Last Updated on October 7, 2021
I recently read an interesting piece on the Cvent blog titled “If You Don’t Share Your Successes, You’ll Hate Yourself Later.” Essentially, it talks about how event planners shouldn’t be afraid to tell people of their accomplishments – they shouldn’t be worried about tooting their own horn, so to speak.
“Don’t assume that doing a good job is enough or that your work speaks for itself,” writes the author, Kristi Sanders. “Most corporations are run by bean counters and revenue magnets who see everything as a cost center or line item, humans with health benefits included…they only know what they know, and they’ll take someone else’s word on the rest.”
That sort of got me thinking. See, one mistake a lot of event planners make – and really, professionals in general – is going forward on the assumption that putting together a good portfolio and doing great work is enough to attract new clients and customers. It’s actually a little ironic, when you stop to think about it.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ve always maintained that the best event planners are, at their core, professional storytellers. They know how to take an event and weave a brand’s story into it, they know how to talk to consumers and relate directly to their attendees on social media. In short, they know how to hold people’s attention with their words.
Yet when it comes to their own careers, way too many simply kick back and presume that they’ll get clients based solely on their body of work. And they might indeed draw in a few people – interested parties who come across their site by chance. At the same time, they’re getting nowhere near the level of exposure that they could be.
So…what am I saying with all this rambling?
If you really want to achieve success as an event planner, you need to market both your business and yourself in much the same fashion as you market your events.
In short, you need to be able to sell yourself – and your event management firm. The trick, of course, lies in doing this without coming across as arrogant or blustery. Now, you’ve probably got a fair bit of charisma, right?
You know how to work a room, how to talk to people, and how to hold their attention. That’s good. We can work with that – all you really need to do from here is to figure out all the stuff you’ve done well.
Figure out what you’re selling – how have you helped clients achieve their goals? How have you faced and overcome the various challenge of your career? How have you set yourself apart from your peers as an event planner?
Once you’ve figured all that out, your next steps should be as follows:
- Set up a website, and possibly a blog. This will give you a solid online presence and identity through which your clients can find you.
- Start establishing yourself on social media. Create a Facebook page for your firm, and update it regularly with relevant content.
- Learn SEO and social marketing, if you don’t already know of them. You’ll need a sturdy knowledge of both in order to succeed online.
- Draw up a few basic “elevator pitches” concerning you and your firm. You can refer to one of them in a pinch if you’ve a prospective client asking questions about you.
As an event management professional, it’s all well and good to market your events, but you can’t forget to market yourself, as well. Your portfolio doesn’t speak for itself – you need to speak for it.
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