“EG Tips” – How to Beat Your Event Competition in 5 Easy Steps

“EG Tips” – How to Beat Your Event Competition in 5 Easy Steps

As an event planner, you want and need to constantly stay on top of trends, and keep ideas fresh and creative in order to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ways you can take your event planning skills up a notch to beat your event competition and look like a rockstar planner.
  1. Own Your Niche

    As any veteran event planner would say, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and act like a trailblazer in the events industry. Start by taking a look at other planners in your area of expertise. Who really comes to mind when you think of an amazing planner for weddings, or corporate events? Why do they come to mind? What have they done that has inspired you, and led them into a pattern of continued success?
    In other words, find ways to create a splash for your planned events. Whether it’s by having new entertainment during each day of the event, or creating a cool themed experience for your attendees to be involved in, find ways to stand out from the herd of planners in your area of expertise and make them want to follow you!

  2. Think Like a Strategist

    Everyone has high expectations of events (not just the attendees and staff), so it’s important to stay innovative when planning events – especially to see a strong impact after the event. Innovation is a culture of it’s own. It’s a constant, non-stop rollercoaster for not only event planners to keep up with, but for all creative types.

    Event planners need to think like a strategist. Brainstorm with your team on ways to rethink how to grow your events, and improve them. It’s all about taking the effort to review events you have planned, and finding ways to make them better. It can feel like a constant cycle when planning any event – so in what ways can you redo certain areas or details that have lacked for you in the past?

    Maybe you have been super successful at communicating well with attendees. Look at all of the communication touch points you typically do for an event, and see if you’re killing it on all cylinders. If not, poke at little areas and tweak them so that you’re ready to rock at 100% for your next event. For example, you can step up your social media strategy by having a fun contest that begins before an event, and gets your attendees excited, or maybe hint at a fun surprise at the event to get everyone guessing about what it could be. The more engagement you have with attendees on a strategic level, the more involved you seem as a planner. Plus, what’s better than creating major buzz around your event? The more buzz and chatter you receive, the more well-known you become in the events world. The more creative ideas you toss into the ring, the more you look like an overall awesome planner anyone will want to work with.

  1. Make a Headline

    Great event planners are known for what they do in the industry. Make sure you’re using your personal brand on a daily basis – whether by being active on social media, blogging, or doing interviews for news outlets. You want to get your name out there, and into headlines. Think like a newsmaker. How can you take your events brand to the next level? Try testing the waters by submitting articles about the events you have planned along with testimonials from clients and photos. You never know who may want to interview you and turn you into a star! The more engagement you have with attendees, the better your chances are of receiving praise and fame!

    Remember to always stay professional, and know people will talk. Just like any other major brand, you’re representing yourself as a brand when planning events. You want to be known as the creative, innovative, fun, and professional planner everyone wants to work with

  2. Be Inspirational

    Innovation can be a tough thing to accomplish when trying to beat your competition. Unless you’re finding ways to inspire audiences and keep them entertained, you may be falling flat in this area. You want to plan events where you’re influencing everyone from the attendees to the vendors, to even your own staff. This can be the toughest area to knock out of the park, especially with so many other planners challenging you with their fresh ideas. So, find something eye-catching and run with it.

    For example, come up with a theme that really hits home for everyone attending your event. How can you ensure they are feeling like they are all apart of this theme each day of the event? Take a leap of faith, and test fun ideas – you never know, you may hit one way outside of the park! People expect the biggest and best ideas while attending an event, so never feel afraid to test a crazy idea and receive feedback.

  3. Blend Technology

    Staying on top of technology trends is a must for event planners. New tech trends are key to use in order to keep your event looking fresh and on top of the curve. What new event apps are coming out soon? How can you blend digital with physical at your events? Start looking at ways you currently use technology at events, and brainstorm on how to take this up a notch. If your registration has been manual in the past, think about going digital to create a better, more seamless experience for your attendees. There’s nothing worse than standing in a long line to speak to someone on the events staff to register, when you could have done all of this at a kiosk or online before stepping foot in the venue.

In Conclusion

Being known as an innovative event planner is key to a long-lasting career in the events industry, and to look like a rockstar against your competition. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and inspiration to think creatively and implement innovative ideas at any event. Test, test, and test again all of your ideas – even if they seem silly, you never know who may love it and share your cool idea with thousands of others!

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – Overwhelmed by Email? Top 18 Tips to Claim Back Your Inbox

“EG Tips” – Overwhelmed by Email? Top 18 Tips to Claim Back Your Inbox

Ever feel like email is taking over your life or dictating your working day? Here is how to get your inbox back under control!

Email is the probably the most important business communication tool, and unavoidable in working life today. In the fast-paced world of events, there seems to be a never ending stream of urgent emails demanding your immediate attention, especially nearing the time of the event. Before you chuck your computer out of the window, here are some easy tricks you can learn to master your inbox, and modern tools to help you do it faster.

  1. Differentiate Professional and Personal
    If you’re working freelance, you may be using your personal email address to deal with work. That might have been fine when you started out, but it doesn’t help if your inbox is a big mess of personal, professional, newsletters and spam emails. Keeping your personal life and your professional affairs separate will give you a clearer view of your work.
    Even if you work solo, consider investing in a professional website and email address to match the domain. Many perceive this as more professional than working through a personal email account and it helps to develop your personal brand more strongly.
  2. Filter your Newsletters

    It is handy to hit subscribe to a new newsletter as soon as you discover a blog or website that looks interesting, but you don’t always have time to browse through the content when life gets busy. This can result in dozens of random newsletters landing in your inbox daily, the majority of which you will immediately trash, thinking you will read the next one when you have more time.
    Gaining new knowledge and staying informed is essential in our fast-changing industry, but to be productive this should be dedicated to a specific time that suits you. Depending on your email provider, you can set rules to automatically divert specific emails to a designated folder, which you can then check when your agenda allows.

    An event planner’s time is short, too short to waste time on spam so hit unsubscribe if you receive anything you didn’t opt in to or if your preferences have changed. Unroll.Me is a wonderful tool that will list all the subscriptions linked to your email address so you identify and unsubscribe from all unnecessary communications in a flash or choose to have them delivered within one single email per day.

  3. Don’t Use Your Emails as Storage

    Emails are only a tool and should not be used to store your important files. Get into the habit of saving important documents as they are received to your computer or the cloud. You can create folders within your inbox to organise your emails more effectively, but attachments such as contracts, floorplans, quotes and project planning information, should be saved and filed appropriately.

  4. Aim for your Inbox to be Always Empty

    Finishing your day with “inbox zero” is psychologically positive and can help to clear your mind. Even if you have not replied to all emails, if you are on top of what has been going on and have neatly classified them in the right folders to be addressed later it can help you switch off at the end of the day. It is essential in the days leading up to an event, and especially during an event, to be aware of every communication and last minute change and to react as quickly as possible. Sorting your new emails by order of priority will give you a clear view of your next steps.

  5. Template Emails Should Be Your Friend

    Often there are a number of emails you send on a regular basis. This could be requesting quotes from suppliers, sending an enquiry to a venue, chasing information, issuing invoices, etc. If you repeat the same or similar emails every day prepare some template emails and keep them to hand. It will be quicker to adapt this canned text for sending rather than writing a new email each time.

  6. Keep it Formal

    Now that most people work from their smartphones, emails are becoming more informal and sometimes more closely resemble text messaging than formal business communication. Even if you want to keep it brief try to keep business emails professional. Text speak and abbreviations are never acceptable and countless short and meaningless exchanges are disruptive and ineffective.

  7. Pick Up the Phone

    If you notice that a conversation is endless and not productive, or that there seem to be misunderstandings, it is sometimes easier just to pick up the phone and deal with it with a quick conversation. Time is a precious and mistakes are costly. It can be easy to misconstrue the meaning of an email and some things are better communicated with the spoken word. Most importantly this email philosophy encourages your clients, suppliers and colleagues to be smarter about email communications as well. Perhaps you have a weekly phone call or meeting already scheduled with the client? If so try to gather all questions, ideas and things to check into one list to discuss at this specific time and minimize the need for emails outside of the scheduled conversation time.

  8. Recognize Emails for What They Are

    Emails should not be confused with work or over-relied on to define the outcomes of your day. Recognize that although emails are generally an essential part of your working life, generally time spent emailing is not earning you any money or getting through your growing workload. Don’t use emails to speak to or allocate tasks to your team or for checklists, there are countless apps and other tools better dedicated to that. Emails should be a communication means to an end. You can still send or forward emails to your task app, providing it supports emails, and you can then organize your tasks there. Evernote and Todoist are some of the apps that support emailed tasks.

  1. Sort your Emails

    If you’re organizing several events and/or work with many different providers and clients, it might be easier to keep emails relating to the same theme together, so you can focus on one topic at a time. If you reply to your emails in chronological order, you will jump from one topic to another and lose time refocusing each time you move to a new topic. Use your email provider’s settings to label your emails automatically or send them to designated folders. You can then easily organize your day by working topic by topic, checking the relevant emails at the right time, when you are already focused on that topic.

  2. Make your Search Easier

    If it is inevitable that you continue using your inbox as a search tool, at least try maximizing your chances of tracking down the specific email you need. Include relevant keywords within the subject line and body of your email and flag important messages for future reference.

  3. Limit Email Time
    Countless successful people limit the amount of time they spend on emails to set times per day and shut down their inbox at all other times. Try checking your email at the start of the day, at lunch time and at the end of the day to avoid getting distracted from your priorities. If that level ofself discipline sends shivers down your spine try checking for emails just once per hour. For some the ultimate sin is to ensure that they don’t check emails first thing in the morning, or at least not before they have planned out their to do list and goals for the day ahead.
    At the very least remove the ping or notifications when an email arrives so it doesn’t distract you from whatever you are working on. Of course it is good to respond to emails promptly but replying the minute an email lands with you can look a bit needy!
  4. Keyboard Shortcuts

    Whatever email provider you use learning some keyboard shortcuts can shave minutes off the time you spend on emails each day. Look up and learn by heart the most useful ones and it will become second nature in no time at all.

  5. Respond Promptly

    It is easy for email messages to quickly slip down your inbox with the amount of emails most people deal with in a single day. Make sure you respond promptly or at least acknowledge an email and give a timescale for when you can deal with it as a matter of courtesy. Some email tools enable you to set a reminder to follow up on an email at a particular time or date.

  6. Don’t Copy People in Unnecessarily

    Be respectful of your colleagues and think carefully before you copy someone into an email. You may think you are “keeping them in the loop” but if they have to dig through oodles of information to find something relevant to them it isn’t the best use of anyone’s time. Keep them off the email circulation and feed back directly what is important for them to know.

  7. On the Go

    There are several inbox apps on the market, so don’t think you are stuck with the default app. An alternative app might suit you much better. It is worth experimenting until you find the app that suits your email style.

  8. Out of Office

    If you are out of the office for more than a day or two it is generally good protocol to switch on your out of office. Not only does this work to notify others of a delay in your response but it can often stop people from chasing you up by phone or social media at those times where you are not available.

  9. Don’t Email Out of Hours

    In this super connected world it can feel like you need to be available 24/7 and it is easy to fall into the habit of checking your phone after hours. Even if you are happy or feel the need to do this try to resist sending emails at ridiculous times of the night. Regularly sending emails at midnight to a client could be seen as desperate, disorganized or give the impression that it is fine to contact you at any hour! Hold off pressing send until the morning or even schedule it to send automatically at a more acceptable time so you can forget about it.

  10. Email Footers

    Email footers are often underutilized but can be a really useful marketing opportunity. You should always include your key contact information in your footer (phone number/Skype ID and ideally a mobile number) and including social media contacts are also a great way to connect. Promote your forthcoming events, link to your blog, share your latest company news or whitepaper too.

In Conclusion

Email is an indisputable tool for event planners but it can sometimes be a real source of stress and panic if not managed in an efficient way. By taking some time to declutter your inbox on the one hand, and learning how to prioritize and operate your communications more efficiently on the other, you can really capitalize on this wonderful (ancient!) technology.
What are your tricks to stay on top of your emails and not get overwhelmed? We would love to hear in the comments below.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 10 Things Event Planners Should Do Before 9am

“EG Tips” – 10 Things Event Planners Should Do Before 9am

Rising early can start your day the right way, make you more productive and boost your career above the rest and here’s how you get there.

We’ve all heard of the early bird getting the worm. While night owls can have increased creativity, studies also show that they procrastinate more, making them less productive. Additionally, studies show that getting up early makes you more proactive with your day and can help you to mentally focus and stay motivated by achieving things early on. With this in mind, here are the top tasks to promote event planner productivity that you should do before 9am.

  1. Wake Up Early 
    Many entrepreneurs and successful people are getting up several HOURS earlier in order to have a productive morning so unfortunately for you does not mean setting your alarm for 7:55am but instead, more like 4am-5am. This can be tricky, particularly if you are not used to getting up early so some of the ways to deal with this are; Get a decent alarm clock – Don’t use your phone or tablet to wake you up because they can easily be snoozed and also force you to come face to face with your emails and social media notifications and encourage you to look at them. Set it in stages – Don’t just decide to get up from 5am from now on and attempt to cut out several hours of sleep as you will rebound and end up feeling like you need to nap in the afternoon, which could lead to a later bedtime and an unhealthy sleep pattern. Instead, set your alarm back in 15 minute increments each day until you reach your desired time and also ensure you are going to bed 15 minutes earlier each day as well.
  2. Catch Up On Trends 
    The event industry is ever changing and in some cases the latest craze or trend can hit overnight so catching up first thing in the morning not only helps keep your work day current but also puts you ahead of everyone else in terms of knowledge. You can opt to check your social media channels or even event specific news outlets that are current and reliable, also make sure you are following top event planning accounts on Instagram and other social media and you will find your own patterns and trends emerging, keeping you ahead of the game. It is important to be careful here because there is a fine line between using the internet to research trends and stay current and browsing aimlessly through your social media is a bad habit that kills productivity.
  3. Get A Decent Breakfast 
    Yes it is the most important meal of the day and eating a decent breakfast can also help to wake up your metabolism and immune system to keep you healthier as well. Food is directly related to our cogitative function on a systematic level, meals that are high in fat provide a lot of energy but can also require the body to focus on the digestive process rather than prioritizing oxygen to the brain which can leave you feeling tired, have you ever wanted to nap after a big dinner? That’s why. The type of breakfast you consume is constantly under debate from nutritionists and the health world alike but make it something you enjoy that is balanced and you can’t go wrong. You may think that skipping breakfast will help you save time and therefore make you more productive but incorrectly fueling your body will lead to a dip in blood sugar levels and excess snacking later on and stops you from being able to focus, which means you will ultimately be losing out and less productive.
  4. Exercise 
    You may snort at the idea of getting up early and exercising but it can help you fit it into your day before it gets pushed aside for other more “important” work and can keep you motivated. Exercising in the morning also helps to give you focus and feel good about yourself making you productive for longer.
    Tim Cook – Apple CEO and industrial engineer, Cook gets up at a cringing 3:45am in order to hit the gym, get ahead on his emails and start work in whichever time zone is still awake to deal with business.
  5. Shower 
    A shower is a good idea, especially after the exercise, but also to start your day “fresh” and clean off any of yesterday’s problems to make you a more positive eventprof. Showers can also be an excellent quiet space to problem solve and think about your upcoming day to get into the right headspace to deal with it. Does a clean body equal a clean mind?!
  1. Have A Power Habit
    A power habit is something that takes a minute or less that you use as a milestone during your day to help train your mind and body to prepare for different things. A common morning power habit is to make your bed which signals to your brain that it can no longer go back to it until tonight and that, that portion of your day is over, which is particularly beneficial in reducing mental fatigue when getting up early.
    Creating quick habits like this can help you to spark a routine which makes you more likely to succeed and stay on track throughout the day.
  2. Do Something You Enjoy
    Whether it is a passion project or simply sitting with a coffee and reading a book, spend a little time each morning doing something entirely for you that you enjoy. This can help you to reduce event planning stress and mentally prepare for the day ahead.
    You could use this time to start a new hobby or learn something new as well as ensuring you fit in some “me time” in your day which can stop resentment of your work and make you enjoy your career more!
  3. Hit Your Top Priority
    Look at what your most important thing to achieve for the day is, and do something towards achieving it. Don’t try to tackle it all first thing in the morning because it will consume all of your extra time and you’ll end up just starting work at 5am which defeats the purpose of getting up early. Instead try to think about the best way to approach it or just mentally preparing yourself for the task ahead.
    You could opt to combine this activity with another such as exercise or power habits or even think about it in the shower if you would prefer to multitask but the point is to think and visualize your top priority task to give yourself some thinking time.
  4. Avoid Social Media
    The death of productivity is in social media and you should avoid getting embroiled in your friends social media updates, it will still be there later. Unless you’re using social media to surf event accounts for inspiration and trends, network or benefit you in some way (as discussed in #2), avoid it at all costs before 9am as it is more likely to make you fall into the abyss.
  5. Prep For The Day
    What do you want to achieve today? Ask yourself what your goals are, write a to-do list and think about today’s priorities to help give yourself meaning and focus as well as provide clear guidance on what you need to get done and how you will achieve this. It’s a great way to boost motivation but also helps to avoid procrastination during the day that stems from not having clear guidelines. It is also important to take a minute for yourself to just breathe and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead and what you need to achieve for your own sanity more than anything else.

In Conclusion

Whether you are a growing event planner or a seasoned veteran, using your mornings to your advantage can only lead to success. Regardless of whether you like mornings or not by incorporating these tasks and steps first thing in the morning it will help keep you on track throughout the day and boost your eventprof career.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 6 Tips to Become A Successful Meeting Planner

“EG Tips” – 6 Tips to Become A Successful Meeting Planner

A successful meeting planner figures out ways to meet more of their attendees’ needs to increase retention and interest in the meeting. Here are 6 tips and examples on how other organizations have become more aligned with what their attendees need in order to create more successful meetings.

On this blog I’ve talked about how customization is an important trend and factor in engagement. Most meeting planners would agree customizing your offerings to what attendees want is a great way to make an impression and ensure they find it enjoyable, which leads to increased return rates. However, implementing customization can feel daunting to many planners. Where do you begin? How do you give attendees what they want without burning your budget or alienating others? Here are examples of how several organizations met the challenge to see results.

Meeting Industry and Member Needs

Many organizations host their meetings or conferences at approximately the same time each year, but industry and personal needs change over time. You may find your locked in date no longer suits your attendees or the industry. For instance, a state Parent Teachers Association may have hosted its first meeting the week before the children went back to school. Traditionally that was August, now it is mandated children will start in September, this will alter the conference schedule.

It’s necessary to keep an eye out on industry events that could impact your meeting calendar. Changes could come from a new law, a change in your industry’s busy time, or drastic government budget changes that would mean attendees have to choose between your event or another one. Listen to your attendees for scheduling adjustments that may be necessary.

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Some groups host multiple meetings across the country or world to make attending more convenient, but if numbers drop, it could become cost prohibitive to do so. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin from a resources perspective, nor do you want your events cannibalizing one another. You don’t want attendees to choose to go to the nearby meeting and forgo your annual one.

If you see numbers drop, it may be time to consolidate meetings. Some companies decide to eliminate its two meetings a year and combine them into one. This places a larger importance on your annual meeting and allows you to dedicate more resources to it. For attendees who used to have to budget for two meetings or decide which one they’d like to attend, this simplifies their finances.

Junkets Are So 1990

From government to corporate, organizations everywhere are slashing travel and professional development budgets. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the conference industry. Ultra-luxurious destinations are out for most organizations and many are cutting down on the length of their conferences. The International Association of Convention Centers asked its members their preference and found out, bigger (as in longer) is not always better. Their 2017 meeting was shortened to two-days and incorporated a one-day option for those looking for something more economical with less time away from the job.

Give Attendees a Jaw-Dropping Moment

Personalization of your meeting to your attendees’ interests and needs is a great way to engage conference goers, but personalization doesn’t mean you have to give them exactly what they want and expect. A savvy meeting professional will know to create what called a “jaw-dropping moment.”
Not only do attendees enjoy these magnificent surprises, they are also well-remembered. In a study, researchers found that emotional events are remembered much better than daily occurrences. They also found emotional events trigger the birth of new neurons inside our brains. These new cells are created and activated by the experience. That’s why those jaw-dropping moments have such a lasting effect on our attendees. Staying top-of-mind is essential to retention.

Virtual Options Keep People Connected When They Can’t Attend

Meeting planners know it’s easier to attract return attendees than it is to convince someone new to attend. Returning attendees are key to any conference planner’s success. But budgets and work sometimes preclude people from going. When this happens, there’s a good chance they won’t be back.
Attendance is a pattern, and sadly, skipping can become one too. That’s why it’s important to stay connected with attendees who aren’t able to come. The Higher Education Users Group heard their members’ desire to stay involved, even when they weren’t able to attend, and so they created a virtual option and made videos available (after conference) for free for their members. They want all their members to be able to be a part of the action and education.

Vendors Want to Be Heard Too

Vendors provide the basis for a lot of what you are able to offer at annual meetings and conferences. When exhibitor numbers decrease you have to secure a lot more sponsorships or increase attendee numbers by a large percentage to make up the difference. That’s why you shouldn’t think of customization as something

just for attendees.

Many vendors attend multiple conferences and trade shows on an annual basis. Requesting their opinions on what you’re offering, and then responding to it, is essential to ensuring they feel valued and feel they are receiving a return on their investment.

In Conclusion

The art of listening to your attendees is not about reacting and changing your offerings every time someone has a complaint. It’s about understanding their needs and realizing they are your greatest source of information on engagement. Together, you and your attendees (and exhibitors) can shape the future of your meetings and conferences. And this is truly proof of a great meeting planner.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – The Rise of the Virtual Event Planner

“EG Tips” – The Rise of the Virtual Event Planner

Advances in technology have made way for a new type of working within the event industry. There are more opportunities than ever to work virtually, from home, with excellent results.

Event planning has got smarter and technology has opened up possibilities to work globally and flexibly. Virtual working means that you can share your skills more widely and expand your pool of clients across the world. You can also access the skills and support you might need yourself exactly when you need it and without the time, cost and hassle of recruiting a permanent member of staff. Collaboration and business expansion opportunities can be harnessed from the comfort of your armchair to create a network of virtual employees worldwide to work with you towards a common goal.

If you have always wanted to be an eventprof that worked from home it is definitely now a possibility. This handy how-to guide can help you to become an online freelancer, to set up your profile, find work and clients, know how to set your price, stay organized and be successful. No more office, just you planning the events that you love!

So what are the opportunities for this new generation of event planners and how can you start to offer your virtual event planning services?

Getting Started as a Virtual Event Planner

First you need to decide on what you can and want to provide. Obviously as an eventprof you want to organize, plan or manage events but you need to determine in what capacity and the services that you offer. For example: Are you creative? You could look at offering design services for event logo’s, publications and promotional material.Perhaps you are more interested in marketing events and can support with event promotion, event competitions, social media pages or online accounts for a specific event?

Maybe you excel at getting in contact with clients, attendees and sponsors to procure funds and create opportunities? Your focus may be on assisting with administrative tasks or invoicing?
Or you may have lots of experience with the legal side, such as contracts and terms and conditions? Or event health and safety? You may want to offer event consultations for those who are looking to organize their own events if you have good all-round experience? Ultimately the options are limitless and you just have to use your own strengths as a guide and build from there.

Setting Your Virtual Price

This can be the most difficult part of virtual or freelance event planning, especially if you have little to no experience of working on your own. There are two risks here with setting your price.

Too Low

This tells potential clients that either your services aren’t worth it or that you have no confidence in yourself, which means you will either be working yourself to the bone to survive on the small money you offered or you won’t get any offers at all.

Too High

This is usually where people go wrong to begin with and can mean that you don’t get the clients because you are undercut on price every time, or the worse part, you get hired by a client that has high expectations because they are paying a high rate and you can’t deliver, which will affect your customer feedback, ratings and could be really damaging.
You want to find a happy medium that allows you to show your worth to a client while also offering competitive pricing over other virtual workers to get the project. You can do this in several ways by considering some of the following pricing options:

Per Project

Rates offered per projects or quantifiable achievements are popular among those who want a specific job done, for example, setting up a Facebook page for an event, designing a flyer, creating an event registration site. With some basic information you will have a good idea how long this will take you and you can offer a price based on this.


Setting hourly rates is usually reserved for event planning that is hard to define the time input, for example tasks that include a lot of contact or effort that can’t be quantified in set tasks. For example, if you are marketing or assisting with sponsorship, you don’t want to set your price per project because this could take you hours that you wouldn’t get paid for and it is not cost effective. Instead, you want to use hourly rates for situations where you put in time regardless of the outcome and this needs to be made clear to your client from the outset.

Word of Mouth

Getting people talking about your events or services is a great way to get re-hired because people trust the recommendations of others. Make sure that you call people or interact with them online to get them talking about your business. Don’t be scared to ask past clients if they are willing to review you too as high ratings and testimonials really count.
Word of mouth tip – When responding online, remember you and your business are always on display.

Combination or Percentages

This last option is more common when you have more experience and are working with reputable companies that you know are going to do well. For example, you would organize a one-off fee in the beginning to see you through the organizing stages and then you would receive a percentage of the entrance fees on the door or the amount of sponsors that come on board, depending on where your skills have been employed. Many clients like this way of paying as it gives you more of an incentive to work harder for them. Beware this is not always the most lucrative way of doing things though and it is the hardest to dispute if you feel you are underpaid at the end.

Organization as a Virtual Event Planner

Now you know what you want to do and what you want to charge for it, you need to adapt to virtual working. Working in a virtual setting has benefits of working from home (work in your PJ’s, flexibility, no commute) but it also comes with its own set of challenges (more distractions, less human interaction, odd working hours). The thing that really stands out is personal organization and productivity. Working in your own environment, especially in the fast-paced event industry can help to reduce stress (especially for introverts) but it can also easily distract you and reduce your motivation and productivity.
To combat this, staying organized is vital (probably more so than working in a traditional office environment) and you can do this in a variety of ways:

  •  A personal calendar is an essential. Whether you prefer to use an online calendar or a written one you need it to keep on track.
  • Just because a lot of the work is virtual also doesn’t mean that you won’t need to print things out and store them so ensure you have a filing system and special folders (don’t forget you could be taking notes too and they need to go somewhere).
  • Have a desk, office or personal space dedicated to your work, when you are in that space you are working and being productive. This mentality will soon make it a habit.
  • Set timings for yourself, for example a lunch break or tea break because although it might seem counterintuitive it helps to break up the day and keep you better focused to get things done.
  • Finding Work and Clients

No work means no money and you can’t have that! If you are new to virtual event planning you may not know where to look but in actual fact you have probably already started without realizing it.

Social Media

Being a virtual planner means you have an entire network at your fingertips if you use it correctly. Set up your own business accounts and use social media to promote yourself and the projects and events you are involved in if you are authorized to do so. This works as a great portfolio for yourself and helps to create buzz about your services. You can also contact new followers (leads) that might be interested in your services.

  • Social media tip – Don’t alienate your followers by always pushing products or services in their face, offer them value too in the form of sharing interesting content and other posts they might find interesting.

5 Top Tips for Virtual Event Planning Success

  1. Engage Your Audience
    Unlike conventional event planning you can be more easily ignored when you are virtual which means you will need to bring out the bells and whistles to get things going and keep the attention of your potential clients or attendees. A great way to do this is to create a media kit for your products and services with a professional layout and great graphics to “wow” them from the start and give them a reason to connect to you.
  2. Play to Your Strengths
    Always offer things that you know that you can provide really well so that you don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Be honest but always be up for a challenge, little experience doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do it!
  3. Build Experience
    Start small, don’t feel like you have to plan a sell-out festival on your first try. You could even start with children’s parties, a friends’ birthday or other family events to get a feel for what is involved.
  4. Be Bubbly and Enthusiastic
    Making people want to work with you is an art form which is made harder by doing it virtually and those with happier personalities will often win through. Whether you are trying to convince a client to hire you, a collaborator to work with you or even just to increase your presence online, stay happy and bubbly because it really shows through emails, social media and meetings.
  5. Don’t Forget to Take a Break
    One of the advantages and disadvantages of virtual working is that you can work at your own time and in some cases work and deadlines can take over. Event planning can be tough and stressful and the quickest way to burnout is not taking some time for yourself. As you will be working from home you should have an area that is completely work free for you to relax or avoid the stress (and temptation) of picking your work back up again!

In Conclusion

Virtual event planning can be incredibly rewarding and is easier now than ever before. By utilizing technology and social media you can successfully use your skills to plan events and sell your services. It is important to remember that while finding clients and work has become easier with online freelance websites, you will still need to be competitive and have a clear picture of what you are offering in order to compete in today’s market. With the tips for success you should now be able to get started on your new freelance career path and make it work for you.

(Social Coup LLC)