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”

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”

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 Busy and Overworked Image In Marketing: An Indication of Prestige or Entry Level Amateur?

design desk display eyewear

I recently saw an event professional post a photo of themselves on vacation all lounged out in a tropical location on their cell phone with the caption, “can’t stop working”, as though that were a Badge of Honor or credit to their success.

But we as an American culture have cultivated that and seem to encourage it, I’m afraid.  Appearing too busy seems to imply that you are scarce and in demand because you are so good.  You must be important if people are trying to reach you on your time off.  Further, you must be a committed professional to your clients if you take time on your own time off to make them and their needs a priority.  Continue reading “The Busy and Overworked Image In Marketing: An Indication of Prestige or Entry Level Amateur?”

Why I Don’t Answer My Cell Phone On Event Days


adobe-spark-post(60).pngThis article was just featured on Special Events Magazine on 11.14.19.


What?  Did she really just say that?  What kind of professional is she?  I can literally hear the gasps (and did hear the gasps in the room at an event at which I was speaking) when I said this.

Look, after 20+ years, 600+ weddings, 1,000+ corporate events, I’ve had my share of crisis-addicted, control-freak moments obsessing about “what if” that call was something that could make or break the event and I generally answered every single call (with or without Caller ID).  I mean, what if not answering that one call doomed the event, an event partner, my client, and /or my entire branding and reputation? Let me tell you right now:  amateurs dwell in fear from lack of experience and insecurity.  World-class professional leaders dwell in experience, confidence, trust and the big picture. Continue reading “Why I Don’t Answer My Cell Phone On Event Days”

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”