Corporate event hall

Business, Event Planning Tips, Your Event Career

What Businesses Look for in a Corporate Event Planner

Planning events for corporations is one of the most lucrative areas of event planning you can get into. The events you’ll plan can often be quite large and prestigious affairs.

Whether a business is looking to plan a formal banquet or a small fundraiser, businesses will always look for the same qualities in any event planner they hire. How do you measure up?

A Professional Brand

Businesses won’t be like your typical event planning client. With certain small-scale clients, you can get by with a Facebook page and some good word-of-mouth references. If you want a chance at being hired by a corporation, a professional website and a reputable brand is a MUST!

Corporate event planner professional website

This includes…

Brand Values

Small and large businesses alike will care about your brand values. Whatever vendor or service they work with, they will want one that reflects the right ‘image.’ For example, you probably wouldn’t be hired for an animal rights fundraiser if your website features photos of couples enjoying foie gras at their wedding that you helped plan.

You’ll also want to be careful about what you put out on your own private social media channels. We’ve talked about this before, but it’s even more important if you’re marketing to businesses. No corporation wants to be involved in any kind of a ‘scandal.’ They’ll take steps to fully vet you before signing a contract. If you tend to express any controversial opinions on your social media accounts, change your settings to “private” so that only your close friends can see them.

Connecting on social media

Competitive Pricing

Businesses are used to being overpriced for just about everything. That’s because many vendors treat their business clients like an endless bag of cash. The reality is, however, that a business will have a very strict budget for the event in question, and the person who hires you will be considered a hero if you come in under budget.

In order to secure the best price, businesses will often start a bidding war between you and your competitors. You’ll want to be portrayed as the business that offers the best value (not necessarily the cheapest price).

Help your chances in a bidding war by:

Be prepared to explain why your experience, education, partnerships, etc. makes you worth the extra cost.

Corporate event planner on the phone

Education & Experience

Your portfolio and your credentials will be crucial to winning a corporate event contract. Businesses will want to see that you not only have planned similar events in the past, but also that you have the education to back up that experience.

You’ll want to have a very modern and diverse portfolio on your website. Planning a few styled shoots is never a bad use of your time, especially when you want to go after more prestigious business clients.

In terms of education, try to go for more than the basics. On top of your event planner certification, if you can take additional workshops of specialization classes, they’ll definitely be worth your time in the long run!

If you have zero corporate event planning experience, consider teaming up with an experienced planner on one of their corporate contracts so that you can get the experience you lack. Businesses will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to get additional training and they’ll be more confident that you’re ready for the job!

Building Bridges

Don’t give up! Businesses have functions all the time and they’ll always need planners to help out. If you want to get into corporate event planning, networking will be your best friend. Find out who the key influencers and decision makers are, and get to know them in between contracts. Even if you don’t win a bid for a contract, that doesn’t mean you won’t win the next one. Making friends and acquaintances will help you when the time comes to pick a vendor.

Are you interested in entering the world of corporate event planning? What attracts you the most about this specialization? Let us know in a comment!

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