Following a bit of a short break last year, the Digital Garden Party returned last night with over 50 people heading over to the fantastic venue of Oddfellows in Chester for a spot of networking and a drink or two.

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We'd like to say a massive thank you to sponsors of the event Adyen, without whom we wouldn't have been fed or watered! We've worked with Adyen on a few projects integrating payment platforms so it was great for them to be able to share their knowledge. 

We'd also like to thank Vicky Walsh from CPL Online Training and Nina Mack from Worship for bravely taking to the floor for the debate, choosing to discuss managing client expectations.

Vicky went first and started by setting the scene of arriving at a restaurant and being told it would be 45 minutes before your food arrives so you decide to make a phone call to fill the time. But the food then arrives in 15 minutes so you're a bit thrown - the restaurant has underpromised and overdelivered. She went on to explain that in the agency world, it's better to go with the truth and set realistic expectations with the client at the outset.

Nina counteracted this by explaining that if you're working with a tangible product or service, expectations can be set at the outset. But if you're dealing with something results-based, it's much harder to know what can be achieved, particularly if you don't know the market. In this case, it's better to underpromise, overdeliver and hopefully retain the client.

It was then Vicky's turn to retort, saying that if you're working with results, maybe get some results in first and then have a conversation with the client about what can be achieved, based on this knowledge. Nina responded by saying that this was difficult to do - in effect you're selling nothing to the client at the start and not many will want to commit to expenditure without knowing what can be achieved. It's better to set a conservative estimation and then delight them by overdelivering.

We asked everyone to then vote and despite a couple of people wavering in the middle of the room, Nina had a few more on her side! Well done to both Vicky and Nina.

Thanks also to everyone who came along - there was lots of networking going on so no doubt some useful relationships being established. To be kept in the loop about future Digital Garden Parties then email Sarah and she’ll let you know when future ones are. She'd also love to hear if you'd like to take part in the debate or are interested in sponsoring a future event.

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