Being in the service industry is extremely fulfilling but challenging as well. Here are some etiquette tips for event suppliers so that you may execute your events in an efficient manner for the benefit of the clients.
A. Be professional in all your dealings. Remember you're a professional so look, act, and talk like one.
As an event supplier, you need to be guided by the following:
1. Treat your clients with utmost respect and courtesy. They will come from all walks of life but all of them will want the same thing - a successful event. If they will trust you enough to let you handle an important event in their life, the least you can do for them is to give them the level of service they deserve.
2. Be punctual for your personal meetings. Remember that heavy traffic is not an excuse to be late. We all know that there is no place in Metro Manila that is free from heavy vehicular traffic. So leave early. If your client can be there early, then so can you. And in case it is impossible for you arrive in time, apologize first and foremost when you arrive before complaining to them about the traffic.
For personal meetings, be early by at least 15 minutes and turn-off your mobile phone and other gadgets during the meeting. Concentrate on your client and not on your phone.
3. Return all calls, sms, emails, at the soonest possible time (within office hours). Remember that with all the advances in technology, it is not polite not to return or delay making return calls, sms, and emails. As suppliers, we shouldn't make our clients wait.
4. You're a professional, so dress properly when meeting clients and wear your best during the event proper. The same thing goes for your staff and crew.
5. Finally, don't over book your day. If you are servicing 2 or more parties in a day, make sure that you will be in time for both or all parties (considering the distance, time, and flow of vehicular traffic) and not sacrifice 1 for the other. Your client will suffer from undue stress if you arrive late.
B. Ocular Inspection and Know the Rules of the Venue.
1. If it's your first time to service a party/event in a particular venue, it is best to always do an ocular inspection to familiarize your self with the venue and its available facilities and equipment, directions to the venue, travel time, volume of vehicular traffic. This way you or your crew won't get lost or be late during the party/event day.
2. All venues, as a completed structure, have its own limitations and set of rules. It is thus important to ask the venue of its rules (do's and don't's) and as a professional supplier adjust your service to these limitations and set of rules. It's not practical (time, effort, and cost) for venues to adjust to the different needs/wants of different suppliers. Remember that it is their place, not yours.
3. Ask for the contact information of the venue (contact information and person) so you can call them when necessary.
4. Don't offer or sell anything to your client unless you have personally visited the venue and know its internal rules (like ingress and egress times). Some examples:
4a) if you are a party/event/venue decorator, you need to harmonize the theme of your party/event with the existing colors, furniture and fixtures of the venue. All venues look differently and will have different rules, so what worked in a previous venue may not necessarily work in another venue. You also need to know the time allotted by the venue not only for your ingress, but also for your egress. Only offer decorations that you can completely set-up within the allotted ingress time and completely dismantle and bus-out within the allotted egress time.
4b) if you are a party host/entertainer, check-out the venue's sound system set-up, if any, so you avoid the trouble of having to bring and set-up/bus-out your own sound system during the party/event proper.
4c) if you are a caterer or food cart supplier, inquire if the venue allows non-accredited suppliers to service parties/events in the venue. If non-accredited suppliers are allowed to render service, inquire if there is a fee that needs to be paid as most venues which accredit suppliers usually charge a fee for non-accredited suppliers. Also inquire if the venue has a pantry that food suppliers can use and whether or not cooking is allowed (know that cooking is prohibited in all indoor airconditioned venues for safety considerations). If the venue has its own pantry, then inquire if it can be used for free or if the venue charges a fee for its use and for how much.
4d) if you are a mobile sound system and lights supplier inquire about the existing electrical facilities of the venue - (i) if it can accommodate what you intend to offer to your client, or (ii) if it can accommodate what your client wants.
5. Remember that the client is king. Suppliers can only give professional advice, but ultimately the supplier's personal taste or preference must give way to the personal taste and preference of the client. Remember that it's the client's party, not the suppliers'.
6. Only give your professional and formal proposal to your client: (i) after you have personally discussed the preferences and wants of your client, (ii) after you have personally inspected the venue and know its rules.
7. You must have and be ready with your standard contracts, checklists, official receipts, etc.
C. Ingress - You should be the first to Arrive.
1. Always remember that you (and your staff) are paid professionals hired to render service/s for the party/event. You and your staff are attending the party/event not as guests of the clients, thus you should arrive earlier than your client (not later) and his/her guests. Strictly follow the ingress and egress rules of the venue.
2. If you did your homework by doing prior ocular inspection of the venue and know its rules, then you know where to - (i) park your service vehicle, (ii) unload your equipment outside the venue, and (iii) set-up inside the venue. To be safe, look for the venue's contact person before unloading so he/she can assist or usher you inside the venue. Always remember to be safe and avoid or lessen inconvenience to guests by - (a) not blocking the drive way, (b) not blocking any door (main, service, emergency), and (c) not blocking any corridor or hall way. Don't park and/or unload in the first open space you see.
3. Only bring the equipment that you will use and can be safely accommodated and allowed inside the venue. Your excess equipment should be left inside your service vehicle and not in the venue's parking lot, drive way, reception area, etc. Make sure that all the equipment you brought are presentable and working properly. Always have a back-up in case of an equipment malfunction.
4. Remember that you are a paid professional even during your set-up, thus should dress properly (don't wear sando, shorts, or slippers). Wear a decent but comfortable shirt, pants, socks, and shoes.
5. Complete your set-up at least 15 minutes before the official start of the party/event so you have enough time to rest, refresh, and wear your uniform or party/event clothes. You need to be ready to render service at least 5 minutes before the official start of the party/event.
D. Operate in a professional, presentable, safe, and courteous manner.
1. Dress your best, serve with a smile, and be polite and courteous to everyone.
2. Double check that all your equipment, furniture, appliance, etc. are all working, are clean, and presentable.
3. Perform your service in a safe way and at the least inconvenience to the guests.
4. Remember that you are not a guest, unless your contract says so or the client asks you to attend the party as a guest. Please refrain from bringing your family and partaking of the party amenities, food, drinks, etc. Bring your own meals for you and your crew.
E. Egress - You should be the Last to Leave.
1. Remember that you are a service provider, thus cannot leave earlier than the client and/or the guests.
2. You should not pack-up and bus-out while the party is on-going as it's like you are announcing to the guests that the party is over and that they should leave as well. This is disrespectful to your client and his/her guests.
3. Don't forget to say thank you and good bye to your client after the party prior to your bus-out.
Remember that being in the service industry means just that - service. As such, it should be enjoyable for you to be of service to clients and to aim for their complete satisfaction. After all, they celebrate once in a lifetime events.
The author is the owner of Bounce Events Ground, the newest all-occasion venue located at the center of the Metropolis at No.359 Dansalan St., near EDSA-Boni, Mandaluyong City. For more information about Bounce Events Ground, you may view our website www.bouncepartiesinc.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 0922-8bounce/234-2239/717-0295 if you need assistance in preparing for your wedding or any other occasion.
Etiquette for Suppliers