Working together and remaining professional

I have hesitated for a week to write this post because I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in reading it and mainly because I would think that common sense would apply and there is no need to express the following.
I am in the event business because I truly love what I do. I hear many coordinators/planners and other extremely talented vendors say the same. However, last week I had a couple of experiences that make me question whether or not these individuals truly love their chosen career. Whether the event is a wedding where the pressures are often the highest, or a corporate function where there is still a top level of professionalism expected, I would assume that many of us have come to the understanding that this is a job not for the lazy, nor physically weak. This is a job where pride of the individual has no place, but seems to rain on many.
In order for an event of any kind to be successful, there has to be effective communication and especially collaboration. Competition is not welcome and should be left for only for reality shows and sports. I am never looking for the complement, I am only looking to do my job well so that the client is not just pleased, but that they refer my services and hopefully contact me again for a future project.
I was told from a venue “Julia, don’t make me hate you Sunday morning.” I was appauled and then within moments realized that she probably had a terrible experience with a so-called wedding coordinator. I tried not to take it personally knowing that she had not worked with me in the past and didn’t know that I would assist in the kitchen if I was needed. Unfortunately the tumultuous relationship did not end at that conversation. The day of the wedding, when things were not going right with the venue, everything was being blamed on me. This is an area that boils my blood as even in childhood I learned that blame is a lazy and often pointed way of dealing with guilt. It is also incredibly unprofessional and a solution should always be in place, not just a finger pointing in someone else’s direction. Event planning is problem solving and doing so quickly in the midst of our timeline. I don’t have time to blame anyone else for something that goes wrong. Sadly, I will think twice about working with a bride that is getting married at this venue and quite frankly I will no longer refer anyone there.
I often wonder what it is that some planners do to keep their businesses flourishing. I hear so many boost at ABC meetings about the compliments they receive from clients. I love hearing about it because we are all working together to make what we do of value. Or at least I thought.
I was told several times that a client didn’t believe in me nor what I did because the only feedback they were getting from their recently married friend’s was
“Oh don’t trust your planner, mine didn’t even show up.”
“Planners are nightmares and they get paid to do nothing.”
“You hired a planner? Hmph, good luck.”

I was speechless, but still did my job as I always do and as I teach my Assistants to. Ultimately it is me that I have to look at everyday and market everyday. If I was to act in a manner that was so unprofessional that people continue to complain about me months after their event, I couldn’t continue to work in this industry. I am not going to get upset at these planners, but ask ever so nicely to consider another industry. The truth is, that it is those planners who choose to act accordingly that devalue this business and our services. Many people think a planner/coordinators job is easy and should be minimized to a minimum wage or possible just a couple hundred dollars. It isn’t until after their event that they say, “You are superman/superwoman.” “I didn’t think you could pull this off, but you have been working all day and all night to make this so perfect for us.”
When those positive and edifying compliments are given, it is imperative that the client know that I could never take credit for the success of any event. There are so many people involved in making something amazing happen, that it wouldn’t be fair. Every vendor involved makes their task shine and helps the collective group to make the client beem with joy. That is what it is all about. Truly, this business is the epitome of working together for the greater progress of everyone. The good that we do an one event continues to bring us business, and also makes us better.