Informational Interview

March 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm (PRCA 3711) ()

I interviewed a woman named Claudia Sasser for my project. She is a business graduate from University of Georgia. Claudia is a woman who is relatively new to the wedding planning business. She is the meeting and events manager from her self-owned company Claudia Sasser Events. I met Claudia through my mother; they used to coach gymnastics together. She was kind enough to participate in a phone interview with me. My interview with her was very insightful and taught me a lot about the industry. I found the interview to be especially informative since I am interested in a career in event or wedding planning. I learned how difficult it is to get started and just how important social networking really is for this career choice.

What’s a typical work week like? Well work is slow right now since I am just getting started and I have a very young daughter. Right now I really have to do most of my work around her schedule. I am working independently so right now I am just researching a lot of the time and trying to get my name out there.

Can you tell me about a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of? I have been really proud of the fact that with all the weddings I have planned I was able to stay within the client’s budget. It is a lot more difficult to stay within budget than most people would think.

How important is writing in your career? Writing is actually very important. I have to e-mail back and forth a lot with vendors. And I have to be able to know how to get the price I want. I also have to write to try and make my name known.

What 3 tips would you offer someone who is just starting out? I would say that you need to be ready to put in a lot of time. You need a lot of patience. And you really need to know your market, the ages and the demographics you’re trying to appeal to along with what type of events you want to do.

What do you do to keep current with the industry? I subscribe to several websites for even planners, along with magazines. There are several workshops offered that can help give you experience. One woman in particular that I have taken some workshops with and really learned a lot from is Natalie Bradley. http://www.nataliebradley.com/Home.html I talk to other planners and I also read a lot of books about planning. One book I have found especially helpful is “Southern weddings” by Tara Guerard http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Weddings-New-Looks-South/dp/0941711935

Did your education prepare you for your work? Well, I graduated from the University of Georgia with a business degree so I didn’t have any courses that specialized in this type of work. However, business skills have definitely benefited.

What has surprised you most about your work? The liability involved. It is very important that you have a lawyer in order to protect yourself. They will help you compose a contract with your clients that will ensure you don’t lose money or put time into a wedding just to have it cancelled. An example of how having protection is if the guests were to get food poisoning from the food served at the wedding. Although it is the caterer who served the food, you are the one who hired the caterer.

How has technology affected your daily work? I am constantly on the computer as well as the phone. Whether it is to research, or e-mail vendors or book locations, I am always using technology in my work. It is something that is needed every day.

What is your most or least favorite part of your job? Surprisingly, I really enjoy the stress of it all. I love the feeling I get with managing an entire project. Luckily, I haven’t yet come across something I dislike that much about my job.

 

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