This is the “In” page. I mean, the people in the know – the people who want to know what is coming perhaps on the horizon of design or new sites and services. It’s the coordinator’s corner – join me there’s plenty of room.

Are we at the tipping point for quality and service

AS a wedding coordinator, I’ve always thought if you approach negotiations with a win win attitude, there would be something for everyone to conclude that they had received a fair and reasonable outcome to their expectations. Generally everyone who has something to gain and lose would fee like they were satisfied with the results and could live with the agreed upon decision.

That is not necessarily so today!

There are times after all the paperwork has been signed and dated and deposits received, that a second round of negotiated items emerges. Putting cultural differences aside, there are a growing number of circumstances I have seen where clients and services begin backing down and changing what they want and just think everything is re negotiable without recourse or commitment to original agreements.

There are always extenuating circumstances that merit change and downsizing, and even elimination, but the terms and conditions need to be fair and reasonable for everyone.

Life has been altered significantly in the last few years, and we as coordinators and others in the event industry have strived to be sensitive to our clients and potential clients in my observations by rolling back prices, giving value added dollars, while maintaining high levels of service and quality have been practiced across the board on every economic level throughout the industry. I’m not sure how much longer that will be possible.

Many will say the price squeeze that is occurring is a natural cleansing or purging of the industry and things will level out and the slide will eventually end. I believe we are at a tipping point of losing our standards for excellence in order to stay in the game. I’m not talking about giving up season tickets to the Lakers games, I’m talking about being able to have the equipment, well trained and paid support staff, and continuing education to maintain the high standards expected and assumed necessary to deliver excellence in all categories of services.

I sure hope that this piece of writing doesn’t sound like sour grapes because it is far from that. I have been a part of the special event industry for nearly 25 years and have seen many services and sites improve their offerings and service levels over the years through thick and thin with out raising prices.

Realizing the power and potency of our professional record I believe is the best tool to maintain the standards in the industry and to reinforce our commitment to continue to deliver the goods the way in which will bring greater satisfaction and contentment to our clients and maintain a consistent level of excellence.

What I am focusing on is more of a personal view of what I see my fellow colleagues going through on a daily basis to live up to the challenge of delivering the best product and services possible with less assistance and support staff, longer working hours, and ever increasing sales figures to meet no matter how the economy is struggling to come back to pre 2008 figures.

I see the same strain showing on my client’s faces and in their voices. It seems like every one wants a reprieve from the stress and responsibilities of daily life. I wish there was a way for us all to have a collective deep breath and realize that we are all on the same side of the fence, clients and services alike. If we can all believe that fairness, value, and quality are not mutually exclusive, but rather like the three musketeers, all for one and one for all, perhaps we will all be able to go forth in good spirits and confidence knowing we are giving our best and receiving the best from everyone involved.

Like most wedding consultants and coordinators,I treasure information in all forms. We are suppose to be the answer lady/man about all things wedding related. Every paper that comes into my office via snail mail, email, and downloaded documents is treated as though it was sacred. I either file it away in my email folder under new services, new sites, need to be read, filed in open box lids, notebooks, you name it, I’ve got a category for every conceivable piece of information that crosses my desk. Problem, not enough of the paper stuff ever sees my eyes long enough to read it or to make it into my brain in some way. I’ve even taken to making time while I’m going to sleep to listen to informational tapes to make up for the lack of reading time. To combat this paper monster I’ve enlisted the help of a super duty shredder next to my desk. Really~ no excuses even offered here, and I still can’t keep ahead of the clutter. It’s a pretty terrible to realize that over the last 22 years in business every end of the year purge, only seems to make a small dent in the multiple mounds of recorded mental memories of someone else. If I can’t read it right away, it goes into a pile, stacked in non suspecting corners of my office. At the end of the year, I’ve reached the end of my rope as well and finally take the plunge into the deep end of printed matter. Unlike my clothes closet which I have a policy one new garment in, one old garment out; I’ll admit there are exceptions once and awhile to that rule, but nun the less, it seems to work pretty well. Finally I came up with a plan that I think will work! It’s called “Paint your Office”. Yes, I am admitting it here that it’s been over twenty years since I painted my office. It’s well overdue, I know. The thought of having to move all that furniture stuffed with so much paper will be the kick in the pants I need to finally get control over the impending avalanche of the printed word if I don’t toss before I have to move furniture to get to the walls. So hopefully I will be better about relying on my computer more to retain information and be able to let go of all the extraneous stuff before it reaches the first filing drawer. So if you can’t purge more often, Paint! that will help you get rid of unread, unused, and unseen samples.