Let's Get Real: Setting Realistic Expectations with High-End Clients
Though booking high-end clients is an excellent way to elevate your brand and become an industry leader, it can also feel overwhelming. With higher standards and larger invoices on the line, setting realistic expectations from the beginning is essential to avoid disappointing clients.
To ensure everyone sings your praises at the end of your contract, you must understand what it takes to produce a successful luxury event. Clients that spend hundreds of thousands (and sometimes millions) on events need your full care and attention. Here’s how you can set realistic expectations with high-end clients.
Make it seamless
From the beginning of your interaction, ensure your high-end clients understand what to expect from you — and that you’ll always go the extra mile to ensure they’re happy. Luxury clients want a luxury experience, so as soon as they reach out, they need to know you will make their life easier and more enjoyable.
You get what you pay for, whether a cramped middle seat in economy or a champagne-filled first-class lounger. So when high-end clients sign on with you, ensure your communication is hands-on from the start. When you keep things clear and easy, you’ll lift a weight off their shoulders by designing an experience they won’t soon forget.
Elevate the experience
When someone begins working with you, they should clearly understand what to expect and what you’ll provide. After setting the threshold, though, look for creative ways to surpass it. Whether sending small gifts to celebrate milestones or adding a surprise experience to their event, consider how you can go above and beyond for them.
It’s all about getting to know your high-end clients on a more personal level so you can create a memorable experience for them. For example, do they have a beloved pet? Set up a day for them at their favorite groomer. Or if they have a killer sweet tooth, send them a cupcake bouquet! It’s these small touches that will leave the biggest impressions.
Put them at the top
There’s a good chance you’re working with a handful of clients simultaneously. But if you want to impress those high-end clients, they must feel like they’re the only one on your list. This means ensuring prompt responses to their messages and top-notch communication throughout the process.
All clients should respect your boundaries, but it’s nice for a client when it feels your attention is solely theirs. Stay on top of your phone and email, and remind your high-end clients that you’re there for whatever they may need. Be flexible in your schedule and assign a team member to their event if you cannot be as hands-on as needed.
Event professionals wear a lot of hats, and relationships are at the forefront of our work. Cultivating an unforgettable experience for high-end clients starts with thoughtfulness and care. Only then can you generate referrals and make connections that last for years.
So when it comes to high-end partnerships, remember that your work is valuable. You’re fulfilling a vital need, and though expectations may be lofty, it’s up to you to ensure they’re met. So stay on top of deadlines and prioritize communication — you’re sure to pull off a fantastic event!
Nora Sheils is the founder of award-winning planning firm Bridal Bliss and co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, a client management platform that offers a streamlined approach to contract, invoicing, and payment processing for the wedding and event industry. Nora is a well-known and sought-after speaker on national stages, including Wedding MBA, Catersource, NACE Experience, and Coterie Retreat.