Event pros know that starting and nurturing a business can sometimes be an uphill battle with a lot of trial and error. Your event business is vastly different from the next. Not necessarily in content but in how you approach problem-solving and creating visibility for your brand. If you were to take a look at your business growth from when you first began, you’re likely to attribute your success to a few tried and true game-changers.
Back to Basics
Technology ABSOLUTELY reigns supreme in today’s world of constant evolution and event professionals have learned that it’s a must for their event planning processes and strategies. Along with technology, event pros still swear by including a few basics for their day-to-day strategies.
Many event pros are grateful for accessibility. Kevin Dennis of WeddingIQ says, “I know they say phones and tablets are taking over, but I couldn’t live without my laptop!”, while some are thinking bigger picture about what really helped their business stay organized and gain momentum.
“My life literally revolves around Google Calendar (if it’s not in there, it doesn’t happen!), and Google Drive (particularly Sheets and Forms) is my most used tool for communicating with couples,” shares Brittny Drye of Love Inc.
For CeCe Todd, Owner and Principal Designer of CeCe Designs and Events, her key to success isn’t always an app. “I could not live without my assistant! My assistant is the most vital aspect of my business outside of my design. She is the operations manager that ensures that the logistics are covered. She has become invaluable because her strengths cover my weaknesses.”
What works for your event business in terms of marketing, client communication, or everyday operations may not be the best solution for another company within a different event industry niche. Kim Sayatovic from Belladeux Event Design speaks to this, noting that her business thrives on being able to convey her events visually to potential clients. “Verbally explaining what you can do for a client in this industry has nowhere near the impact that photographs do. I not only use it to show my design work, but I also use it to show the personal side of myself and my business.”
Megan Velez from Destination Weddings Travel Group says that without their live-time reporting system, they wouldn’t be able to keep up with current clients and they have that system to thank for predicting the moves of future customers. “Since our business model is unlike any other, we rely heavily on our homegrown reporting system, which details every action a customer makes from inception of lead creation, all the way to traveling for their wedding (and every step in between). This allows us to follow each couple’s behavior with a timeline in relation to what stage of the wedding process they are in.”
What Event Pros Wish They’d Known About
Everyone has those light bulb moments throughout their journey in the industry, and it’s hard not to look back and imagine how much easier your growth might’ve been with those tools (or how much hair-pulling stress they could’ve saved you).
Dennis says the note-taking program he currently uses would’ve been a lifesaver for keeping everyone on the same page. “I live and breathe by the Evernote app and I utilize it for every single aspect of my life. I can access it from my laptop, tablet, and phone and it is constantly syncing across all of those devices.”
For Drye, she looks toward the submission program Matchology as a tool that would’ve expedited a once-tedious process. “It has made the submissions process much more streamlined for both myself and those who are submitting, and the matching technology ensures that I’m receiving submissions that are in-line with my niche.”
There’s one thing that Todd wish she had known in retrospect, and it may be something that event pros – both old and new – need to hear. “I wish that I would have realized that hiring and delegating would actually allow my business to grow. I tried to do everything in the beginning because I thought I couldn’t afford help. Once I started charging properly, started working with my ideal client, and released some of my control, my business started to flourish.”
The moral of the story? As much as we might look like we have it together, event pros are always ‘growing up’ in one way or another. Our strategies are finely tuned and well-tested, and you can bet that we find value in what helped us get to where we are. Remember, we all started at zero – whether that was the number of our Instagram followers or the number of our clients.