I recently came across an email and LOVED what it had to say. I've gotten busy and bent some of my own standards or rules of professionalism. This was a good reminder of how to work professionally during events. From time to time, I need some reminding so if you see or hear me doing any of these things, go ahead and smack me on the back of the head (GK this means you!).
1. Smoke, drink, or eat. If I want to continue booking events with a professional reputation intact, I always consider when I drink alcohol near clients (I don't smoke but I'm pretty sure I'd be the same way). I'm not an attendee, so partying with my clients is most of the time a no go. And while the host may offer me a meal, eating on the job almost always winds up looking messy and unprofessional (especially because we're usually scarfing it quickly so we can get back to work). My recommendation to myself (and what I've seen many reputable vendors do) get a bite and bring it to a hidden corner or back room during a slow moment in the event.
2. Talking or texting on my phone. It shows that I'm not truly present and that I lack professionalism. Even if it’s just a quick glance or a post to Facebook or Instagram, if the client thinks they aren't my number one focus, then I risk setting myself up for a poor review after the fact. I have gotten a bit caught up in this one....posting as it's happening, but really what is the rush? Focus on the here and now and our client and we can't go wrong.
3. Talking smack about competition. No matter how much I may dislike competition, I should never belittle anyone in front of a client. In dissing them, I'm only doing myself a disservice by coming across as petty and impolite. We're all small businesses and we're in this together. I need to remember there is always another side to a story. I need to talk to other vendors more as opposed to about them later after the event. I'm all about learning and constructive critiques.
4. Siting down. Events can span multiple hours at a time, and in those cases it’s certainly acceptable to take brief breaks (but I'm never going to leave the premises during one!). However, letting clients catch me lounging around or gathered in a vendor pack before or during an event is a big no-no. I always feel guilty after being caught in such a state. I need to remember my focus is on my client, not my friends (other vendors).