Mark's RantIt was Wednesday evening at the office and the end of another long day. The phone rings and on the other end is a Bat Mitzvah mom.
The whole conversation started well and actually ended well. All’s well that ends well – right? No, not really.
You see, this Bat Mitzvah Mom was ordering balloon centerpieces for her daughter’s big day. Simple enough. There was a really nice reason why she came to us. She went to another affair, took home one of the centerpieces, turned it upside down and found our label on it (just where that label is supposed to be and why it is supposed to be there). So our marketing worked!
So Mom wanted exactly what we did for that party. I started taking the order and asked the first big question. “When is the party?” The answer, “THREE DAYS FROM NOW.”
What? WHAT?? I felt like asking if she needed invitations, too? Do you have a venue picked yet? Any plans for having a nice dress made? What the heck, you still have THREE WHOLE DAYS, take your time! :-0
Mind you, she saw our centerpieces four months ago!! So, why wait that long?? Why do they wait that long? I suppose there are a variety of reasons in this recessionary age we live in:

  • Holding out until the very end to see how much money one has left for décor. <Isn’t it “thrilling” to be thought of LAST?>
  • Not really caring what the table looks like as long as the food is good and the music is, too. <Doesn’t that just make all décor professionals feel “special” indeed?>
  • Holding onto as much money as one can, figuring the longer they hold on the more money they will have when it is all over? <Like playing a game of chicken with your party, your guests and your wallet.> 
  • Thinking we’ll all be so hungry for work that when the customers finally “bless us” with an order we’ll just give them everything so cheap because we need the work. <And isn’t that what it’s really all about anyway – doing everything for practically nothing?>

These four points may seem ridiculous or callous of me to say, but they ARE what goes through a customer’s mind when shopping today. With financial stability at an all-time low for so many, the budgets of events we produce today are (in many cases) just a fraction of what they might have been a few years ago. Everyone is more careful, everyone is nervous, everyone needs to save.
Am I grateful we were able to take this order? Yes. Do I wish we and our industry could be shown a little more respect for what we do? Yes. Will the day ever come when we are treated as professionals (and peers in the event industry) and given ample time to ply our craft properly for our customers? I’m really not sure.
What do you think? Let me and our readers know on our Facebook page or on Twitter .

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