Establishing an Event Planning Business: 10 Proven Strategies to Get You Started
Event planning is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the United States. With projections of around 25 million planned events by 2020, entrepreneurs must establish their businesses through effective and well-planned marketing. In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of 10 strategies that have been proven to work when marketing event planning services.
Networking at events where potential clients are gathered is one of the most basic and essential marketing methods for event planners due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Does Not only direct interaction enable business owners to present their services in a personalized manner, but it also allows potential clients to get a clearer understanding of the services offered, resolve queries immediately and cultivate an overall good impression on the business and its owner. Furthermore, networking can also provide invaluable insights from other industry participants, which can be used when planning an event.
Print advertising remains popular due to its affordability, ability to reach numerous households, and presence in various outlets such as newspapers, magazines, and even the Yellow Pages. Brochures are also highly effective tools for print advertising; they can be left at related businesses or vendors for maximum exposure.
Online & Local Listings
Search engines play a pivotal role in our daily lives. Hence, it is paramount that your business is listed on all major online directories, such as Google, Bing, Yelp, and Foursquare, so potential customers can easily find your services via local searches. Additionally, ensure that you include your business’s Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) details across all platforms, as this will maximize visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Business cards are a great way to make a solid first impression, particularly when it comes to businesses offering innovative services like event planning. They provide the necessary contact information and allow you to showcase your brand’s image and aesthetic sensibilities through thoughtful design. An eye-catching business card can be the difference between landing a contract and having new paper in someone’s wallet. By creating engaging business cards, you can start to build your brand and establish yourself as a professional within your industry.
In today’s digital world, it is essential to have an active online presence on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter to market your business effectively. This gives you tremendous reach that cannot be achieved elsewhere and allows you to share content about your own company and industry facts and news that may interest your target audience. However, social media marketing does require careful planning; it’s not enough just to set up a page and hope people will engage with it! Here are some ideas for ways you can keep your followers interested:
- Live tweet an event with your hashtag.
- Create fun contests on social media (e.g., post a collage of attendees from an event you’re organizing and let people vote for the best dressed)
- Join associations or forums related to your industry and participate in their discussions.
- Run sponsored ads on Facebook or Instagram
Post-Event Video Clips
Showcasing videos of past events is one of the most effective ways to foster trust with potential clients by allowing them to experience the vibe of your events firsthand. You could create a YouTube channel where visitors can view short clips or videos (e.g., ‘Before & After,’ ‘Behind The Scenes’). Make sure these videos are shared across your social media accounts and any website you may have so that they have maximum exposure! For inspiration, look at CountDown Events’ YouTube channel, which demonstrates how creative video posts can be engaging and valuable promotional material for event planners.
Marketing via email has long been a successful way to generate quality leads, which is why it’s essential for the owner of an event planning business to make the most of it. As with all marketing techniques, a proper strategy must be in place that aligns with your business goals. Here are some key points to keep in mind before starting:
Put Together a Robust Mailing List
To determine the type of content you want to include in each mail and its ideal end goal, a mailing list should ideally be segmented into past, current, and prospective clients. Reaching out to any associations or industry-related networks related to your business may also be beneficial for further expansion.
Prepare Tailored Content for Each Segment
Your emails should contain tailored content for each segment of your mailing list. For example, promotional content needs to be sent to prospective clients, whereas informational content should go out to people who have already used your services. To simplify this process, consider investing in an automation tool like Autopilot.
Keep Content Short and Engaging
Keep both the content and subject line short yet engaging. A few examples of subject lines could look like ‘We tried this out – works like a charm!’ instead of ‘Try this party planning method.’ Additionally, try not to overwhelm your audience with multiple emails daily; however, sending follow-up emails is acceptable if someone hasn’t opened the initial one a couple of days later. Finally, combine promotional material with informative and experiential content for a balanced mix to not bore or annoy anyone with monotony.
Taking advantage of live streaming and live acts at events is becoming increasingly popular – statistics from Bizzabo show that 80% of marketers believe that live events are critical for success. In comparison, 30% believe streaming will impact events the most significantly. There are several benefits associated with going live; for example, by live streaming bridal showers, those family members unable to attend can still get involved; plus, appreciation from clients will undoubtedly grow too! Utilizing YouTube channels and websites enables this kind of promotion while incorporating live acts adds an elegant touch that breaks any ice between guests unfamiliar with each other while providing something interesting post-event, which builds towards word-of-mouth marketing campaigns too!
Getting referrals for your event planning business is a great way to generate warm leads. Your friends, family, and former clients are likely to be more open to using your services than strangers. To further encourage them, you can offer a discount or complimentary service for every referral they make. Building a referral base will take time, particularly if you are starting, so patience and consistency are key. As you become more established in the industry, the number of referrals should increase.
With the right approach, these ten methods can help promote any event planning business! This effective money-saving trick works exceptionally well for event planners on a budget. Think of trade-offs as bartering – essentially offering your services in return for someone else’s. For example, if you don’t have the budget to hire a photographer, you could ask one of your contacts to provide pictures of your event in exchange for arranging their event. Not only does this save costs, but it could also lead to positive word-of-mouth marketing from the person you made the trade with. Consistency is critical here since mismatched information could show customers to look to seek help with their events elsewhere.