Venting: Explaining the Difference Between Planners & Designers

(Image via via Jude Doyland)

I empathize with most clients who aren’t sure about the difference between what planners do and what designers do.

These two services have become so interchangeable that most of the time, it’s difficult to tell them apart.

Not to mention the local banquet managers from hotels and venues who do not hesitate to tell clients they don’t need a planner.

It’s no wonder our clients are confused about who does what.

In today’s post, I’ll attempt to answer the 10 most controversial questions on this issue:

1. Should a planner suggest what kind of flowers to use at an event? Absolutely not. Even if this is their event, that is not their job. It’s the designer or florist’s job.

2. Should a planner bring the clients to more than one floral designer and let the client decide who they prefer best? I think it depends. If a planner understands their client’s needs, they might more readily know who they should use as a designer or florist.

3. Should a designer have direct contact with a client without their planner’s knowledge? No, they should not. This could potentially create confusion with the project, not to mention undermining the planner’s authority.

4. Is a florist responsible for creating floor plans? That’s easy, no. This should be the responsibility of the planner.

5. If there is a planner and a designer/florist involved, should you bill the clients directly? This depends on the agreement you made with the planner. Personally, I prefer billing directly.

6. If a planner gets a designer a job, or a designer gets a planner a job, should they expect a commission? I know this might be common practice in many areas, but I’ll say a big NO. Ultimately the clients pay, one way or another.

7. Can banquet managers in hotels and venues plan an event? Absolutely not. However, most of them are terrific the day of.

8. Should a florist or designer go to a food tasting? No, it’s up to the the planner to manage all food and beverages.

9. Is it essential for the florist or designer to remain at the event all night after finishing their installation? Only if it’s requested by the planner or client. And also if they are concerned that something might fall. (At times I cannot sleep while the event is happening because of this concern.)

10. Last but not least, is it better to have one person doing both planning and designing? Doing both planning and designing takes a lot of effort and experience. You better know what you are doing, otherwise forget it.

There is a much longer list of questions around this confusion. As usual on Mondays, if you have any questions or issues on any of the above or this problem in general, just ask and I’ll answer you directly by email.

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