How to Become an Event Planner for High-Profile Clients
Every certified event planner knows the benefits of working with people – this is one of the best parts of the job! And in such a diverse role, you’ll plan events for a wide variety of clients, including high-profile clients with big budgets and even bigger visions. If you love the challenge of working with these clients, and are itching for a fancy re-brand of your party planning business, becoming an event planner for high-end clients could be your opportunity.
So how do you grab the attention of high-profile clients? You’ll need to keep a few items in mind, so we’ve put together a quick list to follow. You’ll be stepping up your event planning game in no time!
Lay the groundwork
The majority of professionals don’t start their event planner career working with high-profile clients. You’ll need to work your way up, and there are a series of 4 steps to follow…
1. Obtain your event planning certificate
Event and wedding planning is the type of industry in which you can move up the professional ladder through hands-on experience, and many planners enjoy a steady career climb over the years. However, in the case of high-profile clients, you’re going to have to step it up even more, because they’ll be looking for the best of the best.
One way to set yourself apart, is by completing training through an event planning program. Research into what type of learning suits you (either in-class or online) and then go for it!
Not only will you be armed with the skills necessary to create gorgeous events, you’ll be able to show high-profile clients that you’ve completed training and can tackle any situation.
Find out what you can expect on the road to your event planning certification!
2. Build an amazing portfolio
You’ve completed event planning certification classes, and you’re keen to start building your list of high-profile clientele! Well, one important thing to note about this type of client is that they’ll want to see examples of the extraordinary events you’ve planned before making a decision. With a large amount of money to spend on a planner, they’re going to be particular about details – so you’ll need to have a killer portfolio that illustrates just how skilled you are at planning events, specifically luxury events.
So how do you turn your current portfolio of lower-budget, DIY events into one that will dazzle a high-profile client? A styled shoot, of course! Styled shoots are a way for event planners to show their best work in a visual way – you’ll need to find a photographer and some willing vendors who will donate their services in return for the advertising opportunity to be featured in the shoot. This may sound like a complicated endeavor, but trust us, it’s totally worth it! If high-profile clients can actually see your beautiful work, they’ll know what you’re capable of.
Keep in mind that high-profile clients want to see quality, style and decadence in your work – they have high standards, after all, and they want to be sure you can exceed them! If you can’t provide a professional portfolio, you won’t be considered. So make sure this is part of your groundwork as you become an event planner.
3. Gain all the experience you can
And we don’t mean experience with only high-end clients! Along with your event planning certificate and fabulous portfolio, you’ll also need practical experience under your belt. Keep those high-profile dreams in mind, but be sure to book budget clients and smaller events in order to hone your skills. You’ll gain so much from these experiences, such as time management, problem-solving, and personal skills, that by the time those big clients come calling, you’ll be more than ready for the challenge.
4. Follow high-end corporations and couples
Even though you may not be ready to bring in lists of clients just yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t follow them and put your name out there! Every event planner knows that most leads come from word-of-mouth referrals, and those are tough to get when you’re not yet booking big-name clients. But don’t worry! Do your homework and find out where business owners, politicians, public leaders, and even celebrities hang out, and keep your finger on the pulse of those places. Yacht clubs, golf clubs, or other ritzy organizations and exclusive clubs are common hangouts to check out.
Volunteering is also a great way to get your own name out there as an event planner, as you’ll be giving back, honing your skills, and potentially meeting high-end clients! Remember to keep those business cards handy, and be ready with a quick pitch about your background and services.
Build your brand
Once you’ve laid the important groundwork and established yourself as a luxury event planner, it’s time to really cultivate your brand. When working with lower-budget clients, you’ll find that they’re not picky about style – they’re looking for an event planner who can make their dreams come true for the right price.
High-profile clients such as business owners and celebrities, however, are looking for something way more specific. They will be intrigued by an event planner who has their own unique style, as they want this style to extend to their event design, whether it be a celebration, corporate conference, or wedding. Your style and brand, therefore, will set you apart. It may be the deciding factor for clients who have a large amount of money to spend on a planner and want your creativity to shine through their event.
Take some time and really think through your unique style as an event planner. Once you know what you want to present to clients, incorporate it at every level of your business, including your website, promotional materials, and social media presence. Ultimately, you want to offer a high-profile experience to your client – not just a high-profile event!
Create attractive packages
If you’re serious about becoming an event planner for high-end clients, your prices need to reflect this. Unlike other clients who adhere to a budget (and expect you to do the same), high-profile clients are looking for the utmost quality, and are willing to pay for it. Consider raising your prices (within reason), as these types of clients won’t even look at your services if your prices are too low – they are big names, after all! Charging a higher fee will provide you with more funds to maintain your brand, and you can even adapt your prices based on the luxury your client wants.
Once you’ve raised your event planning prices, start thinking about packaging your services. The clients you want to attract have money at their disposal, so they’re used to shopping around and being picky about who they hire. One way to draw them your way is by creating packages that are not only incredibly attractive, but also customizable to give them exactly what they want.
Be flexible about the services you offer! Consider offering a package for the event itself, or for additional parties (a bridal shower in addition to the wedding, for example). Be sure to go above and beyond with details, like guest accommodations and travel, as these clients are going to expect the very best from the whole event experience. You want to demonstrate your attention to detail! Be flexible with what you offer, and you’ll be much more likely to retain wealthy clients.