Ever Been Asked To A "cattle Call" For An Event Pl

Business By jenmat Updated 22 Jan 2010 , 7:01pm by kiwigal81

jenmat Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 9:31pm
post #1 of 19

So I get this message from an event planner I have met a couple of times at some networking meetings. She has a couple who have showed interest in my cakes through my website, and as one of several they would like to meet with to discuss a possible cake.

This planner has a date, time, and location all set up and wants me to bring my materials and cake to her office and basically do a presentation for this bride and groom, kind of like a cattle call, or something you'd see on HGTV.
The date is this August, I already have two smaller weddings that weekend.

So, although I don't NEED the business, I am not technically booked either.
Has anyone ever done this? Its not like I need the business, but I don't want to appear uncooperative to this planner.

I've never worked with this planner before, but if I did, I'm not sure I want to make an hour trip every time she has a bride and groom who want to interview me and a bunch of others before they make their decision.

18 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 9:53pm
post #2 of 19

That is new to me and I'm not sure something I would be willing to do. So your looking at a 2 hour trip and that is an expense. Usually people come to meet the cake person, not the other way around. I guess it depends on how much you want the order. It would have to be a large order for me to drive that far and back. JMHO

cakesdivine Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 9:58pm
post #3 of 19

Yes, but didn't know it until I found out I was the last baker of the day, they had seen 7 others! I had no idea there were that many in my area. Some of course were "under the radar" cakers so I know my prices were probably a bit of sticker shock. They told me I had the best tasting cakes of the day and they loved my designs and the fact that I do most of the cakes at the venue. The planner of the venue told them they saved the best for last (while I was sitting there icon_smile.gif ) The design was a very basic BC cake with a few gumpaste callalillies, and a pearl border at the base of each cake. Since they didn't know how many people they would be inviting I could only hand them my pricing grid and chart of servings per tier shape/size. That was about 3 months ago. The wedding isn't until September and I was told they were going to book no more than 3 months out. I warned them that I book really early, but they were set in waiting. At this point I do still have their wanted date available, but have had 2 other brides contact me for samplings and that date. I only do one wedding a weekend day so, first come first served.

CakeForte Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 10:11pm
post #4 of 19

Yes I agree it would have to be a large order, and basically guaranteed meaning they're just designing the cake and picking flavors...not "seeing if they like you".

I suggest briefly explaining how your business process works.

There's not much else that bugs me than planners that try to tell me how to run my business.

minicuppie Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 10:31pm
post #5 of 19

This planner is trying to optimize her time. A lot of cakers hold one or two tastings every month and I suspect this is an "event" planning tool. Why not try it one time, totally WOW the planner and mention (after you have deposit in hand) that this was a courtesy and in future will be charging a fee for out of town tastings. OBTW...you could also let her know that it will be very confusing for B&G to taste 15 different cake/fillings in one day. I think this planner is trying to impress her clients by cracking the whip so they can see how high 7 cake designers can jump.

LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 10:59pm
post #6 of 19

I think you are dead on Minniecuppie. Planner,"See! I handle business! I run this!"

CakeForte Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 11:00pm
post #7 of 19

We all know that as soon as she says "future events will have a fee charged" the planner will just knock her off her list forever.

costumeczar Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 11:29pm
post #8 of 19

Oh h#!! no, I'm not going to go to a planner's office and parade cake in front of clients who are running through everyone in town. When a planner calls me and starts trying to arrange appointments I generally ask for the client's contact info so that I can deal with them directly. I don't want to have someone try to run interference, that just becomes too much back-and-forth.

jenmat Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 1:53am
post #9 of 19

I know, right? I'm thinking to myself, "how many other bakeries/bakers out there are going to take time out of their evening to run out to her HOUSE (yes, the planner wants me to come to her home) and "pitch" my services. I just wondered if that was normal.
Yes, it would be good PR to her, but do I really want someone who would expect me to drop everything to run to her house cake in hand, to beg for business?

jenmat Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 1:56am
post #10 of 19

So, do I tell her "I'm booked." or do I tell her "Sorry, I don't do house calls."????

LaBellaFlor Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 2:05am
post #11 of 19

Hmmm, thats a tuffy. I think I might go with, "To be able to provide free tastings, I require them to be conducted at my place, etc., etc." I'm never for the "I'm booked" line. If I met eveyone at their convience and at their local, especially an hour away, I would have to start charging.

newmansmom2004 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 2:28am
post #12 of 19

I'm with costumeczar on this one. You have a business to run and you stopped going on "interviews" when you started your business. If the bride and groom want to consider you, they schedule a tasting and/or meeting with YOU...not with a wedding planner who's calling in every bakery in town. The wedding planner (and possibly the bride and groom) think THEIR time is more important than yours and they can't be bothered to make time for individual tastings or meetings??? Yet they think nothing of asking you to come and sit around all day waiting for your turn to wow them??? Nope - - that doesn't fly.

OK, the more I think of this the more I find it offensive.

CakeForte Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 2:28am
post #13 of 19

Just explain that you would love to work with her (if you really do), but you meet several clients a day (just like she does maybe) so all consults need to be done at your facility. Special trips and such are reserved for existing clients.

or something along those lines.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 2:46am
post #14 of 19

If that's how you would normally run your business (the client coming to you for the tasting) then that's how you should treat these potential clients. Why do they get the preferred treatment of you coming to them?

And the event planner should know this is common practice.

all4cake Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 3:00am
post #15 of 19

As much as I'd like to honor you with a presentation, that isn't the way I conduct my business. If your clients are interested in a tasting, I deliver samples on Thursdays as long as they let me know their choices by 12p.m. Monday. I do not schedule consultations until AFTER they've decided they love my cake. They may reach me at (***) ***-**** or email me at ________@_______. c o m.

costumeczar Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 11:38am
post #16 of 19

I think that a lot of planners who are either just starting out, or who are total control freaks, want to have everything funnel through them so that the client doesn't have to "deal with details." I personally don't enjoy working with planners who are just starting out because they don't know what they're doing, and I'm the only one allowed to be a control freak in my world icon_twisted.gif

Anyway, When I get a planner who wants all contracts sent to her, not the client, or who tried to set up all appointments and doesn't give me the client's contact info, I just tell her that I need to speak to the client directly. Your contract is with the client, not the planner. The only times I've ever had trouble with planners were when they started trying to be the gatekeeper to the client.

jenmat Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 5:02pm
post #17 of 19

I found her email address and told her that although I would love to work with her, I just don't feel comfortable traveling and not offering her clients top-notch service.
She called me this morning to arrange a tasting on MY turf, and seemed happy to do it.
Thanks to all for reinforcing my initial reaction to her request! I don't always trust my knee jerk reactions to these kind of things, and I need another perspective to see if I'm really on the right track or just being petty, ya know?

newmansmom2004 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 6:01pm
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

I found her email address and told her that although I would love to work with her, I just don't feel comfortable traveling and not offering her clients top-notch service.
She called me this morning to arrange a tasting on MY turf, and seemed happy to do it.
Thanks to all for reinforcing my initial reaction to her request! I don't always trust my knee jerk reactions to these kind of things, and I need another perspective to see if I'm really on the right track or just being petty, ya know?




Hey that's great! Good for you - and now you can do what you do best on your terms. Congrats!

kiwigal81 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 7:01pm
post #19 of 19

I just can't get the whole planner thing, not done here much at all. But that sounded just offensive. I want to buy something, I go and meet the people and have a look. I don't expect a procession of, say, seamstresses to come and show me their skills. They love your cakes, they want your cakes, they come to your cakes seems more fair to me.

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