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Entrepreneur Media Inc. staff and writer Cheryl Kimball on how to get started in the event planning industry, whether you want to work part-time or full-time, planning everything from a first party birthday parties, bar mitzvahs or weddings to political fundraisers and product launches at Start Your Own Event Planning Business. The authors explore eight alternative approaches to advertising your event planning business to the right people in this edited sample.
Promoting your event planning business as it grows is key to expanding your customer base. Here are eight strategies to promote and market your event planning business:
How to make the event attractive with event companies
Networks. 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 are familiar with the services you offer, they may recommend companies or use your service themselves. Additionally, networking with hotels, caterers, etc. will give you the opportunity to meet some of the people you might need when planning events.
Advertising. Print advertising covers a wide spectrum, from a free or inexpensive ad in the yellow pages to a national glossy publication that costs tens of thousands of dollars. Most planners agree that a Yellow Pages ad makes business sense. An online advertisement, simply stating your business name, is often provided free of charge when you connect your phone (if you have a landline). You can also opt for display advertising, the larger, boxed advertisements in the yellow pages, but these are chargeable.
You may also consider advertising in your local newspaper or regional magazine, if you are planning corporate and social events. Since the market area for this type of event planner may span a given county, a magazine that focuses on that county can be a great way to advertise. These magazines can be geared towards topics related to your department (eg, food, floral design) or be aimed at readers in a particular region. An ad in a regional magazine could be a good tool to reach high-end consumers. An ad in a regional business magazine would also reach potential corporate clients.
visit 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 essential. Think of it as a small brochure, especially if you’re going for a trifold 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 is still small enough to fit in a wallet or purse.
Include your company name, contact information (email address, phone, and website, for example), your name, specialization, logo, and some testimonials from past clients. Always carry business cards with you. You never know when you will meet a potential client. Ask the vendors you work with (florists, caterers, and photographers, for example) if you can leave a stack of business cards at their workplace.
Information brochures. Like your business card, a well-designed professional brochure can help boost your image as a professional planner. Potential customers will make judgments about your business based on your brochure, so make sure it’s designed and produced to the highest possible standards.
The brochure must include all the information that appears on your three-part business card and allow you to complete this information, in particular by adding photos. Photos should be from successful events that you designed. You can also include a photo of yourself.
Maximize your chances of success by making sure your business brochure matches the type of business you have. All materials should look professional, but if you’re marketing to a budget-conscious group, an overly glamorous brochure can send the wrong message and send budget-conscious prospects in the opposite direction.
As with your business cards, leave your brochure with the caterers, florists, photographers and other vendors you’ve worked with.
Direct mail. You can choose to distribute your brochure by direct mail. If you do, make sure your mailing list is well-chosen. Event planner David Granger says that although word of mouth is his most effective advertising, he uses the mailing lists of the organizations to which his company belongs (International Special Events Society, Meeting Professionals International, National Association for Catering and Events and Dallas Convention and Visitors). Office).
Customer service. One of the best ways to keep customers happy and keep them coming back is to constantly look for new ideas and new ways to improve the service you provide. Consider the following:
- Take a course or series of courses in event management.
- Invest in an hour or more with an industry consultant.
- Attend other events to study how they happen.
- Attend as many arts-related events as possible (eg, art exhibits, theater performances) to gather ideas.
- Join professional organizations.
- Subscribe to at least one newsletter or professional magazine.
Facebook. Facebook is designed to communicate with your network of friends. However, friends “like” websites they want to support or really like. So create a Facebook page for your event organization business, but use it sparingly to promote your business. Posts on your Facebook wall can include fun facts you learned about a new wedding venue in the area or behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the Rolling Stones concert you’re coordinating. Check the Facebook pages of other event planners and other service companies you use and admire to see how they are using Facebook to your advantage.
Twitter. With Twitter, you can tweet quick messages to your followers to remind them of your business. “Paul McCartney just said ‘yes’ to a special Stones concert appearance! Better buy your ticket now! or “I just discovered a new event venue with a full-service spa, does your corporate event need planning?” These can be posts that promote your service while providing benefits to the reader.
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