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Your Guide to Your End-of-Season Evaluation

The end of busy season is approaching and it’s time to start thinking about your transition to off-season. While it may be tempting to run off to the nearest resort and push evaluations to the end of the year, now is truly the best time to gather, assess, and make plans for next year.

With everything still fresh in your mind, you’ll have a good idea of what was most successful this season and where your team could use improvements. If you wait until the end of the year, you could be waiting several months to address things—at which point, you and your team will have moved onto new events and it will require more energy to revisit the season’s highlights.

By doing it immediately, you’re able to address everything right away and have enough time to reflect and improve to go into the new year feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Evaluating external feedback

When you’re beginning to evaluate the season’s strengths and weaknesses, take a look back at reviews and feedback you received from clients and creative partners. This insight is invaluable for the future growth of your company and its team members. We truly value our reviews, both for the warm fuzzies as well as the opportunity to improve upon any criticisms.

If you find that your company is lacking in reviews, make it a goal to push for feedback in the approaching year. We have a system in place to follow up with our clients about four weeks post-wedding with links to our pages on WeddingWire, The Knot, and Yelp. We’ve found that providing links greatly increases our chance of getting a review, while waiting a bit ensures they’re back from their honeymoon. It’s a recipe for success.

Evaluating internal feedback

In addition to client reviews, you should also spend some time looking inward at the team’s performance. Identify past challenges to determine whether there has been improvement, as well as new challenges that can be tackled in the next year.

Clients only see the end result of your team’s work, so tapping into your employees’ feedback is important for knocking out inefficiencies and maximizing productivity.

We have a weekly huddle with our staff in which we discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of the previous weekend’s events. Then, we explore strategies to maintain the good and fix the bad or ugly parts. Gaining valuable internal feedback really comes down to open communication throughout your team.

Taking the next steps

Once you have a good understanding of your team’s performance this season, it’s time to take action. Start by congratulating them for all of their effort and the jobs well done. Despite any criticisms, they still showed up every day and worked hard. Consider bringing in lunch one day for everyone to gather and discuss plans for further improvement.

In terms of negative feedback, you probably already have some ideas of how to improve. Don’t wait until the next season; find a solution now and change it immediately. Let it stick over the off-season. If anything major is changing, make sure everyone is on the same page and start planning out next steps (like updating your website or paperwork).

Once your evaluations are done, you can go into the off-season with confidence and inspiration to exceed expectations in the year ahead. Plus, maybe now you’ll fit in that well-deserved vacation.

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Kevin Dennis

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.