recommendations for the wedding and event planning industry

(Image via sarae)

This morning I introduced the topic of recommendations and how, unfortunately, some recommendation tactics in the wedding and event planning industry aren’t always fair or reliable. We’ve already discussed those dreaded preferred vendor lists from venues. Now, I’d like to tackle commissions and nasty gossip.

If you recommend me for a job, and the client hires me, should I give you a commission? Absolutely. And here’s why. As much as I despise event and wedding planning industry kick backs, I also think that if  someone recommends me for a big job, a gift — even a cash one — is very appropriate. It’s important to show your gratitude to those who think highly of your work and recommend you to others. Therefore, I am all for a monetary token of appreciation.

But what about our peers? Sometimes, other vendors will bad mouth you in order to secure a job for themselves. It’s unprofessional; it’s rude; it’s dishonest; it happens all the time. Countless clients have told me that other vendors have suggested they not even bother calling me, because I’m way too expensive. This is especially irksome, because, in reality, my prices are similar, if not the same, as those other vendors. Some vendors have also told my clients that they can do the same design I’m offering but for much less… can you imagine the nerve?! Not cool.

The best way to play the recommendation game, if we must call it a game, is this: I recommend vendors who I know do great work. All I ask in return is that you recommend me when you have the opportunity.

Now, a few questions for you:

1. How do you feel about thanking someone for recommending you with a monetary gift?
2. To your knowledge, have you ever been badmouthed by another vendor? If so, how did you handle the situation?

And, don’t forget, tomorrow is my first Dear Preston column!