6 Ways to Network with Your Event Planning Certificate
Every industry has its connections, and it’s important to establish these early on. Networking with industry pros can help you gain experience and build your contact list (to say the least!).
Working with other event planners is a terrific way to learn new planning techniques. Once you receive your event planning certificate you’ll be an event professional, so don’t overlook these networking tips to help you build your business brand!
1. Attend conferences
The easiest way to meet more people in your industry? Attend conferences. Even just one conference will automatically grow your contact list. Whether you want to research the competition in your area, gain valuable knowledge and tips, or build your vendor list, conferences are a MUST. Plus, it’s a great excuse to travel!
They range in size and popularity, but every conference will have its benefits. Aim to attend high-profile conferences as well as smaller local ones. It’s important to build your business upwards, so establishing your brand locally is an important step. Check out these event industry conferences that will get you networking with other event planning professionals!
2. Update your blog
If you don’t already run a blog for your business, get to it! Blogging is an easy way to keep customers in the know. Your blog can be a place where you show off your talent and creativity. Uploading photos from successful events, client testimonials, and writing personal posts gives your business a backbone; there’s evidence to your hard work. Clients want to know they’re hiring a reliable event planner. More than this, vendors will also have a chance to see your work so they can gear their services towards your style. Remember to stay professional in your online presence and you’ll reap the rewards!
4. Build resources
Resources are the most important aspect of event planning—you can’t do anything without them! From vendor lists to scheduling, sales planning to hiring employees, there’s an endless amount of resources that can help you build a better business model. Check out these resources for information that will help any event planner stay organized and on track.
Sharing your own resources will help you network as well. You’ll gain trust from other event professionals and become a reliable source of information. Making your resources accessible can be scary—you don’t want someone to take your ideas—but share any tips that you might have learned along the way. Or, share your resources with people you’ve worked with (and trust) rather than spilling all of your industry secrets!
3. Host a Meet & Greet
Similar to conferences, but much more intimate. Hosting a meet & greet can range from inviting other event planners for coffee to organizing a cocktail meetup—either way, you’ll establish yourself as the go-to event planner for networking.
Chances are, you’ll start with a small group of industry pros until you gain more experience and meet more people. You can even exchange ideas within your circle of event planners and discuss big projects. It can be tempting to outshine the competition, but their input could end up getting you more clients and better industry connections. Remember, being genuine and approachable is the key to networking!
A great resource for industry information is Sage Wedding Pros’ Thursday Therapy meetings—find one in your area and meet up!
5. Attend tradeshows
Simply the best way to build your vendor list and expand your knowledge of the event industry! Tradeshows will help you establish your name as an event planner. Give yourself time to attend different tradeshows and speak to people who work in the industry. You’ll learn new things and gain credibility as someone who puts time into establishing a professional presence.
Tradeshows are also great for finding caterers and vendors who suit your planning style. Talk to vendors about upcoming events you’re planning. They might have some great ideas for you, and hey—you could create a lasting business partnership!
6. Ask for referrals
Although this may be the most difficult of networking techniques, it can pay off BIG TIME. If you plan a successful wedding or event for a young professional, chances are that client has a big social group she’ll rave to about your services. Ask for referrals when you know you deserve them—that means when you’ve put in hard work, time, and effort. Your best events are the perfect opportunity to optimize word-of-mouth referrals. A referral can also come through blogs, social media, and websites. Asking for a quick shout-out from your client could lead to major marketing results for your business.
The best piece of advice we have for networking in the event planning world: DON’T BE AFRAID! Put yourself out there and your brand name will keep on growing.