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Meeting with client and other vendors at the same time

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:28 pm
by Joseph Ivy
You might now that this is my first year as a single Op. I just had a meeting with the first clients to book me for their wedding. The meeting was at the venue. There caterer, a venue representative, and I all met the client at the same time.

The venue rep and caterer were each very talkative. They were asking a lot of questions and writing a lot of stuff down. They'd kind-of take turns, but they may have actually been interrupting each other. This part lasted about 45 minutes. In that time, I said three things. Each time, I was answering a direct question.

The 45 minute mark hit and the caterer and venue rep each went their own way. At that point, I moved myself next to the clients and had their undivided attention for another 45 minutes as we talked about the timeline and went over ideas to make a boring crowd have fun.

My question is, do you think I handled this well? Should I have tried to talk more when the other vendors were there? Do you normally end up in the same meeting as other vendors? How do the other vendors tend to treat you?

Thanks in advance to everyone who replies. :)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:47 am
by Bryan Durio
It's hard to get a word in edgewise in that type of situation. It can be a good thing, though, in that the other vendors will probably ask the same questions that you would. Just take copious notes, insert a comment or question whenever you see an opening, and after the other vendors have finished, ask any unanswered questions that you have left.

My experiences have been that the other vendors are very polite and cooperative, and it's good to have contact with them early in the process.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:49 am
by Digital Scott
I think you did a good job.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:16 am
by Joseph Ivy
That brings to mind another concern of mine. Are there vendors that you do not call (if you call the other vendors)?

I see good reason to call the photographer, videographer, caterer, and venue, but there are other services that I don't think need to be contacted.

ie limo, hair stylist, make-up artist, etc.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:22 am
by dokai
Getting all the major players in the same room at the same time has never happened to me, but sounds like a dream situtation. That's an outstanding opportunity to get all the issues flushed to the surface and negotiated between the vendors. How many times have we all had to tweak a schedule because one of the other vendors wasn't ready or wasn't aware of something? In fact, I'll wager that when this reception is over, there will still have been things that could have been improved if they had been brought up during that meeting, but none of you thought of them at the time. :wink:

I usually try to touch base with the other vendors via phonecall before the event, but only because that's the only option I typically have. I'd much rather have the opportunity to brainstorm together as you did in this case.

As for the "indirect" vendors you mentioned, like the limo service, etc.: No, I don't think there's a reason for you to have to be in touch with them in order to support the event better. However, they are another opportunity to network and should be treated as such. You never know when you might get a referral from one of them, or have the opportunity to recommend them to a client.

Re: Meeting with client and other vendors at the same time

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:01 am
by davidjones@a2zmobilemusic
you seem to be on track for becoming a successful dj in your area. vendors notice if/when you attend these meetings. sometimes you learn alot more by listening...especially if those vendors frequently work that venue. they will know the ropes of the staff. befriend these folks. they can become a valuable asset to you.

i call the venue, photograher, and caterer. on my dj intel planner i have spots where the bride will enter all the contact info. 1 week prior contact them a shoot them a copy of the timeline. this goes along way. most are shocked that you even have a plan!! (lol)

keep up the good work

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:02 pm
by CJ Greiner
Hi Joseph,

It sounds like you dealt with the situation very well.

There are (at least) two extremes to how to present yourself in this situation:

1. Talk too little -- even if you know your business well, not talking at all could give other vendors (and the client) the impression that you don't know your stuff, or that you're nervous -- not the best impression for a DJ!

2. Talk too much -- stealing the show in a meeting with other vendors would simply lengthen the time required for everyone to get the information they need... and build resentment from the other players in the meeting.
While you may know your business well, all it takes is one trip-up to make you look foolish. This reminds me of the old adage:
"Better to be silent and thought a fool, than open your mouth and prove it."
Okay... that doesn't exactly fit this situation, but I guess it does serve to remind us that speaking well in moderation is much better than babbling too much.

I'm glad you chose to find a "happy medium" between the two above-mentioned extremes -- it probably served to give a very good impression to the other vendors as well as the client. You acted professionally and presented yourself well when it was your turn to participate. That could be very good for future referrals from everyone at the meeting. 8)