As planners, we are so lucky that we get to walk away from the work we do with proof—really pretty proof, in fact, in the form of photos, samples, videos, testimonials, etc. Our line of work is one of the few where our work samples come in the form of linens and flowers and other aesthetically beautiful things (rather than spreadsheets and Word documents and performance reviews). The only problem is our job also keeps us busy (like, really busy), and we often don’t take the time to display this work. Maybe we throw some photos on our website, post some things to Instagram or ask clients to leave us an online review, but we have so many tangible portfolio pieces that we really should be displaying elsewhere. So, today, we wanted to stick with April’s theme of creativity and share with you some super creative ways to display all of your hard (and beautiful) work.
One of our favorite ways to display both your work and client testimonials is by creating a gallery wall in your studio or at-home workspace. Depending on how much work you have to display, either dedicate one large wall or a smaller accent wall to this. Frame your favorite client photos from past weddings and events. Be strategic when choosing which photos to display—you want an eclectic group of photos that shows a wide range of work. Get creative, as well—use funky frames and different frame sizes. You want the wall to work as a cohesive whole, but to not feel too sterile or contrived. It should have some character to it and should represent your best work.
And don’t limit yourself to just photos. Frame some of your favorite place cards or escort cards, pressed flowers and hand-written thank-you cards you’ve received from clients. Go back through your testimonials or reviews and pull some of your favorite quotes. Have a graphic designer design them as 5x7s or 8x10s using creative typography and frame those as well. Think of the wall as a physical Instagram—your clients should be able to take one look at it and get a feel for who you are and what your event planning company is all about. It should be an aesthetically appealing grouping of images, photos, quotes and more.
Put in in an Album
We love the idea of using an album to display things like Save the Dates, invitations and/or place and escort cards. (Depending on how organized you are and how many examples you have of each, you can even create a separate photo album for each of the above items.)
This is a great way to keep clients busy when they show up early to appointments—keep it out on a table in your studio and let them thumb through it while they wait. If you don’t have a studio, you can bring the album with you to client meetings to help spark some inspiration. We prefer paper-page albums with glassine interleaves (as opposed to albums with clear plastic inserts for photos), as the blank paper pages allow you to use the book as more of a scrapbook. (Just use photo corners or photo-quality double-sided tape to attach items to the pages. That way, clients can touch and feel without having to pull things out of the inserts. You’re also not limited to a 4×6 size, as you would be with traditional photo albums.)
A really creative way to display client testimonials is via a chalkboard wall in your studio or workspace. We love the idea of painting an accent wall with chalkboard paint and asking clients to write notes of their experience on the wall when they’re in for a meeting. After some time, it will start to become a really fun living, breathing piece. You’ll see client testimonials from months back and others from just a few days ago. The variations in handwriting and colors will also add some life to the wall. To get it started, you can also sort through past reviews and testimonials, pull your favorite quotes and write those on the wall. Be sure to use chalk markers, instead of actual chalk. That way, clients don’t have to worry about getting their hands (or those pretty threads) dirty when you ask them to leave a note. (We happen to love these Chalk Ink markers.)
Overall, the work you create deserves to be seen for more than just one night. And, while Instagram, Facebook and your website are all great places to display your work, there is just something about the tangible that makes an impression on people in a way that digital displays can’t. Remember to collect place cards, escort cards, extra invitations and anything else from client’s wedding or event whenever possible. Snapping a photo of that custom engraved wooden place card is great—but having one on hand to show clients in the flesh is so much more effective in the long run. (You can also reach out to some of your favorite vendors for samples—chances are they’ll be happy to handover a free sample if they know it’s going to be on display for all of your clients to see.)
So, set aside some time to sort through your past work and client testimonials and employ one (or all) of the above ideas to make sure that work gets the attention it deserves. You’ll love seeing it everyday in your physical workspace (and your clients will think you’re oh-so savvy when they read all of those testimonials on that cool gallery or chalkboard wall).
Have any creative ideas for displaying work that we missed? Share them with us. We’d love to hear what you’re thinking.