Transparency: Planners V

Last Monday, I made the provocative suggestion to create a website that would allow readers to anonymously post the names of planners who charge a hidden fee.  This offer resulted in some very interesting feedback and inspired me to clarify my position.

-It is my opinion that the practice of charging vendors side commissions is acceptable when there is an open exchange of information and all parties are clear to all monetary transactions.

– It is the practice of planners charging these fees without their client’s knowledge that I consider unethical.

I do not mean to overstate my case, but this is a topic I am passionate about, and it is inspired by own personal experience.  This practice nearly put me out of business with dishonest planners charging me anywhere from 5%-20% without their client’s knowledge. That said, I will refrain from starting such a site based on your feedback.

In concluding our profile on planning, I’ll like to discuss planners that charge a fee only for “the day of the event.”

As with everything in life, there are pro’s and con’s to this approach.

The Benefits:

1.      Clients are more amiable to paying a minimal fee to assure them that things run smoothly.

2.      Clients who feel they have done most of the work (i.e., hiring the vendors) will feel more comfortable paying a smaller fee.

3.      Planners who are just starting out in the business may find this to be an excellent way to gain experience and build their portfolios.

The Setbacks:

1.      Planners may find this approach chaoticManaging vendors and navigating a venue when you have not had the proper time to familiarize yourself with the space, the client and those involved may cause added stress and not allow planners to do their best work, thanks to time constraints.  I personally think charging a “week of the event” fee would be more appropriate for all parties involved.

2.      Planners run the risk of losing a job.  It’s not uncommon for banquet halls to talk our clients out of hiring planners for the day because they feel they can handle the clients themselves.

3.      Clients who hire “day of the event” planning tend to have difficulty managing their expectations.

I have seen many planners in New York find success with this approach.  In your estimation, how much do you think a planner in New York City would charge to manage a wedding of 300 guests for the day?

Note: The total budget is $100,000 in this scenario.

A   $500

B   $1000

C   $1500

D   More

E. Less

Lastly, what are your thoughts about “day of” planning?  Please share them with me!

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