Most great events are the result of many people putting forth a great effort. Attempting to do it alone can be costly and frustrating. Event planners, photographers, florists, caterers, and other event professionals are in it to help make the process smoother for you. If you find yourself in need of assistance, setting up a consultation is a great way to find the professional that is the best fit for you. But what comes after the consultation?
- Follow Up
After meeting with your vendor, you should receive a phone call, email or some type of communication that gives a summary of your consultation, and details the next steps for you. This should let you know when the contract will be sent, when your deposit or retainer is due, or if there will be another meeting. All contact information for your vendor should be included so that you know how to reach the vendor in case you have questions.
Once the decision has been made to utilize a vendor, you should receive a contract. Carefully read your contract and get clarification on any grey areas BEFORE you sign. You should not enter a relationship with a vendor if you are not 100% sure of the services that you are receiving. If the contract is electronically signed, print out a hard copy to keep for your files. If you sign a paper contract, sign it in blue ink that way the original can be differentiated from any copies that are made.
After your consultation, you will probably be made aware of how much you will have to pay for a certain service. Your vendor will also require either a deposit or retainer, and they should tell you what your payment options are. These days just about everyone accepts credit/debit cards, but many will not accept checks. If your vendor offers a payment plan, you should find out if there is a service charge, when your payments are due, and if there is a penalty for paying late. If this information is not included in your contract, ask your vendor to include it in an addendum or draw up a separate document for the two of you to sign.
The event planning field is constantly growing and changing, and each event professional has their way of doing things. However, the steps listed above are pretty much what you can expect after your consultation. I know that I can use some work in the follow-up department, but when it comes to contracts and payments, I do not let these slide, and if you encounter a vendor who is not solid on these two things, you may want to think twice about working with them.
Did you know that Visions by Vaughn offers 30-minute complimentary phone consultations? Click here to contact us and schedule yours!