Monday, November 25, 2013

Cancelling the Event

"The heat index is heading to 110, so stay in" advised the radio DJ.  That was not what

Debbie wanted to hear as she drove to the mall.  Today was the first of five events that Debbie planned to have at the outside mall.

With a heat index soaring to 110, I'm going to need more shade, otherwise people are going to cook on the concrete patio, she thought.

Several phone calls later the realization sets in that tenting is out of the budget. She must go forward as planned. 

Debbie arrives early to insure that all is being setup properly and to meet with the mall representative who hired Debbie's company to produce the events.

With the heat index reaching dangerous levels, and a pitiful turn out for the first two morning events, mall management decides that, for public safety, they would cancel all remaining afternoon and evening events. Debbie is informed over the phone.

Now, the scramble starts, cancelling the remaining events and keeping participating agents and entertainers happy.   Canceling an event is harder then producing because of cancelling penalties, which clients seem to overlook, and causes headaches when management finds out that they are still on the the hook for the majority of the cost.

"Hi, I have some bad news. The mall has cancelled the event", says Debbie.

A disappointing "OK" is uttered. "I'm glad you called, I'm still at home and haven't left yet", says the voice.
"I'm working with mall management to reschedule your balloon entertainment for the next event, and hopefully we can extend the hours to make up for this cancellation", says Debbie.

"Since this was a 1 hour event, lets just scrap it, and change the tentative hold dates to confirm bookings“, says the voice.

"I can't promise anything, but I will try to schedule you for a longer time to make up the difference.  I've worked with this client for years and they are a fair company", Debbie explains.

Debbie was happy to find an entertainer who was giving her room to wiggle out of the cancellation policy. She knew the others were not going to be so accommodating, but she was trying to save the client money.

Debbie appreciated all the vendors who worked with her, and reworked the last four events with mall management to join the remaining events into one big event lasting five hours , instead of singular events happening throughout the day.

This new format allowed Debbie to keep her word and rescheduled the balloon entertainer for five, multiple hour events.

Take away Points:

  • Have a backup plan for all weather conditions, and safety procedures.
  • Understanding all cancellation policies and make an amendments if necessary.
  • Have emergency telephone numbers handy.
  • Be creditable and keep any promises made.
  • Building a business relationship is about understanding, commitment, and the willingness to work together to overcome unforeseen obstacles.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Secret of Planning a Company Christmas Party

Sarah has been with the company for three months now and has been given the grand task of planning the company's Christmas party.  "What do I know about planning a party?" she thought.  I am 25 years old, have no rug rats, and my kind of party is a keg with beer pong. 

Sarah's predecessor, Margaret, recently left the company after 12 years to raise her third child. Margaret was a Pinterest person, the type that would bookmark ideas and file them for future use. 

Sarah came across many of these documents left behind by Margaret. However, Margaret's folder, which read Christmas Party Ideas, contained an old list of employees, vendors' addresses, and an old coupon for a discontinued restaurant chain.  Apparently, Margaret was not leaving her ideas behind.

Sarah is frustrated, so she pours her soul out to her best friend Becky as she swigs down a cold Miller Lite. Becky hands Sarah a card and says, "This guy was at a business expo I attended.  He was funny and made some cool stuff with balloons. You should give him a call."

The next day, Sarah visited with the Human Resource Department and Accounting. There she was able to calculate the number of families that attended, gathered receipts for toys purchased, found the name of the banquet facility, along with a couple miscellaneous purchase from years past.  With this new data in hand, she was able to secure a hall and food.  Entertainment was here next priority, and this Balloon-dude was next on the list.  

"Hi, I'm calling about some balloon entertainment, and want to know your price?" Sarah exclaimed.  "Can you tell me more about your event and what do you envision the party to be like?" replied the voice.  This was the first time anybody asked what Sarah envisioned. 

"I want big candy canes scattered around the room, Christmas lights, a big ornate chair for Santa to sit on, a dance floor, and by the way do you know of anybody who plays Santa?", Sarah asked.  

"Yes" replied the voice, "I know an entertainer who plays Santa.  Do you need a name of a balloon decorator to help you with the large candy cane columns decorated with twinkly lights?" 

"Do you know of somebody?" Sarah asked. 

"I sure do", replied the voice.

Sarah looks around the room.  To her amazement, she did it.  The boss and management are happy, people keep complimenting her on the Magical Balloon-dude, and life is great.  

Inside Sarah's Christmas Folder of Ideas is stapled a business card with the words "Lifesaver" scratched in pen above the card.  Sarah did not realize it, but she had found a person whose years of experience offered guidance, and his contacts helped create the best holiday party the company has ever seen.

Sarah's tips for planning a Christmas party for the first time

  • Look to the past, and see what has happened in the past
  • Ask friends for recommendations
  • Work with professionals who have great colleagues
  • Share your vision with others, and have them make it happen 

Putting A Twist On Your Christmas Party, by giving Dale a call  (708) 744-0234

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