Last Updated on October 7, 2021
I’m sure you’ve heard it said before that in the business world, it’s all about who you know. Cliché or not, this old adage olds true in the event industry. Personal talent and passion will only get you so far if you can’t connect with the right people.
Proper networking becomes central to your success. Creating genuine relationships with other talented, driven and connected people is a surefire way to access better deals, better venues, unique clients, and overall work at better event management.
The most successful, and sustainable collaborations, partnerships, etc. develop when both parties bring something unique and interesting to the table. You’re building a network; it’s not solely about value you take away. Always approach these key professional relationships considering how you can help them.
Today, we’re going look at a few of the most important types of people you’ll meet over the course of your career – every event planner needs to know five people – knowing them can be the difference between success and failure.
Perhaps the most important men and women you’ll meet in your career are the venue owners and operators. Your choice of venue determines pretty much everything else about your event, from what sort of amenities will be available to which vendors and partners will ultimately work with you. To that end, keeping yourself in their good graces could land you some nice discounts on rentals and even priority as far as scheduling is concerned.
Next up on the list are vendors. As an event manager, your address book should include an extensive list of vendors, suppliers and firms that provide everything from tents to petting zoos to security. Having close professional relationships with your vendors means you’ll know exactly who to phone on any given occasion.
Tip: don’t burn bridges. Basically treat everyone well whether business works out or not. Your vendors are the people who just may bend over backwards for you when you need it most.
Fellow Event Planners
Technically, aren’t other event management professionals your competition. First, mentors with more experience can offer valuable insight and often influence a career. Second, there’s a lot to be said for being able to discuss your career successes and stresses with someone who knows exactly what you’re talking about – establishing friendships with your industry piers can be quite therapeutic.
Finally, logistically, event planners can’t work with every client that approaches them, nor is every client going to be right for you. A great event planner should have a list of event planners they will recommend without hesitation to any client they need to turn away. Having a respected colleague recommend your firm to potential clients could be just the thing that gets your name out.
Marketing people love to use the word ‘influencers’ – it’s a rather overused buzzword, but for good reason. An influencer is a person recognized as an authority figure in their particular field. – when they talk, people listen. They could be the CEO who throws the big Halloween party each year, or the wedding planning blogger, or the founder of a long line of successful startups. Their opinion matters to those that listen. Having a meaningful connection with a particular influencer that leads to some form of career development is half serendipity and half creativity.
Note: if you can’t connect on a personal level or devise a legitimately interesting and mutually beneficial exchange with someone you consider an influencer than the connection may not be worth it.
Yes, we’re recommending you get to know some of your potential attendees, guests or clients on a more personal level. You’ll see that it’s all about perspective.
If you’re friends with people in the demographic you’re targeting with an event or with your firm’s focus as a whole, you’ll have a far more complete picture of what they’ll enjoy than if you only do marketing research. Even better, when these friends or social group ends up attending your events or hires you to produce an event, you can receive feedback – they’ll likely give you an honest answer.
Event management is often about getting the impossible to become possible, you can’t do this alone.
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