When it comes to event planning, it’s all about just that…planning. So it should surprise you as much as it does us how many people leave something as important as their décor centerpiece, namely the ice sculpture to the last minute.
Now let me be fair. I owe a couple of clients a prize for advance planning. Just recently someone ordered a lovely pair of swans forming a heart. It was going to be for August and so comfortably within the usual couple of months that we like to have for an order. I had all the information and had it all written up an on invoice for them to approve as well as instructions for their deposit. The only thing wrong was the date. Imagine my astonishment when the lady wrote back that everything on the description part of the order was great except the date. “It should say 2017.” WHAT?? I almost fell off my chair. That’s more than a year away. Mind you, I love it when people think that far ahead. More often it’s the other was around. I don’t know if people come into some last minute money or whether they just didn’t think of it but ice sculptures sooo often get left to the last on the list of things to do.
Some of the biggest projects we’ve done have come about this way. We were returning form Whistler one night in November a few years ago and stopped for supper at a restaurant half way home. The phone rings and someone from Toronto asks me whether we can put a proposal together for a semi complete or perhaps completely 3 dimensional 13 foot wide DC3 airplane. Okay, that should be fun…if not a little scary. “And could you get that to us for 2:00pm tomorrow?” Silence. Fortunately my burger hadn’t arrived yet so I didn’t choke.
I have to mention the crème de la crème when it comes to “one phone call away from panic.” It started off innocently enough. We got a vague call from someone asking how long an “ice sculpture would last” and “did I have any “ideas for good ice sculptures?” It sounded half baked, like something a community college student would think up for an assignment to get last minute grades. We get those kinds of requests too. But so little go on. So I told him to think it all over and get back to me with a little more clarity about what he really wanted. I thought that was the end of the story. Two weeks went by and I got a call from Angie (our daughter who worked at Langley Golf Centre in event planning and who knows all about “last minute”). Expect a call from this team of people doing a movie and looking for some ice sculptures…. lots of them. Then it came, the call that puts panic into the heart of most every ice carver. “Can you do about 30 ice sculptures for us for this movie called “An ice sculpture Christmas?” Ah… yah, at least I think so. And when is it for? I was expecting six months’ notice complete with meetings and lots of time for designs and redesigns. In two weeks. Whaaat??? Its summer and you want 30 ice sculptures to do a Christmas movie???
Now let me add a foot note here. When it comes to saying yes to an ice order it’s never just about the ice sculpture. We first have to ascertain (sometimes under a lot of duress) just what the client wants. And movie shoots are especially this way. It’s all about getting inside the client’s (and in this case the movie Director’s) head in order to find out just what they want. Then we have to design it and in some cases design it again and again. This takes time. And then we have to make sure that we can deliver said ice sculpture(s) when and where they want them. And here’s your clue for the panic… the movie shoot was in the middle of summer with a blazing sun in a cloudless sky and 33 degree temperatures. This will make a good blog. Maybe next time. All this takes, you guessed it, PLANNING.
In the first few years of business we used to worry when the phone didn’t ring or the calendar didn’t exactly look busy. But we’ve come to depend of the last minute procrastinators. There’s still the bulk of people who place an order within the reasonable amount of time so that we can pace ourselves and sleep at night. And then there’s that fringe group that work way in advance of the present so that they don’t have to worry on the day of. And then there’s the fringe group we’re talking about the cause premature aging and give us reason to blog, the last minute panic producing customer.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time… #theicemen