There are two different sides on this issue. On one side, you have those that feel keeping your budget secret is the way to go. The other side knows the importance being transparent with your trusted production provider. I am going to attempt to show you the benefit of using the second method.
In this business we develop long-term relationships with many clients. Over time we begin to learn each other and how each prefers to operate. These relationships are constantly growing and evolving. The majority of the time we deal with people who do not do event planning for a living. These are usually volunteers or committee members who take on the task of event planning and management maybe once or just a few times in their lifetime.
The first consultation usually involves a conversation with terms like “sparkly lights, a stage big enough for a band, bright colors, etc.” This is simply because these people know what they envision but are not sure of the “how”. This is where we can help. Without knowing your budget, we will take this basic information and spend time working on a proper quote. When a quote of $6,500, for example, is sent, the real work begins. This is when the budget is revealed. Perhaps the response will be, “We only have a budget of $3,000.”
The time used working on the original quote could have been spent working on your event. Every production provider has different types of equipment, from basic to tour ready. When a potential client asks for “bright, colorful lights” there are several options available. There may be four or more different types of fixtures. Each model with a different price point. Choosing a specific fixture to do the desired job will change your bottom dollar significantly. This applies to every type of service provided.
There are a few options to fix any request. There may be packages available that again help bring down the cost. There are several ways to stay within your budget when you know what that point is. So, when asked for some type of budget number, it’s not to get the most out of every customer, but to be better able to provide the most for your given budget. Our job is to create the wow factor for every event regardless of budget restraints.