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Copycat, Copycat – flattery or fiendish?

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I am always on the internet, taking time to look at any number of different pages, websites, advertisements, T.V – pretty much anything that might give me creative inspiration for ideas I can then share and develop with my clients. There is no doubt that since the internet began, and maybe with specific mention to the likes of Instagram and Pintrest, there exists a never-ending pool of creativity that is available for both planners to use and clients to find.

With our events too – having taken an idea in its infancy and developed it through to the event itself (and the WOW’s we hope it will receive), we ourselves then snap away and post pictures left, right and centre – there for all the world to see, and in some cases either use, or pass off as their own.

Here in lies the problem. Where is the balance? Don’t show your work and how to clients get a feel for your style or experience? Show it and run the risk that someone poaches it as their own or just takes the idea and tries to copy it and in doing so undervalues it’s worth…..

Is there a balance to be had and is the copying the biggest complement or pain in the rear?

Looking at a picture and having someone tell you “I want that” is not much help when you can’t tell how it was done. Of course, whilst some aspects are there for all to see, even if you get it 99% right, something may still be lost in the final execution and how one posed picture may look with the right lighting is no indication of a final look in a room of 30 tables. I think in some way that is the point of difference. One person will try to copy (possibly badly) an idea, where as someone else takes the look and develops from that a whole new look of their own.

Whilst Primark may or may not do a semi good job of copying a Prada dress, at the end of the day it’s not Prada and either at first wearing or after the third wash, you will know it.

Not trying to diss Primark – more make the point that one way to differentiate a good planner from a copycat may be to ask them how they would take someone else’s idea and put their twist on it rather than having them simply say they can copy it for you with no grounds whatsoever to that claim. Showing our work is essential and we should not fear what someone else may say they can do with it for half the price. I have said on countless occasions – know your worth, believe in yourself and be true to your clients and the belief they have in you.

The rest, is minor and should not make a difference.

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