Land a Big Event Planning Client With Little Experience
A common worry for budding event planning professionals is how to land your first big event planning client when you have little or no experience to draw on.
Landing Your First Big Client As an Event Planner
We've mentioned client anatomy before, but it really is invaluable for making sure your clients are the right fit for you and your niche. Who’s your ideal event planning client? What are their specific needs and how would you provide solutions? Even better, how would you provide solutions that can surpass those of your competitors? Now you’ve narrowed it down, you can concentrate on building relationships with the type of client that you know you can work successfully with.
Winning Ways to Land Your First Big Event Planning Client
If you want to know how to land your first big event planning client, you need to be confident in yourself and your abilities, even if you have no professional experience as an event coordinator. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should a client? If you’ve planned events for friends and family, then focus on these as positive examples of your skills, and also look at your skills in other areas; can you apply these to the business of event planning? We’re lucky because there are a lot of transferable skills that can relate to the business of planning events, such as budgeting, client management, and negotiation, so use your strengths and show potential clients exactly what you can bring to the table.
Getting the Meeting
It’s no good being confident that potential clients will hire you on sight unless you get the opportunity to meet with them in the first place. Communication is essential in respect to how to land your first big event planning client, and to book that first meeting you need to let them know exactly how they’ll benefit from your services. The timeless motto ‘Show, don’t tell’ is important here, your potential client should know straight away what’s in it for them. If they’re left thinking ‘So what?’, you’ve missed the mark.
Check out the following examples.
- Bad example: Although I’m just starting out as a professional event planner, I have a passion for event planning and I’m focused, creative and easy to work with. I’d love to meet up and share some of my thoughts about how I’d organize your event.
- Good example: My work with XYZ company led to a 25% increase in sales directly related to the event, so you can be confident that I can help you meet your objectives. I think holding your event at a more creative venue, such as the National History Museum, would boost the impact of your message, what do you think? I have a number of other ideas that will make your event a success, are you free on Friday to meet up and discuss them?
The second example is how to land your first big event planning client, even if you have limited experience. It’s a given that event planning professionals should be focused, creative and easy to work with, so what you’re telling them isn’t exactly going to make you stand out from the crowd. In the second example, you’re showing them exactly how they can benefit from working with you by giving them an example of what you’ve achieved in the past (even if the event was at your previous day job and you didn’t get paid for it!).
Rather than just telling them that you’re awesome, you’re showing them how and why you’re awesome!
The First Meeting
Once you have a meeting arranged it’s essential to make a great first impression. Be prompt, come prepared with any questions you have, and make sure you act professionally. Personality is an important factor in landing your first big event planning client; if they don’t like you as a person, they’re unlikely to want to use your services. Even if you’re having the worst day, put a big smile on your face and be enthusiastic and friendly. If you don’t feel that they’re a good fit for your personality or your niche, then walk away, however keen you are to land your first big event planning client.
A client relationship is no different to any other relationship, the right one is worth waiting for!