Friday, October 24, 2008

Kickbacks=Unethical

When I formed In Any Event two years ago, I made an important decision for the firm. That decision was to never... ever... under any circumstances... accept vendor kick-backs. I think they're wrong. I think they do a disservice to the client. And I think they disgrace the industry.

Those not in the field may not know what a kick-back is. Well, simply put, it's when a vendor gives you, let's say, a 10% discount on goods and services that you can pocket for doing business with them. Or, it's when a vendor says, I'll give you 'x' amount of dollars as a 'thank you' for your business. It's Wrong...with a capital 'W!'

Our policy is pretty cut and dry. If you want to give us a discount on your goods and services, we're going to pass that savings right on to the client. No if's, and's or but's about it. It's the way we do business because it's fair and just and the way it should be done!

As you might be able to tell, this topic has me hot under the collar right now. Because it's so prevalent in the industry, many people assume that all event planners do this. Not this one. This one will never do that. And she will yell it from the mountain tops for everyone to hear!

~Jodi

3 comments:

Jen Kroll said...

Amen sister. I couldn't agree with you more. This is taking advantage of a client in the worst way possible. The client's best interest is not in mind.

Under no circumstance would I offer a "kick-back" to a planner in hopes that it would secure the deal. It's just as unethical to offer them as it is to accept them.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you present several options to clients and make recommendations on personality, style, etc., and then encourage them to talk it over and make the decision that is best for them. Then if they decide to hire me or bring in a photographer from the other side of the planet, my heart is still happy that the client is getting EXACTLY what they want -- the photographer that fits them.

Jillian said...

I completely agree with Jen! Jodi, you have been such a great mentor for me and showed me how one of the most important things in this field is TAKING CARE OF THE CLIENT... in every way. You look out for the client's best interest as you plan the most fantastic and creative events that are always unique to the honorary client. You said as a high-end event planner, you have to have the client's back and always look out for them, because there are times, unfortunately, that vendors may try to take advantage of the client, sometimes without even knowing it. That is what you are there for, to identify these situations and stop them immediately. I must say, I have learned a lot from your business model, and I REALLY respect what you stand for.

Jessica@Stella Event Design said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I've only been approached by a handful of vendors who have offered a kickback on their services, and I can't believe there are actually planners who don't see what's wrong with this! How can your clients trust you for honest referrals when you're padding your pocket with those referrals?! Thanks for sharing, it's always nice to know that not everyone is taking part in this ridiculous practice!d