Negotiating Refunds In The Time of COVID19 | To Refund or Not To Refund

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If you are reading this, my guess is that you are a special event and hospitality industry pro, as well as a leader of your business.  Like 99% of us at this time, you are faced with constant concerns from clients, one of which most likely involves them cancelling your service and requesting a refund due to COVID19.

The very nature of our industry is that we are in service.  We provide goods and services to people who are often having once-in-a-lifetime events, and always, always leaving our “business card” with the quality of work we do which is not of the paper kind.  Our legacy business card is how we behave with our clients during the pre-event, event , and post-event process, and how we show manners and integrity.   It also means that while we have contracts, policies and terms and conditions, most of us try and be a bit flexible under normal circumstances and do not insist on enforcing all the hard terms of our contract if we can. Because that’s who we are.  We ache to see our clients unhappy and we also fear how providing a boundary may tarnish our reputation in some regard.   We are the “Fixers”.  The “Magical Make-Everything-Right Wizards”, and it is in our very DNA to create happiness.  So it is no surprise that having to make a decision that may not make our clients happy is extremely stressful and keeps many of us awake at night. Continue reading “Negotiating Refunds In The Time of COVID19 | To Refund or Not To Refund”

Entrepreneur/Creative Attorney Annette Stepanian Answers Your Most Pressing Questions

adobe-spark-post(118)As part of our series of complimentary support for special event and hospitality professionals this week, Attorney Ms. Annette Stepanian agreed to answer some of the  most pressing questions for the Santa Barbara and Ventura, CA industry.

You can get to know her more on her Website (she offers some incredible services as well as blogs and podcasts) or follow her on Instagram. Continue reading “Entrepreneur/Creative Attorney Annette Stepanian Answers Your Most Pressing Questions”

Summary of our Complimentary “Live Feed” Instagram Session 1

90158311_10158149623308307_4403381212672950272_nToday’s first session at 2pm PST was what I call a “Band Aid” session.  Priorities. It’s the first of a series of complimentary virtual  sessions I’m offering this week on my Instagram and Facebook “live” feeds addressing the hospitality industry and COVID19.

Below are the highlights/nuggets of what I presented today : Continue reading “Summary of our Complimentary “Live Feed” Instagram Session 1″

Immediate Relevant & Complimentary Community Support For the Special Event & Hospitality Partner

The following appeared in a newsletter that we  sent Sunday, March 15th in response to COVID19’s deepening impact on our world and our industry.

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Finally, something that will encourage community-building interaction, provides complimentary revenue-support &  top business tips during a critical down time, plus provides the current social distancing necessary, and….
won’t get cancelled! Continue reading “Immediate Relevant & Complimentary Community Support For the Special Event & Hospitality Partner”

We need to talk. Thank You Notes May Be More Than You Think They Are

adobe-spark-post(87)We need to talk.  Thank you notes are not only not dead, they are more essential than ever.  If you think it’s just “not necessary”, or that they are “outdated”,  “too formal”, are a form of snobbery or worse:  “take too much time”,  then you are contributing directly to the world’s increasing lack of grace, malaise, misunderstandings and cry for connection.   Plus it is ultimately a statement about you to all around you.   Sound a bit too dramatic?  Think again and wake up.

Thank you notes are classy and indicate manners.  But you didn’t click on that link to read about the obvious, so let’s go a bit deeper.  Continue reading “We need to talk. Thank You Notes May Be More Than You Think They Are”

Top Economical Ways To Maximize New & Repeat Business During the Predicted Wedding Downspend Late 2019 | New Series: Part 1

88192DF8-B7C8-4498-BAC7-A52498D010C1In case you missed it, it’s all over the news:  economists are stating that a serious recession is about to hit us towards the latter part of this year, predicting people will be losing jobs, homes and more.  Even wedding economists have been forewarning wedding businesses of this potential shift.

Whether or not it actually comes to pass, statistics have proven that with these kind of predictions, people tend to panic and pull back significantly on their spending, even if out of fear alone.   Wedding businesses are likely to experience some collateral damage of this economic prediction whether it comes true or not.  So practicing value-aware marketing and advertising never goes out of vogue, and is a sage way to invest your hard-earned income for your creative business marketing plan.   After all, late 2019 is when we traditionally start marketing hard to get those 2020 event bookings.  Continue reading “Top Economical Ways To Maximize New & Repeat Business During the Predicted Wedding Downspend Late 2019 | New Series: Part 1”

2 Tips For Writing A “Non-Thank You Thank You” To a Painful Client


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Out of over 600 weddings and over 1,000 corporate events, I can thankfully only count 4 events where I truly did not want to write the client a thank you after their event.  This was beyond them being a high-maintenance client.  These clients booked me because they “had” to because of the venue’s policy and for them, I don’t believe they ever saw the value of what I brought to the table professionally or paid attention to what I was supposed to be doing for them as it was all spelled out in my contract.

When a working relationship starts out with someone not totally wanting you on board and you are just a check-listed item, that is the base for a non-dynamic working relationship and it only goes downhill from there.  Treating my staff and I as if we were personal assistants with some degrading requests in the weeks preceding and day of the wedding despite very clear boundaries set and clarified along the way only added to the frustration.   Add in the ingredient that they were determined to be unhappy no matter what and top it off with a splash of intoxication the day of their wedding causing them to be abusive to me, my staff and vendors, and you have the perfect recipe for one of my  “non-thank you, thank you notes”.   Continue reading “2 Tips For Writing A “Non-Thank You Thank You” To a Painful Client”