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Old January 28th, 2015, 01:03 PM   #1
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Meeting up with Event Planner

There is a new event center being built where I live. They are building 2 large centers where they can hold weddings. I reached out to them and we set up a time for a meeting. What should I expect? and what should I bring to the meeting if anything at all? I was planning on bringing a price sheet that know one else sees. I would like to be on their videographer list. Have you guys experienced meetings like this before?
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Old January 30th, 2015, 01:26 PM   #2
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

The experiences I had with event centers or receptions was that they welcomed video/photo vendors as long as they fit in their expectations of getting "something" out of the vendors in return for their services of recommendation. Don't be surprised if they already have several vendors on their list as I have seen centers that have 5 videographers on that list especially if the venue is extremely well booked. I also have seen, and without surprise, that many centers can charge a huge percentage of your contracted package as much as 30% in some cases and also some that want a minimum 15-20 grand a year just to be at the top of their list. And that is without any guarantee on their part of a minimum amount of referred bookings. They are like dogs, always hungry. If you are luck enough to find a center that allows you to be on their vendor list for no or little compensation/commission/spiff/percentage, then here is what I would do and recommend.
I would start working asap on a proposal package that would include business cards, flyers, sample DVD'd or whatever, that I can suggest to leave with the event seller in his/her office. I would also suggest, if they don't have one/them already, a 32" or larger flat panel display that continuously play the best WOW video clips of your best work in their lobby area for everyone to see. I would approach them in a professional manner with the proposal after making an appointment just for that purpose. Have documents and be prepared to answer questions promptly and above all expect that they may have other vendors already on their list or have approached them as well. I have worked with small venues and restaurants that cater to events where I never paid a dime for any recommendation as I just remember them a few times a year during holiday season to leave a small gift. As long as they don't get any complaints they are happy, and this goes with big venues as well. They always expect professionalism, discreetness and politeness from their vendors. Bringing in a price sheet at the early stage is not necessary in my opinion, because they are mostly interested in your reputation and client referrals if you may be asked. If you bring in a price list with low prices, they may just be ??? that in their minds.It would also be wise to ask who their house photographer(s) are. In a nutshell, I would approach them well prepared with an associate/wife, well dressed. It looks so professional.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 01:51 PM   #3
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

Based on what I've been learning - you gotta offer them something. It should be more of a "Here's what I'll do for you" kind of thing.

In this case, the deal would be to offer to do their promo work for like free basically. At least starting out. Offer to put together a short highlight reel for their website/FB page for free using footage that you shoot there.

I've started doing this just a couple weeks ago for florists and planners and stuff, and it is a boom. Offering the stuff for free, in exchange for them sending you referrals and such is huge. It doesn't take much time at all... because you've already shot all the stuff for the wedding video anyway!
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Old January 30th, 2015, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

There is a high end venue which got one of my trailers I shot there during a wedding on their website, they liked it as it also showcased their venue and I gave it to them for free and this results in a few bookings every year without me having to pay the venue anything. Have done the same for a high end weddingplanner who now also refers clients that book through him to me without asking for a commision and I also gave the trailer for free to him, I always adapt the trailers a bit so they showcase the venue or the weddingplanners work more, since I"m shooting at such a wedding anyway and have so much shots from details it's easy to create a custommade video.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

Thanks for the feedback. I am sure I will have to do something for them. If I have to give them a percentage of the money I will more than likely raise the price. We will see what will happen? So I guess the price list is out for now. Thanks again for your input.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 04:12 PM   #6
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

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Thanks for the feedback. I am sure I will have to do something for them. If I have to give them a percentage of the money I will more than likely raise the price. We will see what will happen? So I guess the price list is out for now. Thanks again for your input.
That's exactly the problem..... I had planners saying to me I can get you work but I want 25%. Seriously? You want 25%? If there was 25% slop in there I could have reduced my prices and got more work very easily without you!

So you'd have to increase your prices by 33% in order to give them 25% and stay the same, and now why would they book you through them for 33% more?
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Old January 30th, 2015, 06:31 PM   #7
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

Sadly the big issue here is that it's all about money and nothing else. You have a meeting with them and all goes well and you agree on a cut of 15% and everyone leaves happy. You obviously have to adjust your prices so everyone suffers with the price increase whether they book the new venue or not.

Now, a new guy with significantly lower quality work than you approaches the new venue and tosses in a sweetener to the planner of not 15% but 25 or 30% ....Guess who will get the work when it comes in?

I leave planners well alone...far better that way UNLESS there is no financial advantage from any of their vendors which hardly ever happens! Do you really want to raise your prices for all your brides to line the pockets of an event planner?
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Old January 31st, 2015, 03:29 AM   #8
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

I could understand if a venue has a soundsystem in place and would ask money for the use of it by a DJ that only has to bring his usb sticks with music to play but it would be in their best interest to refer to a videographer they know who can supply a high end product, someone who is reliable and someone that can showcase their venue through the trailers that end up on facebook so more clients could be ending up booking their venue.

The last wedding planner I worked for on a commission only got 5% from me as that sounded reasonable, when I had the trailer finished she asked if she could put it on her facebook, with proper reference to my company. At first I didn't want to do that, my thought was, "so, I have to pay you 5% of my income just for mentioning my name and now you are trying to benefit from some free advertising to showcase your work in a video I had to shoot?" but eventually I just gave her the vimeo link as I knew I would get some free advertisement through her facebook channel as well.

After that I just stopped working on commission, I know that advertising also costs money and those websites just give you a small space to place your ad but I feel that especially for weddingplanners they need to have suppliers they can trust on to deliver a good product as that also will reflect on their reputation since they have recommended them. If on top of that they can get a free trailer to showcase their work it doesn't feel right that they also should get payed for mentioning us.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 10:34 AM   #9
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

Are you guys talking about wedding planners or wedding centers ?
There is a huge difference in strategy to approach them.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 12:18 PM   #10
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

So a venue recommends you and you give them 15-25% of your full fee in return and I assume that if you recommend a venue and the bride books that you get 15-25% of the venues full fee! I think not, and I seem to remember a previous thread about this that questioned the legality of such practices. Basically you are paying a bribe - we recommend you and you pay.

I am happy to recommend any wedding service provider if I am satisfied that they offer a good service. I don't expect any payment for that and I don't see why they should expect me to pay them for recommendations. One of the venues that recommend us, have had a number of couples booking them on my recommendation, it's to our mutual advantage.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; January 31st, 2015 at 01:07 PM. Reason: typo
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Old January 31st, 2015, 01:28 PM   #11
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

Here in United States in the New York area, to be a "house" videographer or photographer as they call it, is not the outcome of a bribe or any kind of shady practice but a legitimate agreement signed by both parties in a contract.The annual fee that the event venue/reception/place of food and dance (NOT a WEDDING PLANNER person) charges can vary as a fixed fee between 6 to 15 thousand US dollars per year or more. I am not kidding, in fact I have done video work for photo studios that were house studios that paid those sums. There also was a studio I worked for that only allowed the photography and not the videography. The videography was NOT included in the fee. That was a separate contract altogether. Paying 6 thousand a year to a busy and successful venue is really a bargain here,If you can get in.Being the sole videographer for a venue is rare unless the venue does less than 20 events a year. Must "big" venues here do way over 80 per year and many can handle 3 or more weddings a day. They also operate on a percentage basis of your sales but don't expect it to be less than 10%. The studios I worked for did well over 100 events per year so them paying even $15,000 is a bargain.
A wddding planner person here is a separate entity altogether hired separately by the bride to do all the running around and hiring vendors for her. The venue is the place where all the partying goes on.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 01:29 PM   #12
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

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Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
Are you guys talking about wedding planners or wedding centers ?
There is a huge difference in strategy to approach them.
Do you mean with wedding centers the venue? I was talking about a venue and a planner, where I live it might work totally different though, as far as I know the venues here don't have a referral list with videographers.

Edit, just missed your post, that kind of thing definitely doesn't exist here :)
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Old January 31st, 2015, 01:35 PM   #13
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

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Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
Here in United States in the New York area, to be a "house" videographer or photographer as they call it, is not the outcome of a bribe or any kind of shady practice but a legitimate agreement signed by both parties in a contract.
Do these venues have any restrictions to which videographer gets allowed to shoot there if the bride hires someone that is not on their list? Does the bride need to pick a videographer from their list and if so does she get a discount for choosing one of their house videographers?

Last edited by Noa Put; January 31st, 2015 at 04:10 PM. Reason: typo
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Old January 31st, 2015, 02:53 PM   #14
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

I was about to ask the same thing Noa, what happens if the bride wants Ray Roman and he is not on the recommended list? Or what happens if the bride just doesn't like the work of the recommended suppliers?

It all sounds like legal bribery and restrictive practice, something that only the bigger wealthier companies can afford to pay. In fact it reminds me of protection rackets - you pay us and we'll look after you!

Roger
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Old February 1st, 2015, 12:06 AM   #15
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Re: Meeting up with Event Planner

Almost ALL venues around here do not mind if a bride hires her own videographer that is not on the recommended venue list. However I have had a past experience with a venue ( which I cannot mention name) in the New Jersey area that actually has its own video department and only wants to book the video themselves and will actually tell the bride that any other videographers will not be permitted. The department was actually an editing room in the venue and there were 2 cameras permanently mounted in the ceiling of the dance area remotely controlled from withi the edit desk.Wow.I was warned the first time I showed up ( 2002 year) by the manager himself saying that they have their own guys for that. I later found out that the venue offers a discount for video by them if she books the venue. Thank God I know of only one of them venues. Perhaps they changed that system by now but I never worked or recommended them since. Next thing you know will be a venue that also offers limo and floral services as well as tuxedo rentals and photos. Now that is really what I would consider a "wedding center" all under one roof.
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