Toll-Free 866-836-4617 |

WPIC’s February Instagram Contest



WPIC will be running a different Instagram contest each week in February to win some amazing prizes each and every week!

Contest 1– February 1-5, 2015
Contest 2– February 8-12, 2016
Contest 3– February 15-19, 2016
Contest 4– February 22-26, 2016

Every Monday at 10:15am on WPIC’s Instagram @WPICinc there will be a prize and contest announced.

STEP ONE: Do you follow us on Instagram? If not, follow us at @WPICInc

STEP TWO: Every Monday in February check out the new challenge.

STEP THREE: Complete the Instagram Challenge and post it on your Instagram account with the hashtag #WPICigContest

STEP FOUR: The winning photo will be posted on WPIC’s Instagram account on the Friday of that week

Contests will run from Monday 10:15am-Friday 10:15am.

Branding Your Business – The Importance of Standing out From the Crowd


By: Tracey Manailescu (As seen on the Event Source Blog)

We all know the basic fundamentals of having a brand: a great and easy to navigate website, tagline and logo, competitive pricing, valuable services, etc.

You are your business, and your business is you and it’s time to take it a bit further. By being authentic, having a presence on social media, knowing your target market and giving good customer service, you are creating a brand that you should feel great about.


Be your Authentic Self:

The best way to be authentic with your customers is to be true to your brand. You need to be communicating your brand clearly, consistently and continuously. Believe it or not, it‘s actually not that hard to stand out from the crowd.

We all have our own way of doing things based on situations and experiences that we have had over the course of our lifetime.  The things that we believe in, the way we handle difficult clients, tricky situations, deadlines and customer service; it all comes down to our own individual strengths and weaknesses. Take a good hard look at both of these things, and put your strengths into play. Not so sure about what your strengths and weaknesses are? Ask your past clients, good friends, trusted family members and industry colleagues about what they see as your best attributes, skills and things you need to work on. Keep in mind that you don’t want just anyone to be ripping you apart; this is supposed to be eye-opening and helpful, after all. After they have chewed you up and spit you out, really think about it and listen to what they have to tell you, and make changes as you see fit.

Social Media:

Social media can be an excellent source for branding, and a great tool for marketing your business to the wedding and events industry. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, blogging and Google+ are available free to you to share your products, services and personality with existing and potential clients. Use them to show glimpses of what goes on in your business and what you do on a regular basis with the use of photos, things you discuss, your comments, and interact with your followers. Share positive feedback from past clients, show photos of you with your clients, photos of yourself and your team working at a wedding or event, share exciting news about your company, share behind the scenes photos at weddings and events, etc.

*70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles than ads.

Know Your Target Market:

Who are your clients? You need to know who you are talking to with your marketing.  What age are they, what is their average household income?  Where do they live? What are they willing to spend on your service or product? What is their style? Everything you do with your business should be aimed at them. You need to understand your target market and be able to give them what they want and need. When you know and understand this, then you can look at where these potential clients are looking online and off, to find your type of services.

Give Good Customer Service:

This should be your company’s priority. Our businesses are built on personal interactions and client expectations. The best advice I can give on this subject is to put yourself in the position of your clients.  What would make you feel good about working with your company? Are you making your clients feel special, that they are important to you, and that you care and are passionate about your service? Are you listening and finding a solution to their concerns and problems? If you have had complaints in the past, did you own up to the mistakes? Did you learn from them? What can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen again? Be professional, prompt, know your industry and product, under promise and over deliver, understand what your clients want and need from you, listen, and make sure you understand exactly what it is they want from you, and make your clients satisfaction a priority.

**70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.


*Ann Handley


10 Tips for a Good Branding Selfie

By: Tracey Manailescu, Kaley Campbell and input from Danielle Andrews Sunkel

WPIC Office Manager Kaley Campbell and I decided that we needed a coffee fix yesterday morning. So we bundled up because it was super duper chilly, and were all ready to go when Kaley said, “Let’s grab the WPIC sign and sneak a photo” (as she always does).  Then we thought, hey let’s make it even more interesting, and bring the WPIC mugs to spice it up a bit, LOL! So that is what we did.


We were able to snap some pretty darned cute ones, as well as facing some selfie challenges along the way.  Eeek!  Thank goodness a random stranger and his pal helped us out for two of the photos! So tons of spilled coffee, odd angles and weird facial expressions later, we thought we would share some of the photos with you here.


Selfie Tips:

  1. Hold the camera just above eye level for the most flattering view.
  2. Have natural lighting.  Outdoors is best or move by a window.
  3. Choose a background that won’t take the focus off of you.
  4. Take lots of photos so you have a variety to choose from.
  5. Take tons of different photos with various angles and lighting.
  6. Being off centre can add more interest.
  7. Get over the embarrassment of taking a selfie.  Almost everyone does them.
  8. Don’t be afraid to show your personality, because you are your brand.
  9. The more you practice the better you will get at taking selfies (ie. Making sure props are facing the camera).
  10. Photos are much more human and interesting to others when you mix them up with a personal touch.

Schedule Success Into Your Daily Routine


By: Tracey Manailescu

Think about your morning routine. Is it conducive to getting work done? There is nothing wrong with catching up on your social media platforms while enjoying a morning coffee. What happened with our family and friends over the weekend, as well as seeing what’s new within the wedding industry and with our colleagues can be quite entertaining. Don’t knock it. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable! But once that coffee is finished should come the transition to getting into work mode.

to do list

Have a To-Do List: I believe in the power of lists. They really do work! Have a daily list AND a weekly list.  It can be on your smartphone, whiteboard or written down in your awesome new agenda. It just has to be accessible. This makes it much easier to tackle important (or mundane) things that you just can’t get away from. If it is written down, then it’s much easier to remember and will be top of mind. Take the bigger challenges and break them down into smaller ones. Check them off as you go through them.  This way you can keep an eye on all of the things you accomplished that week (just when you thought it was a complete bust). It feels pretty good, too! I find that starting with the most difficult challenges on your “to do’ list makes it easier to power through to the next (otherwise I am just thinking about that one, anyways).

Stop Talking About How Busy you Are, and Get to Work: Some people love to talk about how busy they are, whether it is a post on Facebook, Twitter or in person. It drives me a bit batty.  Newsflash: Everyone is busy. If you really are feeling overwhelmed, then maybe it’s time to look at hiring someone to help you out a few hours or days a week. The more you focus on how much there is to do, makes it harder to actually get to it.

Have Realistic Expectations of Yourself: Know when you need to take a break.  They say for optimal brain power, you should work for an hour, and take a 20 minute break in between the next hour of work. This might be a bit excessive, but what about a quick stretch, pick up the phone for a quick phone call to a friend, go grab a tea or coffee, or take a social media break (check your instagram and Facebook) or take the do for a walk.

Don’t Allow Yourself to become Side-Tracked: This is my downfall for sure!  It’s like “squirrel” for those of you who have watched “Up” and “The Emperor’s New Groove”. Resist the urge to look into something that can wait until next week. Tackle that bog that is scheduled for tomorrow, finish that timeline, call those vendors, and book that appointment for your couple now.

De-Clutter Your Space: Having a clean, simplified and dedicated work space is really a wonderful thing. When I see my desk and office piled up with boxes, magazines, papers, invoices, etc. I get stressed out big-time. Just ask the lovely ladies that I work with (Kaley and Danielle) LOL! Clearing distractions and clutter from your work space can really help you get into the zone.

family skating

Take Time For You (and Your Family): It doesn’t have to mean taking off an entire afternoon or evening. It can be a half hour out of your day. Just long enough to unwind and make a memory. Book a manicure/pedicure, go for coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, go to the gym. It can be playing a board game with your kids, building a snowman, going for a walk and stopping in for a surprise hot chocolate together. Haven’t started reading that great new book you got over the holidays? Start it tonight. Little things are what make the most impact anyways, right?

What are some things that help you get into business mode?

WPIC Year in Review: 2015

WARNING: At WPIC, we love our photos, so prepare for a bunch of photos and video 😉

Every year, we at WPIC, start writing about the year past, and every year we are amazed at just how much fabulous we can pack into 365 days!

We now have over 6,500 WPIC Alumni all around the world, including: Canada, USA, Mexico, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbuda, Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, England, France, Brussels, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, Sweden, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Ghana, Nigeria, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, and more!

We started the year off with an International Class held in Jamaica, at Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, lead by WPIC Instructor Monica Caesar.

Our WPIC class at Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Our WPIC class at Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

The lovely class break hosted by Couples Resorts

The lovely class break hosted by Couples Resorts

For the last few years WPICers have started the year off with the “WPIC Kickoff”, an event put together by our WPIC Regional Representatives.  2015’s theme was “Be Bold” and our Reps didn’t disappoint! Check out the video courtesy of EventSource.

See more photos and the complete write-up here. 2016’s Kick-off promises to be amazing!

At the Kickoff, we said we were going to focus on featuring our WPIC Alumni, their events and accomplishments.  Our Alumni have given us tons to gush about!

Within our “Featuring You Campaign” we launched the hashtag #LifeofaWPICWeddingPlanner for Twitter and Instagram.  Alumni can tag their photos of events and we might repost it on our WPIC Instagram feed @WPICinc.  We have also featured many events and weddings here on the WPIC Blog.

In March, WPIC Co-founders Danielle and Tracey participated in the Hong Kong Overseas Wedding Show!

While out for a morning walk along the streets of Hong Kong, they were thrilled to see the WPIC Logo go by on a city bus and then found it at a bus stop when they were walking by.  What an exciting surprise!!


We brought WPIC Alumni, Janis Martinello of Brocade Events, on as our WPIC Regional Representative Manager to help oversee the WPIC Regional Representatives and help provide stellar Professional Development Events for our Alumni.


Janis Martinello of and WPIC Regional Representative Manager Photo by

We also held our Wedding Pro Workshop in Calgary at the end of March.

Wedding Pro Workshop Calgary

Photo by

See our recap Blog of this amazing two-day event here.

In April, we sponsored The Wedding Lounge at the Canada Special Event Conference featuring Youngsong Martin from Wildflower Linens and Renee Strauss of Beverly Hills Bride fame.


In June we took 11 Destination Wedding Coordinators with us to visit the Couples Resorts in Jamaica.



Watch the Video shot by Rohan Laylor of Phat Dog Visuals and edited by Wedding Films Toronto below.

Co-founders Tracey and Danielle then flew to Barbados to deliver an International Wedding Consultant and Coordinator Certification class at Ocean Two.


During the summer, we had a custom Swarovski crystal-encrusted WPIC sign created for us by Love Letters by Elite Designs.  WPIC Office Manager, Kaley Campbell, obviously loved the sign and insisted on bringing it everywhere.  We posted the photos of her and the sign in some strange places, on our Instagram account @WPICinc.


“We don’t know why she brings the WPIC sign everywhere! LOL”

In July, we took over the studios at Phat Dog Visuals and had a “WPIC Office Design Challenge.”  We each were assigned a chair flower and given $150 to design a theme around that flower, using similar elements.  Our Alumni and Blog readers then voted on their favourite design.

Read the Blog about the Challenge to see the full designs and then the Results Blog.

One Table, Three Looks

One Table, Three Looks

Early in August, WPIC Co-founders Tracey Manailescu and Danielle Andrews Sunkel, went onsite at Jewel Resort’s Runaway Bay location to train and certify the wedding and event staff at all of the Jewel Resorts, as well as the Hilton Rose Hall Spa Resort.

The wonderful group at Jewel Resorts & Hilton Rose Hall during their WPIC Certification Training

The wonderful group at Jewel Resorts during their WPIC Certification Training

Also in August, we held a fantastic Destination Wedding Specialist Certification class, followed by a pool party at the Radisson Admiral Hotel in Toronto.  The pool party was a major success to cap off the event thanks to D & W Entertainment.  Check out some of the photos of the event courtesy of A. Vision Studios or visit their Facebook page to see all of the photos.


Just some of the Destination Wedding Professionals in attendance. Photo by


We had to get a photo with some of our Alumni with the WPIC sign in front of the iconic CN Tower. Photo by


Devon John of D & W Entertainment Group Photo by

September is always a very busy month for us at WPIC, and this September was no different.  Co-Founders Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu were not only speakers for the 8th time at the Wedding MBA Convention in Las Vegas, but they also MC’d and managed the new Wedding Planner Track breakouts.

 We've just finished our 2nd seminar on "International Wedding Trends" at #weddingmba in Las Vegas. The awesome Colleen Ashton presented us with lei's Fed Ex'ed for our presentation all of the way from Hawaii! #WPIC

WPIC Cofounders, Tracey and Danielle, with WPIC Alum, Colleen Ashton of They had just finished their 2nd seminar on “International Wedding Trends” at Wedding MBA in Las Vegas. Colleen presented T & D with lei’s Fed Ex’ed for their presentation all of the way from Hawaii!

Before the conference ended in Las Vegas, Danielle and Tracey were on a plane to Jamaica to speak at the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference for the second year.


WPIC Instructor and Destination Wedding Planning Guru, Monica Caesar of Aisle Plan Your Day, was also a speaker at the Conference.

WPIC Instructor Monica Caesar speaking at the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference.

WPIC Instructor Monica Caesar speaking at the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference.

They then taught a Wedding Consultant and Coordinator Certification course at the Couples Swept Away Resort.


Our students from Jamaica, England, USA and Canada!

A week later WPIC held its Semi-Annual “Working Head Shot Extravaganza.” This is a chance for our Alumni to get amazing photos by professional photographer for their website and Social Media pages. Over 30 vendors came together to create stunning backdrops for our Alumni. See this phenomenal video by Tom Sokalski of Wedding Films Toronto showcasing the event.

December means the Love Mexico Conference for WPIC.  Each year we are proud supporters of this amazing event in which many WPIC Alumni always attend.  This year we were extra proud because two WPIC Alumni were also speakers at the Conference!  Paras Mehta delivered a fabulous seminar about Destaintion Wedding Decor and Jamie Valdes-Reich sat on a panel for Destination Wedding Travel Agents.  Danielle and Tracey were thrilled to present the 2-hour seminar, “Anatomy of Destination Wedding Planning” to a stand room-only group, along with Deborah Moody, Executive Director of the ACPWC.



After Love Mexico, Danielle and Tracey stayed on in the Riviera Maya to facilitate the 4th WPIC training and certification of the Palace Resorts Wedding department.

The fabulous students in our 4th Palace Resorts class!

The fabulous students in our 4th class at Palace Resorts!

We are always striving to improve our courses & Alumni Association, and 2016 will be no different.  We have FAM trips, specialized classes, professional development events and course improvements planned and scheduled.

Event Lighting Trends in 2016

by Audrey Isaac,

With 2016 right around the corner and Pantone color announced, it’s an exciting time for all event industry professionals as we get into gear to welcome in a new year of trends. When you hear the word ‘trends,’ your head is surely filled with images of mason jars, chalkboards, and many other décor-related pieces. However, lighting is another facet that cycles through ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s not.’

2015 was the year of chandeliers and Edison light bulbs – those gems were lighting up dance floors from coast to coast. So, what exactly is in store for the New Year? Let’s take a look.


Green Lighting
Going “green” with environmentally conscious décor has been popular for some time, but we’re just now starting to see the eco-friendly push into the lighting aspect. While battery-operated candles are naturally ‘green,’ some couples find it hard to give up the warm glow of a natural wax candle.

Come to their rescue with just the answer – soy and beeswax candles are especially clean, as they come from a renewable source. In fact, beeswax candles even clean the air with negative ions! If your clients are looking to take advantage of green candles, opt for a cotton or wood wick for the cleanest burn.

Above and Beyond
More and more, couples want to dazzle their guests upon entering the event space and what better way than to really amp up the lighting effects? Popular options for bold lighting effects that ‘wow’ include uplighting, patterned gobo washes, and monogram washes. Each of these adds an extra special touch to their big day and will be sure to create the perfect atmosphere for your celebration.

LED string lightstring rose light

String Along
LED string lights have always been a popular option due to their affordability, but couples are beginning to become more creative with their bistro lights throughout the event space. Whether indoors or outdoors, string lights aren’t just for running across a tent or grouping of trees. Weave simple string lights through greenery for a glowing effect or, rather than stretching them out, coil up a strand for a dynamic feel at the bar or on the cake table. The possibilities are endless!

Trends are especially useful in the wedding industry, as couples tend to stay up-to-date with what’s ‘in’ and will often want to incorporate the hottest styles. As Pantone unveils its color of the year and numerous style guides start sharing the latest in wedding fashion, it’s especially prudent for wedding professionals to take upcoming trends into account.

Audrey Isaac is the spokesperson for, an online market that pairs high quality candles with unmatched customer service. From weddings and birthdays to holiday parties and fundraisers has enjoyed celebrating life’s biggest moments along with their customers since 2002.

Christmas Wonderland Inspirational Shoot

Submitted by WPIC alumni, Amanda Douglas of Amanda Douglas Events

OK, who doesn’t love Christmas? The presence, delicious food, the colours, lights, music, and of course celebrating with family and friends.

We wanted to put together a photo shoot, and tablescape, that captured some of those fun and whimsical elements of Christmas. Most people think of the traditional Christmas being lots of red and gold. We want to change it up a little bit and bring in some more unexpected colours.

Photo: Sunny S-H Photography

Photo: Sunny S-H Photography

The rich sugar plum purple, mixed with deep metallic red, and the neutral of the kraft paper really made the table pop. And of course presents, why not presents on the table? Doing this at a dinner party, and having fun grab gets in the middle of the table, would be a fun surprise for any guest to encounter.

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Of course, one of the really exciting things about Christmas is decorating the tree, so why not decorate the table with some of your extra ornaments? And there’s always the candy and sweets. So instead of the typical party favour, or place cards and menus you put something sweet at each place setting.

To make this table just a touch more chic we added accents of gold through the cutlery, decorations, and of course some of the stationary.

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography


Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography

Sunny S-H Photography


Because Christmas is one of our favourite holidays, and it should be just a little over the top, we did a fun Christmas Wonderland photo shoot.

A big thanks to all of the talented vendors that brought it all together:

Photography: Sunny S-H Photography 

Styling/Design: Amanda Douglas Events 

Hair: Hair by Randi

Floral: Oak & Lily 

Dress: Bliss Bridal Boutique 

Jewelry/Fur: Amanda Douglas Events

Location: The Gates on Roblin 

Makeup: 2 Chicks and a Bag of Makeup 

Linens/Chairs: Planned Perfectly 

8 Tips to Make your Instagram Prettier with Flat Lays

Flat lays IG

Photo by

Photo by

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

If you are on Instagram and follow anyone in the Wedding Industry, then you have seen the pretty, staged photos called Flat Lays.

Everyone is posting them and getting tons of likes for their trouble.  The reason is, they are just so darn pretty!

If you would like to get more attention and likes on Instagram, you should consider creating some Flat Lays of your own.  I have composed a list of 8 tips for creating Flat Lays and included a few photos photos below.

Here are some tips to create a Flat Lay and be a SmartPhoneographer in your own right:

  1. Background– The easiest way to create a Flat Lay is by laying everything out on your floor but unless you have a fabulous floor, you are going to need to use a white board, wrapping paper, bristol board or a sheet.  White or plain backgrounds look the best as they don’t take any attention away from the subject.
  2. Lighting– Natural light works best.  Set up your Flat Lay near a window with lots of natural light streaming in, or fake it with a diffused light right on your subject matter.  Make sure there aren’t any shadows in your photo.
  3. Positioning– Position your items in a visually appealing way.  Do you want everything straight up and down, or a few things at an artistic angle?  Make sure there is order to the chaos, you don’t want your image to look messy or too busy.
  4. Props– a few bright, colouful or fun props add whimsy to your Flat Lay and make it more interesting.
  5. Keep Subject in a Square– Make sure the main items you want to show will still be visible in the Instagram Square.  Better yet, take the photo in the square setting.
  6. Cropping–  Don’t worry about getting closeup when you are taking the photo, take it from further away and then play with the cropping when you edit the photo.
  7. Camera Apps- Up your Smartphone camera game by using a Photography App: Camera+, Photoshop Express, and Aviary are just a few.
  8. Smartphone Lenses– You can purchase accessory clip on lenses for your phone like, Macro, Wide-angle and Fish Eye.

Here are some more examples of Flat Lays:

You can also find more inspiration of Flat Lays by doing a search of #flatlays on Instagram.

Have fun, get creative, and show your style!

Real Wedding of John and Trevor

WPIC alumni, Trevor Frankfort of Trevents shares his very own amazing wedding with us.  You do not want to skip past this one…

We have waiting forever it seems, to get our hands on this super sweet, fun and romantic wedding.  Congratulations to you both, and thank you for allowing us to share your special day on our blog!

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

June 26, 2015. Our officiant arrived at our condo early in the morning to marry us in front of our 2 witnesses (2 of our best friends). We were married in our pyjamas sipping coffee in our kitchen. We kept this a secret along with all the information about our actual “ceremony” that was going to happen later that evening. Even our parents didn’t know what we had planned.

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

The weather outside was perfect for our beautiful photoshoot in a graffiti filled laneway in Little Italy, Toronto. We were joined by our “groomsmaids” and immediate family for more pics and then proceeded to enjoy a delicious 3 course meal in the private dining room at Bar Italia. We listened to our groomsmaids speeches and shared laughter and tears with our wine and meals.

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Even though we were secretly married earlier at home,  after being together for nearly 11 years our guests were expecting to see us tie the knot. The rest of our friends and family arrived after dinner to witness our “ceremony” which we helmed as the #secretweddingproject. What we had in store for them was epic.

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

When we got engaged we agreed that we didn’t want our wedding to feel like any other wedding so we came up with the #secretweddingproject

Our guests had no idea that they were about to witness a wedding officiated by Cher, Madonna & Joan Rivers (directly from heaven) all via skype (A Drag Queen of course).  After the #secretweddingproject the bar was open and the hors d’houvres flowed through the crowd. The music began and the dancing didn’t stop until 2am.

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Danielle Matar Photography

Our wedding was perfect. Everything went off without a hitch. We had so much fun. We wanted our wedding to be memorable and entertaining. We succeeded.

See the preview video here (Warning: language):

or watch the entire ceremony here (Warning: language):

Wedding Planner: Trevents
Venue: Bar Italia
Flowers: J’adore Floral Boutique
Décor: Oudalova Events & Design
Photography: Danielle Matar Photography 
Cupcakes: Nina’s Cupcakes 
Favours: Demo Soap 
Suits: Topman 
Drag Queen Officiant: Charlie Hides 
Officiant: Alex Rajak of Wedding Heaven 


5 Must-Dos When a Colleague Recommends You

by Dalal Saikali, WPICC, of ÀPropos Productions, and WPIC Ottawa Regional Representative

Doesn’t it feel great to get a call or email from an unsolicited couple sent to you by a fellow planner who is unavailable? Not only does it mean potential business, but it’s also a nice show of confidence from an industry insider. Here’s how to make the most of it.

Got Referred_

1. Be prompt

Answer the query as soon as you can. Not only does it show that you’re on top of your game, but it also puts your best foot forward right at the start of the relationship with this would-be client. Remember, they wanted your fellow planner/colleague, not you, so you do have something to prove, here.

2. Be selective

Be aware of any landmines in this prospective contract. Make sure you get all the details and look out for potential issues that another planner may have chosen to pass on.

But more importantly, you and your business have your own personality and style. It may not match your fellow planner’s and that’s who this potential client approached first. Listen carefully to what they want and be realistic about whether you can meet their particular expectations, or not. And it’s ok if the answer is “not”. Different doesn’t mean better or worse.

3. Be clear

Once you’ve assessed your business style versus the clients’ needs, just be honest with them, and explain exactly what they’re going to get. Yes, you would normally do that anyway, but when you get a referral from another planner, do it even more consciously. Make sure that they understand your services through your explanation, not only through that of your nice fellow planner, who probably had wonderful things to say about you. Disappointment happens when expectations don’t match reality.

4. Be professional

Advise your colleague right away that the potential client has gotten in touch.

Treat your referral with kit gloves. You definitely want the planner to be rewarded for her or his generosity, not disappointed by it. You want them to say: “Wow, I’m so glad that SoAndSo was professional with someone I referred them to. I can now trust them, and do it again.” Don’t forget that they are taking a chance on you, and staking their professional credibility on the treatment you’re going to give their contact.

Never, ever, in a million years, say anything that isn’t positive about your fellow planner. Even if the opportunity presents itself. Even if the client asks for your opinion. And, yes, even if you’re baited. Always opt for the positive twist. If you’re stuck, turn it towards what you know and control. For example, you can say: “I’m not sure how others do it, but this is what I do…” Do not fall into the trap of bad-talking others in your industry. Stay positive, because anything below neutrality makes you sound untrustworthy. Besides, you’re classier than that!


5. Be Grateful

Think of it: Out of all of the planners that this person could have thought of, they acted in your favour. That’s a real measure of trust between professionals and if you don’t say thank you, you don’t deserve that kind of trust. Why not send a thank you note to the planner, at the least? Maybe even a card or some chocolates. It doesn’t have to dig into your overhead, but gratitude is the saving grace of industry relations.

Remember: What’s good for me is good for the industry, and what’s good for the industry is good for me.

Happy December, and may 2016 find you with health, success and joy!



Dalal Saikali, WPICC, is the pricipal planner at ÀPropos Productions, and serves as the WPIC Ottawa Regional Representative.

After serving Parliament and working in publishing, Dalal now takes on, at different capacities, full-scale event logistics projects such as: