At Event Manager Blog we’re dedicated to helping event planners succeed. One of the critical parts in achieving success for eventprofs falls on the suppliers they choose to work with. So for the suppliers out there who are wondering how they can create lucrative opportunities for themselves with the right event planners, we have some insights.
Getting known in event circles is not as hard as one might think for a supplier. Event planners are always looking for good team players who can deliver with an attention to detail, quality, and deliver within budget. Here are a few tips on making a great, and lasting, impression.
11 Proven Ways to Find Your Ideal Event Planner Clients
If you’re a supplier looking to work with more event planners, here are a few proven strategies to help you break into the industry.
- Narrow Your Search. It may seem counterintuitive but if you want good event planning partners it’s not about ‘getting your name out there.’ It’s about getting your name out there to the right people. Decide what type of event planners and events you want to work on. What budget fits best for your services? Are you a high-end provider or a cost-effective solution? Take the time and flesh out your niche. It’s imperative to an effective personalized marketing campaign and establishing your business in the industry.
- Show a Process. When you bring on a new client, have a process in place. For some suppliers that consists of an onboarding or get-to-know-you session. Creating a step like this can help you personalize your approach and analyze the needs of the client on a deeper level. Build that relationship early and it will help revenue in the future.
- Solve a Problem. If you want to be a successful supplier, you need to solve a problem for your event planner. Being good at what you do is not enough. That’s merely meeting expectations. If you’re a caterer for instance, someone who hires you expects good food. Providing that is merely doing what they hired you for. On the other hand, if you can provide an additional solution for something they’re struggling with, you make yourself indispensable.
- Do More than Your Job and Be Social. Share what drives you. What work do you do in your community? Show your personality in social media posts. People work with people they know, like, and trust. Give event planners reasons to do all three with you.
- Personalize the Pitch. Cookie-cutter pitches aren’t effective. Since most event planners have websites, or at the very least, social media profiles, it’s easy to do your research before pitching your services. Find out what you can about what drives them and what they specialize in, then craft your pitch around it and play up your similarities. This is not a time to lie and pretend you’re their exact fit but it you are, explain how.
- Give, Give, Give. Make introductions. Provide free resources. Be helpful for no charge. This means participating online and exchanging ideas. A great place for this is the event managers group on LinkedIn. Don’t plug your business, share your expertise. All of these things are ways that people will begin to turn to you as someone who can help them and solve their problems. This will cause them to transfer their trust to you and buy your services. Once they trust you, you can influence how they view the selection process and what things are critical to it. But this strategy takes time and is not something that can be done in a few hours.
- Tell Them the Truth. Tell them the truth about your services even if it means losing the bid. This type of concern for their business is refreshing. When they realize you are looking out for their interests even when they don’t meet yours, they will come to trust you even more and will likely seek you out for the event in which you are a good fit.
- Set up a Referral Network. On your website, in-person, through review sites, via email, and anywhere else, make it easy for people to review you. Reviews are gold these days and most people won’t take the time to share a good experience unless it’s easy. Ask for reviews and then facilitate them by providing a QR code, emoji buttons on emails, or links to referral sites. Thank every person who comments on your services even when they’re less than perfect. People will often research your company online and it’s a nice touch when they see how responsive you are. Event planners want someone who can handle the problems as well as the compliments.
- Stop Taking Everything Someone Offers. Be selective in what you do. If you take every job someone offers you, several things will happen. You won’t be available for the ideal event you’d like to be working. You won’t excel in it because it’s not your ideal working situation. Because you’re not excelling, you’re not making the kind of impression that builds a loyal fan base. You could also spread yourself too thin. It’s better to turn down a job that’s not a great fit than it is to take everything that comes your way. Desperation is never attractive even in a professional sense.
- Tell Your Story. Stories make an impression and are much more memorable than sales-y pitches. If you’re trying to catch the eye of an event planner tell your client’s story and how you assisted them in meeting their goals. Help paint a vivid picture for the eventprof on exactly how you and your business can help theirs.
- Anticipate Needs. Have you ever paid more for something because that person took care of not only what you needed but a few other things too? Like maybe you bring your car into the dealership because in addition to the oil change you pay for, they top off your fluids, balance tires, and wash your car. You’re getting additional value even though you’re paying a little more. If you want to stand out to an event professional, you’re not only doing your job exquisitely but adding a little icing to it as well. Maybe that’s in the form of a helpful report for them or a connection. Give them something more than they’re expecting and they’ll want to do business with you again.
Finally, follow up with lost potential clients. You know all those pitches that didn’t pan out? Guess what? The event professional may have chosen someone else over you but after the actual event, they may have decided the match wasn’t a good fit. Follow up with these lost prospects and see if you can be of service now. If you have some stats or reviews to place in front of them that you didn’t have before, include them. It’s not too late to wow.
Finding great event professionals to work with is often the key to a supplier’s success, and vice versa. Those perfect partnerships can yield big results but getting someone to know, like, and trust you can be a challenge. The best strategies for long-term success involve over delivering, providing a personalized experience to your event planner, and marketing yourself through word of mouth.
Additional Information About Working with Event Professionals
5 Simple Steps to Improve Event Supplier Communication
9 People You Need When Starting an Events Business
10 Ways To Get a Fast Response from Your Event Supplier
15 Secret Tricks To Getting Event Vendors To Work With You
Want to Impress Clients? Know Your Corporate Entertainment Trends
The Eventprof’s Survival Guide for Working with Demanding Clients
How A Quality Caterer Can Elevate Your Event