By: Crystal Nicole Soto | Multimedia Designer/Content Writer for Event Planners Association | December 01, 2016
When starting your own event planning business its difficult to decide where to start. Which is the reason for this article.
Today, we will discuss eight ways that you can promote your event planning business to the right audiences. Remember, as you develop your business it’s important to market in order to grow your client base. Following are eight ideas for advertising and promoting your event planning business:
For most planners, networking is at the top of the list in terms of developing a strong client base. Networking can help your business in two ways. If people have met you and know what services you offer, they may refer business to you or use your service themselves.
An ad in the Yellow Pages makes good business sense. A line advertisement, simply listing your business name, is often provided free of charge when you connect your phone (if you have a landline). You can also opt for a display advertisement — the bigger, bordered ads in the Yellow Pages — however, there’s a charge for these.
Another route to consider is advertising in a local newspaper or in a regional magazine – which is best if you plan both corporate and social occasions. This is because a magazine focusing on that county can be an excellent one in which to advertise. These magazines can be geared to topics related to your service (e.g., gourmet food, floral design) or aimed at readers in a certain region. An ad in a regional magazine might be a good tool for reaching upscale consumers. A regional business magazine ad would also reach prospective corporate clients.
3. BUSINESS CARD
Don’t underestimate the power of this small but mighty marketing tool. Even in the computer age, a succinct, professionally printed business card is still critical. Consider it a diminutive brochure, especially if you opt for a tri-fold business card. Many planners opt for this business-card format because more information can be included than on a traditional business card, while the card remains small enough to be tucked inside a wallet or purse.
Include the name of your business, contact information (e-mail, phone and website address, for instance), your name, specialization, your logo, and some testimonials from past clients. Always carry business cards. You never know when you’ll run into a potential client. Ask vendors with whom you work (florists, caterers and photographers, for instance) if you can leave a stack of business cards in their places of business.
4. INFORMATIVE BROCHURES
Like a business card, a well-designed brochure should include all the same information and allow you to expand upon this information. Photos should be of successful events you’ve designed. You may also want to include a photo of yourself.
Maximize your chances of success by making sure your company brochure matches the type of business you have. All materials should look professional, but if you are marketing to a budget-conscious group, a too-glamorous brochure can send the wrong message—and send potential budget-conscious clients running in the opposite direction.
As with your business cards, leave your brochure with caterers, florists, photographers, and other vendors with whom you’ve worked.
5. DIRECT MAIL
You may choose to distribute your brochure via direct mail. If you do, make sure your mailing list is well chosen. Event planner David Granger says that while word of mouth is his most effective advertising, he uses mailing lists of the organizations his company belongs to (International Special Events Society, Meeting Professionals International, National Association for Catering and Events, and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau).
6. CUSTOMER SERVICE
One of the best ways to keep customers satisfied and coming back is to be constantly on the lookout for new ideas and ways to improve the service you provide. Consider the following:
Take a course or a series of courses in event management.
Invest in an hour or more with an industry consultant.
Attend other events to study how they’re produced.
Attend as many arts-related functions as possible (e.g., arts exhibits, theatrical performances) to gather ideas.
Join trade organizations.
Subscribe to at least one professional newsletter or journal.