Be a Partner, not Just a Provider
If you’re booking events at a hospitality venue, one way to generate more event clients is to offer more than just a list of services.
Becoming an event partner, rather than just a services provider, will help you attract potential clients who are just starting the process of looking for an event planner. You'll also generate rave reviews (online and through word of mouth) and create a long list of references.
One way to become a true partner is to offer clients an event checklist that teaches them about all the aspects they need to cover when hosting an event.
"But if I tell them what to do, they won't need me!"
Read on to find out why the opposite is true.
The Devil is in the Details
People planning weddings, corporate banquets, fundraisers and other events don't have your expertise and often aren't aware of the many details that can make or break an event.
Many are nonprofit volunteer committee chairs. Some are brides and their mothers. Others are one-shop executive directors of trade associations or chambers of commerce.
When laypeople think they know how to plan an event, that's bad for everyone, including their organization, the event suppliers and the attendees.
Creating an event checklist for newbie planners will position you as an expert in the event services space and lets them know you will become their partner—not just a provider—as they plot out their event.
What to Include
Don't think anything is too obvious to cover in your event-planning checklist. Provide information about everything you can think of, such as:
One area newbie planners don't think about it signage. From table numbers to place cards to buffet table signage to directional signs to registration instructions, signage is an important detail in making sure an event is organized. Where can a newbie event coordinator go for all his or her signage needs? You know the answer.
You Won't Give Away Your Secrets
When you provide your clients with an event checklist, you'll address everything they need to cover, but you won't tell them how to do everything. The longer your list of tips, the more intimidating newbies will realize the process is—and the more they'll realize they need help.
By providing a detailed list of meetings needs, you might actually "scare" clients into your book of business.
For example, where is the best place to get liability insurance? What are room attrition clauses? How should you negotiate contracts with photographers, DJs, caterers and other suppliers? Do you need local permits?
How to Deliver your Tips Sheet
You can publish your event tips sheet in several different ways. You can make it a publicly available blog post. You can offer it as premium content, free to anyone who registers or gives you an email address. This is a great way to generate leads.
You can post part of the document online to give potential clients a taste of what they'll get, then direct them to your free registration page.
Make sure every provider you work with knows about your event tips sheet and promotes it, either by giving copies away (with your name and contact information on it) or by linking to it on their websites. Of course, you'll need to exchange links.
Make sure to promote the tips sheet via your social media channels.
You can even make a video version of your tips sheet and post it on a YouTube channel, promoting the link via your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Emphasize Partnerships in your Testimonials
If you have case studies or testimonials on your websites, make sure they highlight the fact that you served as a partner to your clients, rather than just a service provider.
Avoid quotes like, "Debbie's Events found us a really great caterer," and use testimonials like, "Debbie's Event Services" helped us make sure all of the details were taken care of so we had no worries on the day of our banquet."
The more you sell yourself as a partner, the more you'll attract newbie event coordinators whose jobs, reputations or special days are on the line.