4 Tips for Working With Celebrity Clients in Your Event Planning Career!
Mwai Yeboah is the proud owner of the destination wedding planning boutique, Love, From Mwai. With over 15 years of industry experience, Mwai helps culinary enthusiasts, fashion admirers, and adventure seekers plan experience-focused weddings that exceed their dreams and leave their guests in absolute awe! In addition to the countless awards she has received over the years, she’s also written and published her own book about wedding planning. Mwai is one of QC’s leading tutors for the Event & Wedding Planning, Luxury Wedding & Event Planning, and Destination Wedding Planning courses.
Throughout my 20-year event planning career as a luxury wedding planner, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with high-end clientele. These clients have ranged from billionaires, to famous celebrities, to presidents. For such esteemed patrons, I’ve planned all sorts of different events; taking place everywhere from private residences to palaces!
From all of these incredible experiences, I’ve learned a thing (or ten) about working well with celebrities. This is why today, I want to offer up my top tips for working with the most important of VIP clients. Put away that sharpie and selfie stick and get your game-face on. Get ready, because it’s time to dream with discretion and plan with purpose, for the people paparazzi chase!
1 – Remember: you’re an industry expert, not an enthusiastic fan.
Let’s be honest: this one isn’t rocket-science, but it’s the most important tip. So, we’re starting here. A celebrity hires you to be the professional in the situation. They need to feel like they can turn to you for honest advice and trusted expertise. You want them to take you seriously (as you deserve), so don’t undermine their ability to do so by acting like a fan, instead of an expert.
Treat them as you would any other client in your event planning career. While you might be star-struck – and maybe screaming like a little kid on the inside, don’t let that show on the outside. It’s your job to be a clear-headed, calm, and confident advocate for your client.
The major no-nos? Asking for an autograph or requesting a selfie. While you’re at it, refrain from asking them to meet with or sign something for a friend or family member who’s “their biggest fan”. (Seriously, resist the urge, people! Yes, even if it’s John Legend.)
2 – Don’t make the mistake of assuming that their budget is limitless, or of little significance.
Just because your client is highly esteemed, doesn’t necessarily mean their budget is infinite or unimportant to them. Just as you would with any other client in your portfolio, be clear about numbers from the get-go. Keep celebrity clientele in the loop about how much they’re spending, and where.
You’ll get a feel for their preferences as your working relationship evolves. You might realize that some don’t want the budget updates, and are willing to spend whatever it takes to bring their vision to life. On the other hand, many celebrity clients appreciate the updates and have a set budget they want to stick to. Either way, it’s always best to start from a place of assuming that the numbers are important and relevant!
3- Do your research (meaning: dig, dig, dig!).
The great thing about working with celebrities is that there is a ton of information out there! With it, you can arm yourself with the know-how to make the right recommendations, right off the bat. Dig deep into the scents they like, the flowers they prefer, the textures and colors they tend to wear, their favorite hues, the style of their home… the list goes on.
Note: It probably goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyways – make sure you’re turning to trusted sources for this information! Read vetted interviews and peruse their social media, rather than thumbing through tabloids. Showing that you’ve done your research will earn you some serious bonus points with celebrity clientele, who often don’t have time to waste
4- Be brief and thorough.
Speaking of not having time to waste, you’ll want to keep things more brief that you would with typical clients. Keep in mind that at the same time, it’s important to still remain thorough and thoughtful. Celebrities’ schedules tend to be jam-packed. Not to mention, many of them have families to take care of, too. While you want the process to feel high-touch and personal, you also want to make sure you’re cognizant of their demanding schedule. It’s crucial that you be respectful of their time.
A major part of your job is to filter through the noise and make decisions easy for them. Be careful to ONLY present choices that suit their style and vision. Think: quality over quantity!
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The couple's table is set for a banquet with modern glassware kissed with gold and sculptural floral displays that add an air of intimacy to this romantic love story. Textured foliage, fanned leaves, and geometric vases added infusions of edginess and an abundance of long-stemmed candles lit the room in a warm glow. City chic meets classic romance – a London Love Story. Check the link in my bio to explore this wonderful feature and the credits of all the amazing vendors on @modwedding #LFMwai ✨
Eager to learn even MORE tips to help you work with celebrities and create the best impression? Then stay tuned, because Part 2 will be released later this week!