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As an event planner, how do you go about gaining and keeping customers?

I am a junior in high school, and I am thinking about becoming an event planner. I was wondering how event planners, go about attracting customers and how you keep them coming back. #event-planning #event-management #coordinating-events #wedding-planner #meeting-planner #event-marketing

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bridget’s Answer

Hi Bria:


Many event planners begin their careers working for country clubs, hotels, resorts and restaurants! I worked briefly as an "Executive Meeting Manager" for a global hotel chain. Nifty about that was the opportunity to move from property to property (Scottsdale, San Diego, Albuquerque...).


I recently came across the story of Jennifer Gilbert and find it pretty amazing. She started from the ground up, cold calling and word of mouth.


Check this out, you'll be inspired:


http://empowerlounge.com/empower-mentor-jennifer-gilbert-on-how-she-built-her-30m-event-planning-company/


Best to you!


Bridget

Thank you comment icon Fantastic job, kiddo! Great questions and I'm really glad you've already received feedback! JoAnn MacPherson
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Hilary’s Answer

Hi Bria - I think it is really great that you're thinking about how to keep a book of business. Event planning is a great career that allows for diversity of experiences.

I agree with the advice previously given but here are some other things to consider:
1.) I would suggest going to meet up groups with other event planners to build connections with others in the space. Many of the events I ended landing originally were from an event planner that was unavailable for the date a client requested. They then recommended me as an option.
2.) Think of every person in attendance at your event as a potential client. Attendees who are looking to have an event planned will be watching to see how you're working the event. Have a stack of your business cards on hand or in an easily accessible place for people to grab.
3.) Lastly, reputation is everything when working with clients. One of the best ways to build a good reputation is to clearly communicate your plan and then do what you say. Delivering through your actions will speak volumes to your clients.

I hope this helps and good luck!
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Melissa’s Answer

I agree with the recommendations to get summer jobs or internships at venues that host events to get experience.

Once you start building your own event planning business word of mouth is one of the biggest ways that companies grow their business. If you run an amazing wedding or party for someone, people typically ask their friends about what event planner they used and will reach out. Building a good reputation one event at a time is key.
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Cynthia’s Answer

Great question! You are already thinking like an Event planner! When it comes to attracting customers and how you keep them coming back is by nurturing them through connection and inspiring them with content that matters to them. Ask them via a survey or conversation to see their interest. Once you build that trust then your customers will engage more with you and stay curious about upcoming events you plan.

Cynthia recommends the following next steps:

Network with other Event Planners
Find an internship within Marketing
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Kristen A’s Answer

Bria - I think you're already doing step 1 which is thinking ahead and being detail oriented. To gain customers you need a large network of people that know your work. One suggestion is to keep photographs in a portfolio or website that you can share with potential clients to show them the work you've done previously. (Include all visuals of an event - welcome reception, name tags/table number, arrangements, people enjoying an event, etc..) As for keeping clients: stay on budget of what you proposed to them, remember the small details that matter most to them (every client is different) and at the end follow up with a handwritten thank you note for selecting you as their planner. I try to include an unexpected photo that will mean something to the client (Ex - for a wedding event a candid photo the photographer didn't get b/c they may have set up for the next "scene" like the walk down the aisle. For a charity event, a photo that captures the reason for the event, etc..

Kristen A recommends the following next steps:

Since you are a junior in high school I would try to get a summer job with an event company so that you can see all the hard work that happens behind the scenes.
Write out some "worst case scenarios" and then how you will respond to them. Something ALWAYS goes wrong at events and it can cause great amounts of stress unless you are prepared. You're young so start mentally preparing for that now and how you can react so that you do not get overly stressed and can quickly/calmly react to the situation.
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