Defining my stakeholders: Clients, guests, and vendors

When I started thinking about becoming a planner, I did a lot of research and a business plan. It included everything from how I got to this point and where I want It's Your Time Events to go in the future. One of the sections I knew I had to address was stakeholders. Stakeholders include anyone that may be affected by your business and actions. Therefore, I defined my stakeholders as the following: clients, their guests, and vendors.

If you decide to hire an event coordinator, you should expect to be a high priority. It's an event coordinator's job to make the planning process easy. You should expect responses on your emails and calls. And if the coordinator isn't responding, it's time to look for someone else. You should expect someone who listens to what you want and then works with you and your ideas to achieve that as best as possible.

As a service provider my clients are my first priority. I work to get the job done to their satisfaction. Hopefully our planning pays off and all goes smoothly for my clients' events. However, if our plans don't go as smoothly as we would like and my clients don't know about it and didn't miss it, then I feel like I've been successful. If things don't go as planned and we all notice it, I will address it, fix it or move to plan B or even another plan. I then take that and learn from it. I'm not going to tell my clients I'm perfect, because rarely is anyone perfect, but I will tell them that perfection is my goal and it is what I strive for in planning and executing their events.

Most clients ultimately want their guests to have a good time, learn from, network at, and/or remember the event. Therefore, while my client is my number one stakeholder, another stakeholder is the guest of the event. I know that if their guests aren't happy or didn't learn from the event, then my client most likely isn't happy. My job is to take the unhappy guests, find out why and work to fix the issue, so my client doesn't have to worry about it. My job is to address it, so the client and guest both are happy (or to a certain extent, because from all my experience, I've learned we can't make everyone happy all the time).

Finally my third major stakeholder, but certainly not least, are the vendors I work with during an event. As service industry professionals, vendors and I are working to the same goal: clients' happiness. However, as I pointed out before, vendors are one of MY stakeholders and therefore I am also working to make my vendors' jobs easier. My job is to help make sure photographers, videographers, florists and others know all the behing the scenes details (like how long it will take to get from the church to the reception or when certain photos are being taken so flowers arrive by a certain time or when the bouquet is being tossed so the moment is captured). By keeping this goal in mind, I know my clients' events will go much smoother.

I've often mentioned that communication is key. And I believe it is. If my clients, the vendors and I aren't talking, something may get missed or things won't go as planned (and the event could be more stressful).

So far, I can honestly say, I've worked with some pretty awesome and professional vendors: Randy Diddly Studios, Catherine Guidry Photography, Kim Starr Wise, Event Rentals, Le Mariage, La Maison Creole, Sam Gregory Photography and can't wait to work with so many more!

Happy planning!
Erin