over the country. In other words, ’tis the season. You’re recently engaged or you just received your child’s Mitzvah date. It’s time to begin to seek out the vendors who you want to recruit to be on your event team.
Let’s get the easy question out of the way.
There is no use wasting your time interviewing your favorite venue, florist or wedding planner if the day of your simcha is unavailable. Move on!
If the question of if your date is flexible comes up, laugh, and then move on! Your date doesn’t have to be flexible~you chose it for a reason. There are plenty of other venues, florists, planners, caterers, bands, etc. etc. –you get the picture.
It may not be a deal breaker if the event partner you are interviewing hasn’t participated in a Jewish wedding? But, if there is a basic lack of knowledge on what you need to successfully have the Jewish or Interfaith wedding of your dreams then walk away. You want partners planning your wedding who already know you will need a glass to stomp, an easel under the chuppah for your ketubah and traditionally the bride stands to the right of the groom.
Be very clear on what is included in your package. Make sure it is outlined in the contract.
A related question to ask is about Fees. Not only how much do you cost? But also, are there any hidden fees?
There is no right or wrong answer as long as everything is transparent and noted in the contract.
Time was we could ask to see a portfolio of work. But, a portfolio isn’t as important as asking to see relevant social media channels. Is your chosen one on Pinterest? Can you actively follow the company on Facebook, Instagram or twitter? Social media is relevant to a professional’s current knowledge of trends as well as a sign of understanding (or lack there of) of the current marketplace.
A follow-up question to ask. Who is your event pro watching and following on those same channels?
Aside from gleaning this information from his/her website and social media, you should ask the direct question about his or her’s esthetic? It should be answered with a sound bite.
Anyone who doesn’t have a sense of herself and exactly what she’s good at hasn’t been in the industry long enough to understand we can’t all be good at everything! It’s like Giada, Bobby and Alton telling the Next Food Network Star to have a distinct point of view!
Check out websites and see which of your potential creative team members are affiliated with professional associations. All the professional organizations have ethics statements that we have to sign to maintain our membership. We receive educational opportunities on current trends in the industry and can attend conferences to make sure we keep our skills up to date.
Ask this of all your potential wedding team members. We should all have not only a list of professionals that we’ve been in the fox hole (and survived) with, but also, we should be willing to work with new people and always be on the look out for others we can add to our list of “go to” peeps. Perhaps, even more telling are any professionals with whom we don’t want to work. Don’t you want to know why?
If you’re asking this of a potential wedding planner, I sure hope the answer is 1. If you feel as if you’re being squeezed into someone’s schedule, you probably are! Tread carefully here if the answer is greater than one and make sure you hear examples of how this has been done successfully in the past.
Finally, make sure you have a sense of rapport and great connection! When something goes wrong (and it will) you want to know you can connect with this person and he or she is going to fix it.