“WOW…where has the time gone? It seems like only months ago we were just jumping on the road headed to the Washington, DC to attend the Signature CEO conference…. And Why you ask? Let’s take a look…
From the time clients visit your website, search your social or even watch your videos on YouTube…it’s all about the overall client experience. There’s no better way to make this happen then investing in continued education.
Recapping our time, we’d have to say that we were able to take away things that we know we could implement into our business right away. As we always say, it isn’t just about spinning records and flashing lights!” DJ Toryn L for Exquisite Sounds Entertainment (2018 attendee and sponsor).
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In the event planning business, you will be working with a variety of vendors. It is important to have good working relationships so you can be successful. Here are some tips to help you establish these essential relationships.
5 tips to better vendor relationships
Expect to pay fair market value
Yes you want to give your clients a deal, but not at the expense of another vendor losing out. It is important to understand pricing in the event industry, so that you can negotiate fair pricing for both your client and the vendor you are partnering with. Do not expect special deals beyond what is reasonable. The vendor will be much easier to work with if you see their side of the business too.
Refer other business to them
You already have your finger on the pulse of the event industry and most likely know other local event planners. If you like working with a particular vendor, reach out to your other industry contacts and recommend your preferred vendor to them. The vendor will appreciate the business and may give you better discounts in the future. They may also return the favor.
Write glowing reviews
In addition to personally referring business to great vendors, take the time to write a favorable review for them on popular sites like Google and Yelp. This will make you appear more favorable in their eyes and they may in turn write a review for you too.
Respect their opinion
You know a lot about event planning and have many opinions on vendors and their services. It’s important to let other vendors in the industry have a voice too. They are in their respective businesses because they have an expertise. When you are open to their views and vision for their part of the event, you will cultivate a great working relationship. This doesn’t mean giving in to ideas that won’t work for your client, but there might be some value in their thoughts that you hadn’t considered.
Give thanks and praise
You both have jobs to do, but it’s always nice to be thanked for services even if the service is expected. A “thank you” can go a long way, especially when it comes to establishing mutual respect and trust. In addition, it’s a nice gesture to praise a vendor for an excellent job in front of your client or potential clients. This could lead to more business for them.
We hope these tips help you foster great relationships with vendors. When you cultivate relationships, you also start sharing best practices. Consider informing them about event insurance. They will thank you.
Markel offers event liability insurance to hosts and honorees, protecting from incidents such as property damage to the venue or injury to a guest. Up to $2 million in event liability insurance can be purchased by your client from Markel any time at least 1 day before the event. Policies start as low as $75.
By offering Markel Event Insurance, it will not only protect your clients, but it can also protect you by potentially decreasing your own business liability risk for accidents due to negligence of the event host or honoree. Markel Event Insurance is an easy and affordable solution for your clients – a free quote takes only a few minutes online or on the phone – turning you into a one-stop-shop for your clients.
Have a website? You can receive a $25 gift card simply by placing a Markel Event Insurance link on your website. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
If you don’t have a website, Markel can also provide you with brochures to help raise your clients’ awareness of the benefits of event liability insurance.
After a very energized and fruitful day of knowledge from day one of The Signature CEO Conference, the attendees were ignited to continue on with day two to engage with their colleagues to learn more of the behind the scenes business acumen to make them stronger leaders and business owners.
To get the crowd motivated early in the morning, industry mogul, Maya Warburton Holihan of House of Maya boutiques, led the crowd with a dance move to the song of Justin Timberlake’s, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” After a few moments of everyone grooving to the beat, Maya, settled everyone down and led them on the journey of the challenges of an entrepreneur with her lecture on, “Leading Through Crisis, Change, and Growth.” We journeyed through every type of scenario from personnel to environmental to political to social. After an analysis of each of these types of crisis, Maya coached the attendees on how to manage crisis identifying successful leadership characterstics, and how to lead with integrity.
Our Featured Keynote Speakers, Ginger Johnson & Liz Pickett ofGinger+Liz Colour Collection, addressed the group on How to Build a Product or Service that your Target Audience will Love! This dynamic duo is not only fierce in the beauty industry but leaders across the board for entrepreneurs. Ginger and Liz focused on profitability, benefits your brand offers, need vs demand, and so much more. Their lecture embodied the cycle of product or service development to inspire your customers to work with you.
Legal eagle, Stephen Marshall of Franklin & Prokopik, PC, had everyone mesmerized with the language of contract law discerning Contractor vs. Employee!!! Talk about engagement, the attendees were hanging on to his every word and taking note. Attendees were informed about the proactive steps to protect their business from contractors and employees, the unique difference between contractor and employee, and the risks for their business based on the actions of independent contractors and employees.
“How To Become a Person of Influence with your Industry” was coached by Marilyn Crouther, Senior Vice President and General Manager, of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services U.S. Public Sector. An Executive with endless accolades and years of experience in leadership, was the right person to lead a lecture on this subject (if you saw her resume, you’d understand why). Marilyn outlined and perfectly narrated the power and vision of action, merging passion and authenticity, and understanding the importance of one’s influence. Attendees left inspired and fully committed to become not only better business owners but business leaders.
After lunch, attendees were had the opportunity to learn about SEO, the evolution of the website and what it means to establish a digital brand, and new insight of having a web presence. This was all under the direction of Myrna P. Daramy, CEO of Mezzohead and NewlyBride. Attendees walked away with an empowerment of knowing that they were equipped with the tools to make better decisions for the growth of their business online.
Being prepared to master your dreams through finding your purpose was the platform of Dr. Antwain Goode’s lecture on day two. Dr. Goode, founder of Tate Consulting, led the group down the path of personal development by redefining your purpose, positioning, attracting mentors, knowing your true north, reflection and how to take the next step of action. Another inspiring lecture to take your business to the next level.
To complete our two days of valuable knowledge and growth, Chef Dana Eugene Herbert, of Desserts by Dana, took the stage to lead with our final lesson of business intelligence, “6 Things Every Business Owner Must Have in Place”. Dana circled the spectrum from personal appearance, to friends in business, to developing a strong team, to developing definitive company goals, to having a checks and balance system, and more.
The Signature C.E.O Conference is an educational platform to empower wedding and event professionals to be the best of the best in their professions. The foundation is built upon solid business intelligence to stimulate and strengthen the mindset of leadership and entrepreneurship, and to build the character of one’s intelligence to dominate in their field and build and bridge their network of professionals to thrive in this diverse industry. The core competencies focus on:
Branding & Marketing
Business Financial Planning
Legal & Contracts
Business Best Practices
Productivity & Business Management
Small Business Entrepreneurship
We enjoyed connecting with new and old friends, and most importantly valued the time and education that was conveyed by each of our speakers. Thank you to our dynamic Speakers and our supportive cast of Sponsors that helped to make The Signature CEO Conference 2016 a SUCCESS!!!!
Special thanks to all of our collaborative Sponsors that helped to make the the conference a success:
The Signature C.E.O. Conference this year was held on the beautiful grounds of The University of Maryland campus at The Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Centeron October 31st and November 1st of this year. The stage was set to bring together event professionals near and far of diverse professions with one goal in mind – to enhance their business acumen and to excel at business leadership.
On Day One, the energy level was high! Event Pros arrived totally engaged to learn new business techniques and to network with new and old friends. Speaker, Jocelyn Delk Adams, award winning author and food blogger of Grandbaby Cakes, led the morning with an impactful lecture on key objectives such as following your curiosity to find purpose, developing growth and engagement, diversifying your reach and much more. Her vibrant personality and wealth of knowledge definitely set the tone for the start of the conference.
Our second speaker, Myleik Teele, not only is a social media expert but she is a successful business owner, strategist, and innovator. She is the founder of curlBOX, an exclusive monthly subscription box full of amazing products for the stylish entrepreneur. Her lecture engaged the audience on “Taking your business to the next level with Social Media”. She gave an indepth conversation on the explanation of the different social media platforms, how to drive lead generation, increase traffic to your website, incorporating brand personality and voice, embracing the visual, and much more. Attendees were ready to take on social media at the end of her talk.
Speaker, Funlayo Alabi, (Co-Founder & CEO of Shea Radiance) addressed the audience on “How to Dare to be Different.” One of her most stimulating points during her lecture stated, “The only asset that you have that is truly unique and cannot be duplicated or reverse engineered is you”. Taking that one phrase and having it as a your mantra for anything you will help you to succeed and not worry about the competition. You are your greatest asset.
Right before lunch, Dominique Broadway, guided the attendees on a step by step plan to set and reach revenue goals. Dominique, is an award-winning Financial Planner, Personal Finance Coach, Speaker, Finance Expert, Entrepreneur and the Founder of Finances De•mys•ti•fied & The Social Money Tour. Dominique stressed the fact that life is unpredictable and it is important to prepare, especially as an entrepreneur. From budgeting with inconsistent income to creating a retirement plan to the best ways to separate business and personal finances; she covered an array of financial key initiatives for smart business owners to stay on track and to prepare for financial success.
The day continued with more of our dynamic speakers. Tiffany Chalk of Tiffany Chalk Events touched on that very important question that we all have circling in our minds every day – are we pricing correctly and are we pricing based on our value. Tiffany dove straight in…optimizing the pricing strategy, charging your worth – pricing to win, pricing to perform. After her engaging talk, everyone was able to define strategies to identify their ideal client, how to value their time, and how to sell their service and not their price.
AllSeated Co-Founder, Sandy Hammer, addressed having an effective technology tool kit. She identified business apps that will help business leaders to be more efficient managing their business and also save money. She stressed that technology is our friend and that without it a business will not survive. Don’t be behind the technology curve, be in front of it.
Meryl Snow of Meryl Snow Consultants definitely had the crowds attention with her infectious personality and a topic that everyone wants to perfect in their business – prospecting and closing deals! Meryl stressed 5 easy rules to follow when closing the sale – treat closing as a process, set appropriate closing objectives, let close emerge from conversation, wait for the right moment, and celebrate your success. When you are in front of your clients, always close for the sale.
To round out the end of day one, Brian Wendroff, led a discussion on the benefits of having an accounting system to manage and grow your business. Brian is the founder of the accounting firm, Wendroff & Associates and is a certified professional QuickBooks instructor. From keeping track of revenue expenses to monitoring cash flow and budgeting, to tax preparation and planning. A wealth of financial information to keep wedding pros on track and having the ability to manage their finances with an effective accounting platform.
THE WELCOME PARTY
To round out the evening, we had a wonderful celebration hosting all of the attendees, speakers, and sponsors. The evening cuisine was catered by Caribbean Caterers, dessert provided by Couture Cakes by Sabrina, floral decor by Edge Floral Event Designers, chair and tableware by Select Event Group, linens by CV Linens, and live entertainment by Tony Craddock Jr. and Cold Front Music.
Table Numbers by Fingers In Ink.
Black chairs sponsored by Tierra Floral Design.
Floral Decor by Edge Floral Event Design. Ghost Chairs by Select Event Group.
Menus by Fingers In Ink. Chargers by Select Event Group. Linens by CV Linens.
Linens by CV Linens.
Cake by Couture Cakes by Sabrina.
Entertainment, Tony Craddock Jr & Cold Front Music.
Special thanks to all of our collaborative Sponsors that helped to make the the conference a success: