Beau Events spent the afternoon of April 29th presenting its business and industry insights to a group of degree students at Loughborough College. The students are studying a Foundation Degree in Business Management, Events Management & Hospitality Management, and their lecturer, Shabana Sumra (PGCE, MSc, BA(Hons)), HE Lecturer in Business, Events & Tourism Management invited Beau Events in to meet the students and to give a presentation.
Prepared for any eventuality, the Beau Events team of Mark Flint and Fiona Hume went to the college with samples, pictures, latest style examples, lots of stories and of course the presentation.
The students range in career aspirations from Wedding Planners to Festival Organisers, with varying levels of hands-on events business experience. Despite their variety, we were asked many interesting questions which helped us think about Beau Events in interesting ways. We dealt with questions both specific to Beau Events as well as the wider field of events management.
Here are a few of the interesting questions raised:-
Q: Do you use specific team members for specific fittings?
A: All our team are trained to the same high levels and could be used for any event. However, some of the team are only available on weekends and so midweek events tend to use a subset of the team.
Q: Do client expectations and the price people are prepared to pay vary by region?
A: All our clients want their event to be the best for them. When looking for suppliers, prices may vary by region due to the local cost of living. Prices vary by supplier within a region due to competition levels, the range of services provided and at what level. Regardless of the price paid, the client expects the best outcome on the day, but sadly we have heard of many sorry tales where an apparently cheap supplier cuts corners and badly fails to meet client expectations.
We tend to work with high quality venues and so our clients expect a high level of service. For example colour matching and fabric choice is important as well as excellent service delivery on the day. We generally find that the level of client expectation tends to increase with the quality level of the venue, but not always. We actually provide the same high level of service to all our clients regardless of venue or event size or style.
Q: Do you have days off or holidays?
A: Beau Events operates seven days a week. When we are not fitting events you will find us collecting items, laundering, re-stocking and manufacturing additional stock and custom-made items. It’s been a long time since we were able to have a holiday since we have too many events each week to be able to shut down or rely entirely on our fitting team.
Q: Do you charge extra for the first person to have something new?
A: Generally no as someone has to be first! Our price remains the same for the first client of a new fabric colour as it does for subsequent clients. The company invests in the manufacturing of the new items and once used, we expertly launder all our items meaning that they look and behave as good as new for each and every client. For something particularly unique we might offer to take on the event at a price that reflects the unlikely re-use of the special items.
Q: Do you find you are making less stock now because you already have things made up which you can re-use?
A: Yes, our manufacturing levels are changing from constantly making new colours to making additional quantities of popular colours and making bespoke items for the colour range. As new colours come along we make those too.
Q: If your ideal wedding client has 70-120 guests, would you not do a wedding for 500 guests?
A: We would consider the logistics and resources carefully before committing to a large event such as 500 guests. We would need to ensure that we have sufficient stock available, taking into consideration other booked events also wanting the same stock within a short time scale of this event; we would need to check the availability of the fitting team required to dress the event in the time slot required (a shorter slot requires more people to get it done in time); if additional items were required to be manufactured we would need to make sure we could obtain the raw materials and be able to schedule in the manufacturing of the items in time for the event. In summary, we would ensure we could deliver the event to the normal high standards expected of us before agreeing to go ahead.
Following the presentation course lecturer Shabana Sumra sent Beau Events a note:
I just want to take this opportunity to thank you and Fi for coming up and sharing your ideas and experiences with our students. They found your presentation really useful and the they have requested for more guest speakers such as yourselves. You clearly wowed them with the chair covers and ipads, it was really useful, I might even borrow a few of your techniques and embed them into my lessons.
I do hope you can visit us next year with the new cohort and inspire a new generation of wedding planners. If we can help in any way please do let us know.
We have agreed to meet with and present to next year’s students of this course, probably earlier in the academic year.