Venn diagrams can be very useful when it comes to explaining things in a very easy to understand way. This one, courtesy of Bud Caddell, caught my eye because it covers a situation that comes up a lot in the event industry. It's a very creative industry and one of the symptoms is that creativity can be client led - 'We saw your website and we were wondering if you could change your event to make it do this?'
This is a professional model. There is another circle that can bump around in unprofessional situations and it's called 'What We Don't Do Well', or 'What We've Never Done Before' as it can also be known. When that connects with 'What We Can Be Paid To Do' disaster often strikes.
In some ways this is a model that will be of more interest to other event companies. It brings 'What We Want To Do' into the business mix and that's not always what you're doing. That's a business development issue. Decide what you want to do, learn to do it better and work out how to monetise it.
The point in all of this that will be of interest to clients is the central 'Hooray!' You really want to be working with companies who are in that zone. Events are always important (or why bother?) and you get one chance to get it right, you can't come back tomorrow and fix the experience. You want to be working with a company who is in the hooray zone. So, how can you work out if they are?
If a company is in the hooray zone you will hear it in their tone when you brief them on what you want. If the event is important they will meet you and you will see it. They will be able to provide feedback from previous clients who have done something similar. Put them on the spot by asking them to talk you through the most similar event that they have run - it may be that what you're asking for is completely unique but a really experienced event organiser should be able to get close.
Companies with real experience have also learned to say no. Our promise is complete honesty when it comes to past experience - between what we know and who we know we will be able to either help ourselves or point you in the direction of someone who can.