Nervous clients got you down? Here’s how you can help to dispel their fears.

How Do You Handle Your Delicate Anxious Clients?

As an event planner, you’ve undoubtedly faced your share of nervous clients.

Of course, you do everything that you can to ensure that your clients have a stress-free event-planning experience, but sometimes they tend to get caught up in “what if” scenarios, and before you know if you have an anxious client on your hands who’s stressing out about the menu and guest list and worrying themselves sick about the weather.

How can you deal with clients like this? Is there a way to help them relax?

While you can’t tame every flighty client, the good news is that you can help to alleviate many of their fears. Here are four simple things that you can do to help your clients sit back, relax, and start looking forward to their big day.

1. Communicate
Clear communication is the first step in helping to keep your client’s nerves down. Make sure you listen to them when they’re explaining what they want for their event, and be sure to note things that seem to hold special importance to them. For instance, if the bride-to-be mentions roses three times in the course of your conversation, chances are this is an important detail for her. If your business client’s eyes light up when they’re talking about having a certain DJ at their conference, you’ll want to try to make it happen. Find out what really matters to them, and then do everything you can to ensure that it happens.

2. Establish Clear Expectations
Speaking of communication, make sure you establish clear expectations with your clients upfront. Promising them the moon and the stars is fine –if you can deliver –but overpromising, and under-delivering is a recipe for disaster. Instead, make sure your clients know exactly what to expect, realistically, that is, not vague ideas of grandeur! They’ll be happier and less anxious as a result.

3. Create a Backup Plan
Having a backup plan is vital. Not only for your peace of mind, but for your clients’ as well. If you have entertainment lined up, make sure there’s a band that will be able to step in should the other group cancel at the last minute. For outdoor events, ensure sure you have a tent or marquee on hand. Planning ahead and looking to stem potential problems that could arise will help you to put many of your client’s worst fears to rest. Success!

4. Keep Them Updated
Finally, keeping clients informed on what’s happening can work wonders. Most clients love to be kept in the loop about developments –and informed ahead of time about changes or updates. Surprises are great –but not in this line of work! So make sure your clients are kept in the know.

Nervous clients are just part of the job –after all, you’d be nervous too if you had a major event on the horizon! Often, nervous clients just want to know that everything’s under control. Keep your clients updated, well-informed, and on the same page as you –and you’ll be able to help keep them calm, relaxed, and looking forward to their big day. No “what if’s” about it!

How do you handle nervous clients?

Image: Freddie Peña

If you’re looking to grow your network, try these tips to make new connections at events.

How to Buddy Up and Grow Your Professional Network

Looking to grow your network?

Most of us are. A thriving network can open up great opportunities –and having a Rolodex, or, these days –a LinkedIn account that’s bursting full of helpful contacts can open up new doors, help build your credibility, lead to new job opportunities, and more.

But if you’re like many people, being social, and putting yourself out there doesn’t come naturally. Sure, we’re friendly enough, when approached –but mustering up courage out of thin air and walking up to a complete stranger and introducing yourself –now that takes nerve!

If you’re not naturally a people person, the good news is that becoming more social is a skill –and something that can be mastered. It may be difficult at first, but like most things in life, the more you do it, the easier it will become. With a bit of practice you’ll be graduating from wallflower to social butterfly in no time!

If you have an upcoming networking event, and are looking to make some new contacts, here are some tips that will help to get you off to a great start.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is half the journey! Know what you want to achieve before you attend the event, and have a clear picture on what type of connections that you want to make. Try to practice and perfect your 30-second elevator pitch, which is your brief introduction that outlines your experience and interests. Be sure to get your business cards printed up ahead of time, and if relevant, your resume as well. Plan your outfit –make sure you’re put together. Looking great will help you to feel confident –something that’s absolutely necessary for making a good first impression.

Be Friendly

Once you’re at the event, it’s time to put your social skills to use. Make an effort to go up to people that are standing alone and introduce yourself. Walk confidently and smile, be the first to extend your hand. When talking, listen carefully and show interest. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with any one person, but if you find yourself engaged in an interesting conversation, make sure you exchange contact information. You could even suggest a follow-up activity such as coffee. Above all, make sure you keep realistic expectations and don’t stress it –after all, you’re not there to get hired on the spot, you’re just there to meet new contacts!

Follow Up

All good relationships take time to grow. Don’t just leave your contacts hanging; be sure to reach out after the event. Consider sending your new contacts an e-mail or LinkedIn message telling them that you enjoyed meeting them. Add them to your contact lists, follow their blog, add them on Twitter or Google Plus, and engage with them when you can. For those contacts that you had a great conversation with, consider suggesting get-togethers in person for coffee –or set a reminder to reach out to them on a holiday or upcoming event.

Remember: you –and everyone else is at the event for the same reason: to make new connections. This isn’t a one-way street! Don’t feel that you’re wasting people’s time or that they don’t want to meet you –chances are they’re looking to meet people, just like you.

What are your networking secrets?

Image: Jurgen Appelo

Planning a party? Don’t forget the cake!

3 Winning Kids Party Themes

Everyone loves a good party.

Especially kids!

Add some cake, awesome décor, cake, fun party games, cake, and lots of great food, and you’re guaranteed a good time. Did we mention cake?

If your birthday girl, or boy, is turning another year older, then you’re probably on the lookout for party ideas. The good news is that it’s not hard to pull off a fantastic bash that your child –and the other little party-goers will love. To get you off to a great start here are three themes that will ensure party-perfect success. Read on to see how easy it is to create a party that’s fun, enjoyable, and of course –one that features plenty of cake.

1.Legos
Who doesn’t love Legos? Unless you’re the one who’s always stepping on the stray pieces, that is! Throwing a party for little Lego enthusiasts can be an easy theme that can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Lego cakes in the shape of Lego bricks, Lego building contests, and décor featuring Lego pieces can make for a fun theme that is sure to entertain both kids and grownups alike.

2.Nemo
With Finding Dory hitting the theaters, a certain clown fish isn’t far from anyone’s minds. A quick search online will bring up tons of party ideas centering on all things Nemo. If you have a Finding Nemo fan in the family, a Nemo-themed bash might be the perfect party theme. Set the scene with under the sea decor and plenty of fish-themed fun. Be sure to host fishing games, serve snacks with goldfish, and of course, use plenty of orange and blue in your décor.

3.Frozen
While you might be tired of Elsa, Ana, Olaf, and friends –it’s a pretty safe bet that anyone under the age of eight is most definitely not! Frozen parties are still pretty cool this year, and for most kids, this theme is a definite winner. Consider having a DIY marshmallow station where your little party-goers can make their own Olafs, and sneak some vegetables in by serving up “reindeer snack” carrots. If you’re feeling ambitious, be sure to check out some of these amazing Frozen cakes –pure art.

Finally, while planning a party can be all-consuming, try to keep things light and enjoyable. Don’t overstress it when it comes to your child’s party –after all, the whole idea is to have fun. Remember to take time to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. And have some cake too, of course!

If the party planning is starting to get to you, don’t hesitate to contact Bash Divas –professional event planners serving Toronto and the GTA. We’ll ensure that the details come together and will help you to pull off the perfect party –one that your child will love and remember for years to come.

Image: Michael

Mimosas are a simple, yet elegant cocktail.

3 Most Popular Cocktail Drinks at a Cocktail Party

Flat, dry, shaken, or stirred –no matter how you take your drinks, the cocktail has something for just about everyone.

While cocktails can be as complex, or novel as you’d like –the fact is that they don’t have to be. Often, some of the best things in life are simple, and, if the popularity of certain mixed drinks is anything to go by, some of the most popular cocktails are refreshingly, simple as well.

If you’re looking to “shake up” your cocktail party, don’t fear –it’s not difficult to create simple mixed drinks that will help to make your party a blast. Here are three popular cocktails that are fun to make –and drink, that you’ll want to consider adding to your menu.

1. Margarita
You don’t have to visit Margaritaville for an amazing margarita; margaritas are a surprisingly easy-to-make cocktail that should be number one on your list when hosting a cocktail party. With only four simple ingredients, it’s easy to get this one right. Start off with a good tequila (100% agave), some Cointreau or orange liqueur, fresh limes, salt and of course, ice. Margaritas can be shaken, or blended, with or without salt. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make an endless variety of different types of margaritas. Get the recipe.

2. Mimosa
Whoever said not to do things in half measures obviously never made mimosas! Mimosas are a classic, yet oh-so-simple cocktail that is made by combining equal parts champagne and orange juice. Fill champagne flutes half full with orange juice, tilt the glass, and top off with champagne or sparkling wine to create your party-perfect mimosa that’s sure to impress. Get the details.

3. Mojito
A Mojito is a classic, Cuban cocktail made with lime, mint, and of course, plenty of rum. To get the perfect Mojito, start by adding mint leaves and sugar to a bowl, mixing until the sugar is dissolved. Next, add fresh lime juice and white rum. Strain the mixture, and just before serving add club soda, and garnish with mint leaves and lime wedges. Grab the recipe.

These three drinks are simple, classic, and the perfect features for your next party. If you’re thinking of hosting a cocktail party, or just looking for drink ideas to jazz up your next get-together, these three cocktails won’t leave you, or your guests, disappointed!

Cheers!

If you’re planning a party or hosting an event, consider enlisting the services of professional event planners, Bash Divas –for a simply brilliant bash. We do weddings, birthdays, galas, and more for Toronto and the GTA.

Image: icantstopthinking