Question of the Month – The Ins and Outs of Large Parties and Events

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The Ins and Outs of Large Parties and Events-Question of the Month

At the beginning of this year, I converted my retail shop to events and contract orders only. After looking at where the bulk of my sales were coming from, I realized that specializing in events, which includes funerals, was the direction to take. It has allowed me to streamline the hours we’re open and has given me more free time. I feel more in control of the workload, even with funerals being unpredictable. With technology, I am reachable no matter where I am. I’m glad I made the change, but sadly, the reduction of staffed hours required me to let a few staff go.
Lori Himes, AIFD
Abloom Ltd.
Walkersville, Md.

We like large parties and events because they provide a larger range of creativity and we can also control the buying for each event as opposed to having “speculation” flowers on hand for daily work. With parties and events, everything we purchase is already sold.
Brian Joyce
Flourish Floral Productions
Winter Park, Fla.

Floral design for large parties is less of what I take on these days. When I hired workers to help with these events in the past, it was difficult to maintain my design style. Currently I enjoy midsize events, with no more than 100 guests. I gain more intimate relationships with the customers and find it more gratifying. I also can deliver more personalized service and design integrity. Due to the strong relationships, these customers return to me over and over.
Jan L. Gordon
East Meets West Flowers
Pleasantville, N.Y.

I love large events and parties, but there are challenges, especially with staffing, set up and tear down, and controlling COGS (cost of goods sold). Monitoring your bottom line every step of the way is the key to success.
Christi Lopez
Bergerons
Washington, D.C.

About 96 percent of my business is floral design for weddings. I feel that American consumers do not put value on daily flowers, but they do expect to spend money on flowers for weddings and events; therefore, it’s an easier sell. Also, focusing on events allows me to earn a large chunk of income at once instead of little by little, like in a retail shop.
Tobey Nelson
Tobey Nelson Events + Design
Clinton, Wash.

I love the hustle and bustle setting up weddings and events. The rewards include seeing the smiles on customers’ faces, the beautiful thank-you notes and now the glowing reviews on social media platforms. Knowing that you nailed a customer’s vision feels awesome.
Winnie Leenaarts
Savoir-Faire
Akron, Ohio

Corporate parties and events is where the fun is. Each project is different, no matter what. The connections we make are for life. Word-of-mouth is the best advertising ever. People trust people, and getting referrals from past clients is priceless.
Andie Muller, AIFD
The Flower Studio
Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Parties and special events are a fun and exciting part of my business. They break up the sometimes-monotonous everyday work and allow one’s creativity to soar to new levels. You get to interpret a client’s vision and make it come to life while transforming a venue into a beautiful site to wow the guests, all of who are prospective future customers.
Nancy Jackson
Divine Designs by Nancy
Sanford, N.C.

The chance to show your creativity is enhanced with parties and events. You often can go outside the box with your designs, putting your name on the forefront. Sometimes it is a challenge to find the props you need to express your design, so you get to be creative in making those. The reward is the kudos you receive from your customers and the recognition from their guests.
Jemi Adcock
Adcock Wedding & Event Florals
Benton, La.

I chose this niche because I love that I can give my clients my full attention since we are available only by appointment and can accommodate evenings and Sundays to help plan their events. Also, buying only the flowers that are already sold for each event reduces waste significantly, which helps tremendously with profit.
Melanie Burnett
Interior Gardens * florals unique *
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

I chose event floral design out of a love for creating the perfect atmosphere; it is extremely humbling to be a part of someone’s special event. Clients give you their utmost trust to create floral works of art that reflect themselves or the organization they represent, and serving them is rewarding in many ways. A challenge is that clients typically have no concept of what their event vision costs.
Amber Lanier
Designs by Amber Lanier
Wilmington, N.C.