Booking high-end clients is a great way to elevate your business and boost your brand reputation within the industry. Yet, higher prestige means higher expectations from your clients, so it’s important to be mindful of all that’s required to produce a successful luxury event. When working with clients that are prepared to spend hundreds of thousands (or even millions) on an event, it understandably requires an extra level of care and attention.
Ultimately, it boils down to two important rules:
Always make your client feel like they are top priority.
High-end clients know you have other clients, but they want to feel like they are the only one. Your attention to their event can play out in a number of ways, including lightning quick-communication. Do your best to respond as quickly as possible to every email, call, or text that comes through. Even if you don’t have the answer right away, let them know you’ve received their message and are working to provide a solution.
On the flip side, avoid bombarding your client with communication. Oftentimes, luxury clients have unusual schedules so it’s best to keep your messages clear and concise to get right to the point. If you have questions that arise, wait until you have several so you can connect with your client once to get everything out on the table.
The idea is to make the planning process as easy as possible for your client. When people are investing their money into something, whether it’s an A-list event or an opulent home, it must be convenient for them. They aren’t just paying for the luxury details, but for the luxury experience as well.
Of course, this isn’t a reason to sacrifice your personal life and wellbeing. Boundaries are still important, although you might be willing to loosen them up a bit for high-paying clients. Be clear about off-hours and other boundaries in your contract so it’s provided upfront and doesn’t need to make for an uncomfortable conversation down the line.
Exceed expectations by elevating the experience.
When you go above and beyond a client’s expectations, you show them how much you value their business and are willing to go the distance. Everybody loves a good surprise, so meet your client on their level by acknowledging what they want even before they bring it up.
From pre-booking to planning to the event itself all the way to post-event wrap up, you should be including extra touchpoints at every stage to show your care for the event. Get to know your client from the start. Follow them on social media and get a feel for their personalities and what they value most in life. If they are of celebrity status, it’s typically easy to gather some intel on who they are and what they like.
Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be in a great place to surprise them with personal and unique details that fit the bill. Imagine connecting with a luxury client for a sales consultation and diving right in with ideas that factor in their favorite colors, foods, and design styles. If you see their social media feed filled with creative gastronomic delicacies, put together your most innovative menu with exotic ingredients to present in a proposal. The more research you do, the better equipped you’ll be to come across as the only vendor who can read their mind.
Further in the planning process, you will learn details that you can implement into more creative touchpoints. Perhaps you find out they have a killer sweet tooth, so you order a dozen gourmet cookies to be delivered to them to celebrate the day they book their venue. Or maybe you discover their affinity for animals, so you gift them a salon day for them and their pets. Everything from welcome gifts to seating displays to floral installations can serve as a nod to their backgrounds, which will show them that you’ve given extra thought to every single detail.
Planning an event is an intimate experience and, ultimately, we are in business to build relationships as much as we are to provide a service. You may run a catering company, but it’s not as simple as creating menus and cooking great dishes. A great client experience that has been cultivated through care and thoughtfulness is what leads to future referrals. When you work with high-end clients, they’ll be the first to tell their friends about the only vendor that truly understood their needs.
Lead photo courtesy Feastivities Events & Catering