This past week, we were lucky enough to have party planner Marcy Blum join us for one of our monthly members-only Maroo webinars! A pioneer in the weddings and events industry with over 35 years of experience, Marcy got candid with us–from sharing her advice for those just starting out, providing insights as to how she runs her seamless (and FUN!) events, offering business advice, and so much more. Did you miss it? Don’t worry! The replay will be available (for members-only) until the end of July. Here are some quick takeaways from the chat!
- Know your client
It sounds simple but this was by far one of Marcy’s top takeaways. Marcy says she sees herself as her client’s biggest advocate. That said: “It's not your job to force educate your client,” she adds. Instead, she listens and then looks to help shape their desires into something truly elevated. For example, “If the client is adamant about a1940s band ensemble being at the party, rather than fight it I’ll suggest something to make it cohesive,” she says. In the case of a 40s band request? She says she’d probably suggest designing a 1940s Big Band night complete with era-appropriate dress codes, entertainment, and 40s branding elements throughout.
- Have the right team positioned in the right places
It’s never just Marcy or Marcy and an assistant at her events. Marcy Blum has a large team that works with her on-site at all events. Her general rule of thumb: 6-10 team members per 100 guests. This guarantees that guests can always easily identify someone to help answer a question, handle any type of issue, and help direct guests into the next space without any confusion. Another big tip from Marcy: Understand that your team members all come with varying strengths. Marcy suggests identifying the strengths of each team member first and then assigning them to roles that play into their natural personalities. The type-A personality who is known for double- and triple-checking everything? Put them on seating and escort cards. The friendly and calming energy? Often best with the couple or a stressed mom!
- Communicate effectively
This one ties back to the first takeaway but it stands as one of her top takeaways. “Communicate with people the way they want to be communicated with,” Marcy advises. For example, if her clients want to text, she will send text messages. If others like email, she will email them. DMs on Instagram are fair games too.
- Go shopping with your couples
Unlike many planners, Marcy actually heads up the attire shopping trips for the couple. That goes for dress shopping and tux and formalwear shopping as well. “A shopping experience is a first-hand insight into someone’s psyche,” she explains. As she put it, being there for the attire shopping is a great way to get a better understanding as to who her clients really are. She’s able to watch how decisions are made, she gets a real sense as to where they fall in terms of style (which often helps her on the event design), and she’s able to truly bond with her clients. Also good to know: Because Marcy’s business operates on a percentage model, she does not charge her percentage on the shopping and clothing!
- The tablescape should be functional – not just pretty
As she told us in the webinar, Marcy loves tabletops and it’s one of her favorite parts of her job. But to Marcy the tabletop should not only focus on the pretty, it should be entirely tailored to the event and the dining experience. In this way, Marcy uses her culinary background (she studied formally!) to carefully and meticulously curate her tabletops. Examples she gave: the wine glasses should be carefully chosen for the wines being served and the silverware and china should be selected in relation to the menu and foods (not just the aesthetic!). Oh, and one thing you’ll never find at a Marcy Blum event? Colored wine glasses!
If you’re a member of Maroo, you’ll be able to watch the replay until the end of July! Not a member yet? Sign up for Maroo and get access to the simplest payments platform designed for wedding & event pros as well as our exclusive content!