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More than likely, you won’t become an expert or extremely skilled at event planning overnight. When you start planning your first event, or even your second or third, you probably will find it quite difficult and you may make quite a few mistakes. Don’t let this discourage you.
The truth of the matter is when people first start a new activity; they are not normally extremely skilled or apt at it from the start. For example, a first-time cook may burn a lot of dishes or a novice seamstress may end up sewing her sleeve to her work. What we are trying to say is, when you first start planning an event, you will be a far from an expert at it. But there are ways or methods that you can employ that will improve your skill.
Listed below are some valuable tips that can help you become a better event planner.
You need to make connections with the best event suppliers. You need to seek them out and then cultivate a long-lasting business relationship with them. Having top quality event suppliers who you are familiar with will make event planning quicker and easier. As when you have an event, you simply need to ring them up and ask for their services. There won’t be any time wasted ringing around looking for various event suppliers.
Having a list of different suppliers for each event service is a good option. For example, for flowers, you could have a few names that you can use. Beside each name, make sure you include a short description of the service, what you liked about it and what you hated. This way you can just skim down your list and pick an event supplier that suits your particular needs.
When you first start planning your event, you need to be aware of what is in style at this present time. Consider what is the most popular type of flower, entertainment feature, food or drink and adjust your plans according to these trends. You don’t exactly want to host an event that might seem out of touch or overdone.
Also, be aware of what is in season at the time of the event. The certain flower arrangement you had in mind might not be available in summer if the flower typically blooms in the spring. Foods that are in-season usually taste better, are fresh and more readily available than an out-of-season food selection that might have been frozen or hot-house grown with very little flavor.
If you are throwing a wedding or event that is multicultural, you will need to become knowledgeable about all the cultures that you will be representing. You don’t want to unintentionally insult a person’s heritage through event plans.
Colors might have different meanings in different cultures, and serving pork products to those of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, or beef at a Hindu event could be a huge no-no. Many religious and cultural groups frown upon alcohol, so it is always best to ask first before booking the bartender.
Some people can’t afford to have a nice flashy office in a respectable part of town and this is okay. But you need to make your office as professional as possible. In order to attract clients and start planning events professionally, you need to project an air of success and professionalism. You can do this by having a neat and clean office.
For example, you could hang up paintings, have clean furniture or have nicely cared for plants. Anything that makes your office looks appealing. Making sure the entrance to your office, as well as the surrounding area (such as the walkways, sidewalks, gutters and street fronts, etc.), are also clean and free of litter and graffiti. Having a professional website can also help put your best face forward since most people search online first before any other method of researching a company.
You will also want to manage any social media account you have for your business in a tasteful manner. For example, you don’t want to post gross jokes or offensive material – keep content positive and related to your business.
You might operate your business out of your home, and this is okay too. If you have a home office, you must decide whether or not you want to bring clients into the personal space of your home, or if you will regularly conduct client meetings elsewhere, such as a coffee shop or community room in a library.
As a professional event planner, you will need to be effective and efficient at communication. You need to be open and approachable, so your clients will feel comfortable telling you what they want for their events.
If you are grumpy and kind of a dragon lady [or man], then they may not feel comfortable with sharing all their desires and wishes. As a result, they won’t get the event they actually want. Being an event planner is about listening to your client, not imposing your own rigid ideas and plans on them.
It is a good idea to keep in contact with any clients who were happy about your performance. They can act as references for future potential clients to check with before gaining your services. This is a great way to gain a good reputation.
Social media is a great place to start building a network of loyal fans and customers. Linked-In can keep you in contact with businesses in your area, suppliers, potential customers, and more. Facebook and Twitter can keep your business at top-of-mind for those who follow you and can keep you in touch with a huge audience of past clients, customers and guests simultaneously.
This can save you a ton of time over personally contacting each and every past client. Of course, for more important matters, a personal phone call or email is always better than a mass your services. This is a great way to gain a good reputation.
This can save you a ton of time over personally contacting each and every past client. Of course, for more important matters, a personal phone call or email is always better than a mass notice over social media!
After you have successfully completed an event for someone, you should ask them if you could take photos of the finished product. This will act as visual evidence of your competence as an event planner.
You should keep these in a portfolio, which future clients can look through. You can also post these photos on your website as well as your business Facebook page and/or start a public Pinterest board where you post photos of the details from your event. Having these images will reflect well on your skills and may get your clients easier.
After you have successfully gained a client, it is a good idea to sit down and sketch out a rough budget for the entire event. This will allow you and your client to have a good idea about how much money there is to spend and will hopefully limit problems or issues in the future. Money issues or going over a budget can lead to a bad reputation.
Here we are at the last tip for gaining a good reputation as an expert planner and this has to do with you as a person. You need to be a respectful approachable individual so you can form a bond with your clients.
You don’t want to be rude or cold and standoffish as this will repeal people and you will lose clients. And there you have how to effectively become an expert planner with a good reputation amongst clients.
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