October 9, 2009

Four months ago my life changed again, as I activated my fall-back position at Creative Events to tide me over as I began a search for a better fit professionally in the work arena. I was immediately blessed with a flood of opportunities and on day two of being a “Displaced Worker”, I had two contracts to deliver event services. Between reviews of Job Boards, networking, an interview or two, and simply juggling the real work on my desk, I have hardly had time for friends or family, and certainly have not had time to decide if I continue this search for one more “new life”, or happily return to an old one and get on with developing some marketing materials and a business card to celebrate the rebirth of Creative Events by Kranz..

I did set a goal though, of trying to make that decision by the end of the year so that if I remain an independent, I can market in the first quarter and be ready to go with paying clients by second quarter. And now with October flying by, I am beginning to feel the pressure to make up my mind.

Today, I may have moved one step closer to clarity. Cleaning up my mail boxes, I stumbled on the September Trend Briefing dealing with Transparency.

We’ve all come to understand that customers make choices based on product reviews and price comparisons as transparency became a new buzz word. As an advocate for transparency in pricing, I do not think clients should expect to pay a premium for services that are provided by my vendors and not by me directly. So pricing transparency is not a concern- I charge a fair price for my expertise and time and I pass on all costs from partners without a surcharge for me. Nor are product reviews an issue as I strive to deliver the best I can to exceed client expectations, with a solid track-record, references, and awards to back me up. So the emerging transparency trend was not top priority on my “learn-more-list”.

But today I discovered product and price cover only the basics. The “whole” picture will matter to our customers, who, when looking for the best of the best, take into account not just price or superior quality, but eco, health, social and ethical concerns as well. Of course, I thought to myself, that makes sense.

As I evaluate new job opportunities, most of those additional influencers are fairly easy to ferret out – but the most important of those, to me, is ethics and truthfulness. And by its very nature, one tends to assess that by experience, not research. I am not sure I want to risk judging that attribute incorrectly again as I look for a new work home that allows me to be who I am.

We all have experienced how painful it is to learn you have somehow “misjudged” and now need to extricate yourself from a bad situation. For most of my career, I have done well, but I’ve also experienced one or two mis-steps. So I want to avoid that kind of pain again-at least in my work life. I need to stand tall on my reputation of these many years of doing the “right” thing.

So thanks to the broadening elements of transparency, I am beginning to see that coming home to Creative Events may be in my best interest long term–at least until all the meetings/events world catches up with our customers in terms of the “whole” transparency trend.

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