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

person holding silver pen signing photographers signature

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”

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.

love people silhouettes letters

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”

The 2 Things That Need To Happen First When Telling a Customer No.

tilt lens photography of black wooden table

At Engaging Inspiration, our training programs and courses are based on the content we co-wrote for the Academy of Special Event Professionals, our own professional training with the Nordstrom brand and service model, and sprinkled with a heavy dose of  Disney service and business education.

While professionals in the service industry are widely trained for the ability to try and say “yes” as much as possible to a client, there are times we have to say “no”.  We’ve all been there.  One of the worst things a customer can hear as an excuse for “no” is, “Sorry, but there is nothing further I can do.”  This statement- or the “feel” of a statement similar to it – does more than just aggravate a customer and elevate their frustration or anger level; it seeks to destroy the relationship completely.  And that’s where most in customer service go askew – they focus on trying to reconcile the “issue”, rather than the relationship. Continue reading “The 2 Things That Need To Happen First When Telling a Customer No.”

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”

Special Events Magazine Feature: On Publishing Wedding Timeline for Guests to See

IMG_2678This article was featured in Special Events Magazine and went to top of Google News.

Many wedding planners (or their clients) may have seen (thank you, Pinterest) how charming it is to share the general event time line for guests to see—either on custom-crafted framed signs, in the wedding program, or on the couple’s wedding website. While many ideas are appealing in photos, they do not translate well in reality. For the inexperienced wedding planner and for the couple, who is triply more inexperienced, this can look like a charming touch—or if really naive—a way to keep guests “informed,” or a way to keep the event on track because “everyone” will now know the time line and be in sync. Continue reading “Special Events Magazine Feature: On Publishing Wedding Timeline for Guests to See”