It's been a while since I posted a blog, pretty much because I've been knee deep in planning my own wedding (6 weeks tomorrow future Mrs Scotland's Party DJ xxx :) ) so yeah it's gone a bit by the wayside but I've had 3 meetings this week: One with my videographer, one with my venue co-ordinator and one with my clients from tomorrow's wedding. During the course of conversation in all three of these two things occurred to me:
1. I'm REALLY on the ball with my organisational skills (news to me admittedly)
2. A lot of people in the industry aren't)
The videographer mentioned that I was running ideas past them, giving them info and asking questions that they usually need to claw out of clients.
The venue co-ordinator said something similar - it's very rare to have someone so on the ball and it's made her job a lot easier.
My clients gave me some of the best non gig feedback ever: "You're amazing - I would send of group e-mails to all of our suppliers then tell Aaron - I bet Jim's the first to respond, and you always were!"
That makes me happy because my wedding plans are coming along smoothly and happy client = happy DJ but I thought a bit more about their comments and my experience sorting my own wedding.
Preparation is key to making a wedding run smoothly and the more prepared everyone is, the better.
There are DJs out there who boast about being able to rock up to a wedding half an hour before the 1st dance and do a decent job. I don't doubt that for a minute but I defy them to do a better job than myself and the other DJs who put 20+ hours of planning and prep in before we've left for the gig (but that's for another blog :) ).
Some of our vendors haven't been on the ball as much as I'd have liked and we wouldn't be anywhere near as relaxed and happy with the plans if I hadn't been pushy if I'm honest to move things along even though that isn't my job in this case. Indeed I've still to get a final answer on exactly how much I owe one supplier as we've added some things on to their package. I've been chasing them up since Christmas... Now I'm of the mentality that I've done as much as I can, they can come and do the chasing for their money and if they try to get creative with the figures they can do one and we'll just go without. However if I wasn't as strong minded I'd be spending the weeks running up to the wedding worrying about the budget or whether they'll actually turn up.
In the modern age it is unforgivable not to at least acknowledge an e-mail within 24 hours MAX as far as I'm concerned. I actually get anxious if I open my inbox and there's something unanswered from a few hours ago. It does my fiancé's head in that I'm always checking my e-mails before we head out, when we get in, before and after dinner, before bed and so on but there really is no excuse for clients to be waiting for answers from suppliers these days, if you're dealing with a professionally run business that is...
Of course sending me an e-mail at 10pm on a Saturday night means I'm not going to get back to you until after the gig and a Saturday morning probably isn't a key time to call your florist but you shouldn't expect to wait days or even weeks to have a supplier get back to your query.
I obviously can't talk for anyone else and how they conduct their business but do as much research as you can before booking and don't be afraid to let them know you're expecting a prompt response - we're your employees for the duration of the contract after all.
My advice: with the best research in the world, you will still get suppliers who go very quiet once you've paid your booking fees. If you come across this, don't be afraid to get a hold of them if you're a bit concerned about anything or have any questions. I actually love receiving e-mails from my clients because the more I know about their plans, the better prepared and able I am to give them exactly what they want.
Don't be afraid to be pushy. :)
Have a great weekend.