Expectation can be damaging, especially in the entertainment industry. You promise to blow minds and defy belief. You incite extreme excitement.
You are not doing yourself any favours here; it’s a year-end function, a 21st, a 50th or a wedding. EVERYTHING must be perfect and the client is so stressed that they’re physically incapable of enjoying the party. And remember: you’ve already promised them the world.
Inevitably, things go wrong. Someone fails to deliver. The supplier defaults. The middleman miscommunicates. The result is an uncomfortable customer. An angry customer. A disappointed customer.
“And who wants that? Not me!” quips Nina van Deventer. “Tell them it’ll be ready in a timeframe that gives you room for mishaps. The plan never goes the way it should. The difference between failure and success is often how you manage that.”
“Minimise risk by having your foundations in place. Have a plan. Have structure. Knowing where to go is one thing, but knowing how to get there is something else entirely. Get people doing jobs they are good at. Let them know their role and responsibility.”
Nina founded her events coordination enterprise two years ago after over a decade in the industry. “I learnt what I could but to reach my goals and find fulfilment, I needed to go on my own.”
And what a journey it’s been. Call it a cliche, but Nina’s advice rings true; “find something that you love and make money from it. Then you never have to work a day in your life! You’ll be busy, but you’re okay with that.”
And how do you make sure to overdeliver?
“Simple!” Nina explains. “Tell them to expect the quote tomorrow, then get it to them the same day. Create a reasonable level of expectation, then impress them by beating it.”
For businesspeople operating in Nina’s domain, the temptation is to clinch the deal with a flawless sales pitch, often riddled with premature promises. Yet here she is, in a position to set reasonable expectations and then deliver outstanding service.
“Communication is crucial. Never leave anyone in the dark. An uneasy client is an unhappy client. Service, service, service. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire. Use that. Casual references are very important.”
Nina is always busy. I should have anticipated her response when I asked her to mention anything both imminent and exciting.
“Too much!” she exclaims from behind an excited grin. “I’m most excited about the recent acquisition of a gorgeous villa on Clifton 1st. It’s outrageous luxury: five stories, each effectively an independent apartment. The penthouse is at the bottom because of the wraparound pool and direct beach access. It’s ridiculous. Staggering.
Normally, it’s a place that only the absolute elite can access. The people that don’t need to ask the price of anything. We make the villa more accessible, at least for an evening.”
And plans for the future?
“We’re growing and things are good. I can barely cope with enquiries, which allows me to be selective when choosing clients. That’s where anyone in my position wants to be. We’re going to focus a little more on shoots and accommodation, but a lekker wedding or party is always a pleasure to be involved in.”
For more information visit her website NVD Property & Project Management