“EG Tips” – 13 New Words We Use in Events

“EG Tips” – 13 New Words We Use in Events

Most of us are products of the period of time in which we are born into. At least our language is. Today’s event planners have a whole new way of speaking compared to 20 years ago. Here are a few words we use now that meant something totally different in the past.

Imagine traveling back in time to 1985 and conversing with people on the street. You could tell them that the Terminator would one day be Governor of California and that the goofy guy on the TV show Facts of Life would one day “grow up” to be a Hollywood heartthrob. And if you said, “LOL” or “OMG” they would wonder what you meant.
Everyday language evolves, new words become a part of our lexicon while terms and phrases such as “Will you tape that for me?” (as in videotape) become obsolete. Industry and technical terms undergo the same metamorphosis. Today’s event planners use many words that were not heard of even a decade ago. If you stumble across a time traveler, you can give them this list of words we use now that had no meaning (or at least a very different one) before the year 2000.

Pre 2000, if people heard you referring to drones in the air that are focused on capturing the event from an aerial view that you plan on then uploading to your site, they may have looked at you a little strange. What is a drone? Now we use these unmanned aircraft for all sorts of crowd shots and special footage.

Another word that would give people from twenty years ago pause. While they may have been able to decipher that streaming involved some kind of flow, they would never understand the ability we have today with video on demand and live-streaming events so that people on other continents could watch as if they were in the audience. Although the concept has been around for a few years now, technology behind streaming of video and WiFi speeds have increased to the point that often you can’t tell if something is being streamed or played back. There’s a lot less buffering today.

Virtual Concierge or Chat Bot
This concept is quickly becoming how we maximize our time and reach the largest number of attendees in the most effective manner possible, but only a few years ago someone would wonder what you were talking about. Now we all rely on at least one chat bot, be it Siri, Cortana, or Alexa in our daily lives and event planners have begun adopting similar technology or concierge apps for their events.

Years ago this term may have referred to a glassed-in office in the middle of a building but today’s event planners use it to mean a room layout set up in the round to facilitate conversation involving the larger group and not just a presenter.

Projection Mapping
Another relatively new term that event planners use often, projection mapping creates the ideal customized look for an event through the use of 3D objects as a display surface. It also referred to as 3-D mapping and video projection mapping.

Sounds vaguely like something an arachnid would do, but modern-day event planners know it to be the act of streaming a live event over the internet, which brings us to…

Virtual Attendees
The concept of being able to partake in a conference or meeting without actually being there used to be relegated to dialing in through a phone and hearing a lot of noise you didn’t quite understand. Today, we have entire conferences available to the world through virtual tickets where attendees can watch, learn and participate from the comfort of anywhere they have an internet connection.

Special dietary requirements are something event managers see more and more of in their food requests. But gluten intolerances are something we have only recently heard of. If you traveled back to the 90s and asked someone if the cake in front of you was gluten free, they’d have no idea what you were asking about.

Charging Station
No one from the 90s would ever understand the need for charging stations every few feet. Even those of us who may have had cell phones back in the early days knew that they could go days without charging them. But that was back before the phones were “smart.”

Engagement used to have a very different connotation than it does to today’s event planner. In fact, it is employed so frequently in regards to the need to engage the audience, attendees, website visitors, and more that it is fast becoming meaningless like the word synergy. Still, the concept is critical to event success.

Like engagement, personalization is an event trend that is hard to ignore. Attendees have been “spoiled” by online retailers who personalize the shopping experience for them and now they expect personalization in every aspect of their lives. It’s no longer enough to plan a nice event. It’s essential to understand what your audience wants and personalize the experience to their desires and interests.

Many event planners are starting to get into the data of their events at the same time that clients are becoming more data savvy. Reach is a big interest in deciding what audiences you’re hitting and how your event information is being shared. If a handful of years ago you asked about your reach in a planning meeting, people would’ve naturally looked at what was in the near vicinity of your arms.

There is a whole language that has been adopted due to social media and verbs involved with posting to these sites, but selfies transcend platforms. Picture taking opportunities are important at events and people no longer wait around awkwardly until they find someone who looks trustworthy enough to hold their camera and take a picture of them. Now if you want a shot of yourself in front of the event banner, you take it. Even presenters are doing selfies of themselves with the attendees.

In Conclusion

Do you ever stop to think how often the terms we use as part of our daily routine have only been around for a short time? It’s amazing how our language has changed. Watch kids playing tag on a playground and instead of yelling time-out, they use “pause the game.” They also say “versed” when talking about who they competed against, even if it was in a foot race.
These changes spring directly from our daily use of technology and are hardly understandable to people who haven’t experienced the 21st century. What would you add to this list?

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 8 Time Sucking Tasks and How To Streamline Them

“EG Tips” – 8 Time Sucking Tasks and How To Streamline Them

Are you finding yourself spending too much time on certain jobs? If so, take a step back and see if you can streamline and speed up your daily tasks!

“Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted, the leader must be doubly vigilant.” – Colin Powell

An eventprofs day is stacked full of appointments, meetings, tasks, projects, reminders, checklists, and lots and lots of details! While this may seem crazy, we are event professionals and we love details! But, with all of the details that go into creating an amazing event, even ninjas can sometimes find themselves out of time. If you find yourself constantly out of time, leaving out the details is not the answer. Take a step back and see if you can streamline your day, speeding up your activities and creating more time in your day to do more.

Here are a few areas that are huge time-suckers:

1. Emails
While emails are wonderful and convenient, it can become overwhelming. Ideally we should check email less often. Try to be more strategic in your email communication. Part of being more strategic is considering it may be quicker to meet face to face or pick up the phone. If you find yourself staring at your inbox all day long, and have only responded to one conversation (20 times!), pick up the phone and call them instead next time. In ten minutes, you can divert both parties attention to focus only this situation, discuss all of the details, and effectively solve the problem that would have taken all day through email.

2. Typing and Data Entry
If typing is not your strong suit, there are several different solutions that can help, depending on your situation. If you are creating a new document yourself, and your typing can’t seem to keep up with the ideas coming to you, look into a speech to text software. As you talk, the software automatically converts it to text. We use this all the time on our phones. The actual software programs that are available to purchase are even better, and are getting better each day!
Despite being in the age of wonderfully integrated technology, sometimes it’s impossible to get away from data entry tasks. Before doing these types of tasks yourself, think of the other tasks you could focus on. Sometimes it’s more cost effective to hire outside help.
If you simply have a need for data entry or written note transcription, consider hiring some temporary help. While a temp agency can find you someone qualified, you can also be more creative with finding additional help. Reach out through your local meeting planner organizations or college programs. This would be a great way to bring in a student or apprentice planner to work with and mentor.

3. Bidding, Contracts, & Invoicing
Being self-employed, getting signed contracts is always a wonderful feeling! The hard part is finding the time to do the research for them, create beautiful proposals, edit them, submit them, and everything else that comes in between! Sometimes, you are too busy to create new proposals to bid on new projects. Other times, it feels like all you are doing is bidding on projects and customizing contracts. If you find bidding and contracting is taking up too much of your time, consider technology. With specific proposal and contract software, you are able to create templates that can be reused and quickly modified and customized. These tools can help streamline your financial process and help you look more professional.

4. Repetitive Tasks
As Event Professionals, you may have one or more of these time sucking repetitive tasks: separating name badges, stuffing name badges, labeling envelopes, stuffing envelopes, collating delegate folders. Should I go on? Sometimes I do like to stuff name badges. Being able to zone out a bit and still feel productive. That must be an EventProf Zen thing. However, more often than not, I just don’t have the time.

When faced with these repetitive tasks, try to think of a more effective way to accomplish them. What is the cost of having the printer complete the name badges or the mailing? There may also be some great resources in your community to provide work for individuals with disabilities. These organizations offer business services like bulk mailing, package assembly and all the while providing education, training and employment opportunities. It’s a great way to fulfill the needs of your business and help serve the community as well.

5. Delegating
Do you find yourself spending more time to explain the task being delegated than it would take to actually do it yourself? It takes some practice, needs clear communication, and the right people involved, but delegating can free up a tremendous amount of time in your day. By using a software program you can easily and efficiently delegate, communicate, and oversee different projects. For this to run smoothly, though, the software must be consistently used to its fullest potential by everyone involved! Be sure to also set clear expectations and visions with everyone involved.
Working with a team and delegating tasks can be a tricky situation. Be sure to take extra care to ensure that you do not become a micromanager! While it is never a manager’s goal to become a micromanager, sometimes it just happens without them realizing it.

6. Education
As eventprofs, we should always be learning new things and refining our skills. Taking a class or researching a new topic is very rewarding, but also very time consuming. If you find that you want to continue to learn, but can’t find the time, consider using an audio book program. I have found that listening to books while driving or exercising is a great way to get away from everything, while still being productive and checking something off of my list! Also look for online webinars that are shorter. Many industry resources are doing 30 minute sessions that get right to the core educational content.

7.Normal Business Tasks (a.k.a. – doing everything yourself!)
Running a small business is very rewarding, but it does come with its challenges, especially when you are the one doing everything. You fill many roles, and are responsible for representing your marketing department, financial and accounting department, legal department, sales department, customer service department, human resources department, custodial department, research and strategy department, and many others!

As an entrepreneur, we are generally skilled at many facets of business, and are able to be successful wearing most of these hats. However, if you find yourself struggling with a particular “department,” consider contracting out that area to a professional. Contact your local chamber of commerce for recommendations or look for a virtual assistant. Though there is a cost involved in outsourcing, the time you save yourself may end up being more valuable, since you are then free to do something else you had to put off from before (maybe researching that new client or catching up on emails).

8. Technology
Today’s technology-based world has turned its focus recently to the event arena. Every week, it seems like a new technology is introduced that can help make our events even more remarkable! With new products coming out so quickly, it is harder and harder to find the time to research, explore, and become proficient in them all.

If technology is slowing you down, look outside of your company for a contractor that focuses simply on finding and integrating the best technology for your needs. By hiring a professional that has the dedicated time and skills to finish a project that may take you twice as long, you are then able to focus on other things, effectively speeding up your activities by allowing doing so more each day.

In Conclusion

As an eventprof, we are not just professional event planners. We are next level ninjas – we can do it all! While we know we can handle and master anything given to us, time is the only thing that holds us back. If time seems to be constantly winning, take a step back and look to see where you could use help. Look at your daily processes to see if you can streamline them. If not, look at bringing an expert into your ninja dojo to help you defeat time.TAGGED

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 7 Ways To Deal With An Awkward Venue Manager

“EG Tips” – 7 Ways To Deal With An Awkward Venue Manager

I’d imagine I’m safe in saying that, as event professionals, we’ve all dealt with awkward venue managers. It’s a constant tightrope walk.

Here are my 7 tips for dealing with them.

1. See Things from Their Point of View
Remember that the venue manager is there ALL the time. YOU are the blow-in. You’re the one coming in and changing things and looking to make things suit you and your client.

2. Involve Them in Decision Making
Consult them and talk to them about decisions you’re making in relation to the event. Remember that they may have material impacts on them and the venue and, indeed, they may have valuable input. Perhaps, for example, they’ve run an entry system that way before and encountered issues. They may save you some heartbreak.

3. Give Them a Win
I don’t mean this to sound facetious, so I hope it doesn’t. Again, it’s THEIR venue. They know more about it and how it works best than you do. If you’re going to consult them and ask for their input, then be prepared to take it on board and use it. This may mean doing things differently to how you had planned to them .Both your relationship with the venue manager and, indeed, your event may well be the better for it.

4. Put Them to Work
Involve them in the ‘doing’. Have them participate in the build or the moving of furniture or something else requiring willing bodies but probably not much technical knowhow. This should hopefully help get them bought into the event and making it a success.

5. Show Them You’re a Pro
To be fair, they may well have seen loads of ‘event managers’ in their time, probably some good and some bad. Show them you’re one of the good ones. Put their mind at ease.

6. Introduce Them to People
In my experience venue managers love to be introduced to acts and high-profile clients and the likes. Get them in for some photos and be sure to get them a copy of them.

7. Say Thanks
This one doesn’t apply just to venue managers. It seems like a lost art these days. Say thanks. It’s common courtesy and will stand to you.

In Conclusion

For me, it really boils down to being considerate, somewhat intelligent and clever as well as being polite. There will always be venue managers who need some ‘managing’. They DO have the potential to make your life awkward to learn to deal with them effectively. It’ll help you avoid the whole stress thing too.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 15 Successful Ways to Get Event Feedback

“EG Tips” – 15 Successful Ways to Get Event Feedback

Most event surveys haven’t changed since copiers came out. They’re boring and feel more like an obligation than something an attendee wants to do. Plus, everyone is on the survey bandwagon now. You can’t walk into a business without someone asking how they did. And, honestly, aren’t we all a little tired of surveys? Keep your event surveys from becoming annoying with these 15 fun and engaging ways to get feedback.

Are you struggling to get feedback from attendees? Do you dislike traditional surveys? Maybe you’re looking for ways to make feedback collection more organic and less forced? If so, you’re not alone.

1. Beacons. Beacons can be used to push a quick survey onto a phone at the time when your guest is leaving the area. This can be done for specific exhibits, attractions, or even movies. Since the beacon uses technology to know where someone is, it can match the message accordingly, like when someone is exiting a room.

2. Maps. A popular interactive way to get feedback is to invite people to place a pin or sticky note on a map of where they’re from. While they’re leaving a note about themselves, ask them to write something on the note about their experience.

3. Tie it in. Ask people leaving your venue to provide a pictorial representation of what they thought and then tie it into the type of event you’re hosting. For instance, for an art gala, you can place canvases around the exit and encourage people to sketch or paint what the event made them feel. Simple smiley faces can suffice.

4. Selfie emoji option. Ask attendees if they want to be part of a selfie expression art piece. Have photo props that exhibit emotions or use large versions of emojis. Ask them to choose the one that best fits their event experience. Take a picture of them and ask if they wouldn’t mind if you upload it to social media.

5. Conversation starters. Take a tip from the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. They used conversation starters as a way to get feedback. They invited guests to finish one of the following sentences about the event:
• I made ___________
• I loved ___________
• I met ____________
• I learned _________

They then took pictures of guests with their written answers and asked if they could post them to social media. 90% said yes! An added bonus to this type of input is that it requires people to think about the value they got out of your event.

6. Go straight for the review. While it is a little risky, because online reviews shape decision making and search results, if it fits your venue you could create a campaign that concentrates on getting online reviews and not feedback surveys. Place QR codes in areas that attendees congregate. The codes should lead directly to a popular review site or a contact form for testimonials. You could also use a push notification to provide a direct link and ask them to share their experience online or on social media. Most people just need to be asked and a review may be far more effective than a simple survey. Plus, most people enjoy seeing their names online so they will get more value from reviewing you this way than they would from a survey.

7. Recycling. If your event gives out paper agendas, programs, or other paper toss-outs to attendees, and you have exit recycling bins, turn them into experience barometers for a very unofficial straw poll. Cover a few bins with emojis and encourage attendees to drop their recycling in the one that fits their event experience.

8. Text message. Shortly after attendees have left your event (or an individual session), send them a text thanking them for attending and ask them to text you back with 1-3 words that describe their experience. This is best left to an opt-in program because some people do not enjoy getting texts and there are other concerns like data overages that you don’t want to contend with.

9. Facebook check-in. Invite attendees to check in on Facebook (if you have a page for your event) and ask them to leave a comment or give you a star rating in order to be entered into a prize draw of your choosing.

10. Fun images. Hang several pictures in your exit area or an area where people congregate. The pictures should be large enough to serve as a backdrop for a selfie and each of them should convey an emotion. Tie the image into your event or your theme. For instance, a zoological conference might have a picture of an angry rhino, a chimp with his head buried in his hands, and a smiling polar bear. Ask guests to take a selfie with the one that best describes their time at your event. Give them a hashtag and encourage them to share it. You may not be able to run deep analytics on this but it’s a fun, engaging way to get attendees to participate and give feedback. The one downside is that if that angry rhino is too cute, people may select getting their picture taken with it just for fun.

11. Slow-motion video. As people are exiting your venue, ask them to go into a video booth and give a 2-10 second physical depiction of their event experience. Then put together several of the videos you recorded, slow them down and set them to a catchy song. Results are hysterical.

12. Ask. Post staff near the exits and ask each person leaving (or as many as they can get to) to use one word to describe what they thought of the event experience. Record responses.

13. iPad stations. Conduct a quick 1-3 question survey on iPads throughout the public space. Just make sure they’re secured well. You don’t want someone walking off with one of those the way they do pens.

14. Use mobile. Make a survey available in a mobile version through your app and alert people to fill it out as they’re leaving (through the beacon technology mentioned earlier).

15. Show instantaneous results on the first question. If you’re surveying people electronically, let them see an instantaneous list of how others answered in graph form. This sparks a natural curiosity and will get them to complete the other questions as well. If you’re using other indicators of sentiment, find a way to post those either to a monitor or by updating a poster with results. People are naturally curious and it builds community. Plus, attendees are more apt to agree to provide their opinions if they know others are doing it as well.

In Conclusion

Surveys are so boring. It’s time to spice up your event analysis with these ideas. While the less than scientific approach may have some analysts shaking their heads, most of these ways are so fun, they continue the enjoyment of your event outside of it instead of providing a disruption. After all, you want attendees to feel the magic of your event as they leave not be bogged down with surveys in their in-box.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 7 Steps to Align Face-to-Face Meetings with Organization Strategy

“EG Tips” – 7 Steps to Align Face-to-Face Meetings with Organization Strategy

Because we’ve done it every year is not a good reason to run a meeting!

Now more than ever we need to get a greater return from our events. As event planners we have a responsibility to ensure the events we run align with organization strategy. Here are 7 steps to achieving success.

A Missed Opportunity?
Corporations spend millions of dollars hiring bright management consultants and mobilizing senior executives’ time to develop strategy. However, when an opportunity arises to align and engage employees on the objectives to be reached through a conference or some other type of event – these same intelligent consultants and executives never harness the power of the face-to-face meetings that they are planning. Yes, they spend a lot of time and money on the events, but when asked why they spent so much time and money – they don’t have a convincing response: because that’s what they have done every year…

The Responsibility of the Event Planner
In all fairness, senior executives have little or no experience in using face-to-face meetings to increase their organization’s business performance… and we should probably do a better job by engaging with them with better initial questions than “how many rooms do you need?” or “where have you been to previously?”.

How To Align Events with Corporate Strategy
Here are seven steps to follow to align business events with corporate strategy and have a meaningful impact on the company’s business performance.

1. Understand
In the planning process of any meeting, the very first step is to understand the organization’s strategy. If you don’t know where you are going, any advisory board, sales meeting, incentive trip, or customer event will do… but you might just be throwing your money out the window with little or no impact!
Questions like: “What does success look like in three years?” or “What are three main objectives of the organization in the next 12 months?” will help you understand the context in which the face-to-face meeting will be executed… and it will definitely position you at a totally different level.

2. Identify
Take any business challenge, aligning people, increasing customer’s relationships, engaging your team, etc, it will never be solved without a face-to-face meeting down the line. Will the event be enough? Of course not! But leveraging its potential will bring the best results possible. Accordingly, there are three types of information which need to be identified:
• What are the objectives of the meeting?
• Who are the attendees and/or various stakeholders involved?
• What does success look like, and how are you going to measure it?
Based on the insights collected, you will now be able to move to the next step and design the most effective meeting EVER!

3. Design
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
I love this quote from Maya Angelou and this is precisely what design is all about – content, emotions, and impact.
The design includes several items like the agenda, the learning that people should receive, and the communication they will engage in (before, during and after the face-to-face). The design, and in particular, the communication, provides a great opportunity to bring a lot of creativity into the content.
At the end of the day, what you are looking for is creating emotion. It is the most important aspect of the meeting – regardless of whether it is a sales meeting, a product launch, a trade show, or incentive travel. The emotion entails how you are going to make the attendees feel that they are part of something unique and impacting… and it is created through the design and the content coming together.

If anything can go wrong, it will! Murphy’s Law is the most applicable rule when it comes to the execution of face-to-face meetings. In over 10 years, working in the entertainment industry, I have never experienced one single event that was executed exactly the way it was planned! There is always something unexpected that will happen.

Logistics are extremely important in conveying the main message of an event or meeting. Imagine that you are planning the event to be outdoors. However, when the day of the event arrives, it’s raining or the temperature is too cold or the audio-visual production doesn’t deliver, then you’re not going to be able to convey your message with the same impact.

And then of course, there is the whole discussion about pricing. This reminds me of the story of the patient suffering from an issue that no other doctor could help her with. So she decided to try yet another doctor, a very experienced and respected doctor. After 10 minutes of consultation, the doctor shared her diagnosis and advice. The patient then enquired about the cost of the appointment. After being told the amount, the patient complained about the price, mentioning that it only took the doctor ten minutes and that it was really overpriced for just ten minutes. At that stage, the doctor looked at her and replied, “I’m not charging you for ten minutes of my time. I’m charging you for thirty years of experience and the ability to give you sound advice in ten minutes instead of hours.”

A major step in the process is measurement. When you start from the objective of the meeting defined at step 2 (Identify), you need to actually define what is it that you are going to measure (tangible and intangible) and how you are going to measure it. It is not always necessary to make an extensive ROI Study but obviously, if you don’t measure, you don’t exist!
Finally, you need to prepare the reporting back to the different stakeholders involved in the decision-making process and by doing so, to be able to link the specific event to the company’s strategy and its execution.

6.Follow Up
You have mobilized a lot of resources to organize your face-to-face meeting. You have carefully planned the communication before the meeting and have managed to go beyond your attendees’ expectations. Then… everybody goes home, and the next day at the office, it is business as usual, almost as if nothing had really happened. What a waste of money and missed opportunity! Think about how you can expand the benefits of the meeting.

7.Uniquely Different
A common mistake is to try to always do something “more expensive,” something better “just to top the previous year.” That path leads to a dead end! Rather than aiming to spend a lot of money or outdo the previous year’s meeting, look at doing something “different” – that’s the key to success and to a sustainable approach to face-to-face. Looking to do it uniquely different is the key to executing a meeting with the greatest impact.

In Conclusion

We work in the greatest industry. Science, sports, politics, religions, education, etc; face-to-face meetings are bringing people together and changing the world, one meeting at the time. For too long, we have been concentrating almost exclusively on logistics and we have let an important part of our work be commoditized without really thinking of the added value we are (or could be) bringing to an organization’s success.

(Social Coup LLC)

“EG Tips” – 7 Skills of Millionaire Event Planners You Should Be Using

“EG Tips” – 7 Skills of Millionaire Event Planners You Should Be Using

Are you ready to become a millionaire event planner? It takes more than someone willing to write a healthy check in your name. It takes skill, organization, incredible patience and possibly some of these magic ingredients.

What’s the difference between those event planners who organize exclusive soirees and run million dollar businesses and those who are just scraping by? You’re both dealing with demanding schedules and last-minute issues, difficult personalities and unregistered guests, but what are they doing that you’re not? Here are 7 skills millionaire event planners have cultivated over the years to keep them earning top dollar.

It Takes One Person to Open the Door
How do you play on a new playground? By playing there. The same is true of event planners. Liz Taylor of the Millionaire Party Planner show fame frequently plans charitable events. If you can get people to open their wallets for a good cause, you can get them to open their wallets for you, again and again. Referrals are everything when you’re working at this level. Her clients the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren’t making calls, shopping around event planners. They’re asking specifically for someone who did the last event they attended and enjoyed.

Look and Act the Part
While it may be hard to justify, operating at this level of event planning means making sizeable investments in yourself because you are the event brand. Your look, clothes, style, car, even your tablet speaks to your abilities. No one will pay top dollar to you to plan their event if you drive up in a car with a busted muffler and old soda cans rattling around in the back seat. While most of us aren’t doing that, there is a certain refinement and look required and that may involve upgrading your wardrobe or even the technology you use to appear to service this millionaire group before you actually do.

Find a Niche
Word-of-mouth is essential in a millionaire event planner business. It’s how you’ll land most of your jobs. Finding a niche and becoming known for something makes it much easier to build a personal brand. Maybe it’s “Sweet Sixteen” parties MTV-style or maybe it’s million-dollar charity events, find an area you want to work in and concentrate building a portfolio of those events. While there’s a risk in putting all of your eggs in one basket (what if next year the whole world decides “Sweet Sixteen” parties are ridiculously frivolous and no one wants to host them?), building a brand is one of the most important things you can do. Look at Colin Cowie who parlayed his wedding and event planning into a line of home décor – all because his brand was associated as one of style. Preston Bailey partnered with the Wedding Institute to offer a wedding and event design course. That comes from branding, not just skill.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No to Clients
The flip side of developing a niche is knowing when someone’s event does not fit into your ideal. This means turning down work. This is one of the hardest lessons for any business owner, but if you tie up your time working with people who are not in your ideal demographic that is taking time away from finding someone in your sweet spot. Just as you may say “no” to dessert if you’re watching your waistline or trying to make healthier choices, you should exercise the same control over your event business. It should not be one-size-fits-all. If you want to plan exclusive events, you need to be exclusive in selecting clients. After all, they will be the source of your next client. If you veer off the road to success to take someone on who’s not your ideal, any person they refer your way will be the same.
Not only must you select the right clients but you must command a price too. You need to feel confident in what you are asking for because you bring a value that’s worth it.

Work the Referral Engine
As mentioned earlier, events of this echelon, and hosts with deep pockets, don’t dial a directory of event planners. They ask for referrals from friends and peers who have thrown similar events. That’s why it’s essential to build your referral network and learn all you can about referral marketing. At this level of the industry, who you know is everything. Consider investing in memberships that will give you access to the right people, network with managers at expensive venues, volunteer your services at established nonprofits that place you close to large donors who can give you experience on high ticket events.

Upgrade Your Team
If you like to handle everything yourself, you’re going to have some difficulty moving into the millionaire event planner set. Not only must you have a team for the sheer size of what you’re often planning but your team is going to need to be comprised of people well-known in their own right. This means big name, or at least medium-sized named, entertainment, celebrity chefs, and party favors from major designers. With most of these events the names of those “working” it are as important as the experience itself.
The only part of your team that needn’t be known is security but at a high-dollar event, you better be prepared for tight, professional security that runs with the precision of a well-orchestrated dance team.

You’re Not Hemmed in by Budget So Make It Extraordinary
Having a budget is incredibly frustrating when you have an extraordinary vision of what could be. For millionaire event planners, the budget is less of an obstacle but because they are freed on that end, they need to come up with amazing experiences. You may need to hire set designers. Seriously.
A lot of these big budget events are asking people for large donations or high ticket prices to attend. Giving them something spectacular is just part of the job. For a party that featured the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, and Prince Henry, Liz Taylor transformed Kensington Palace into a magical winter forest, complete with a ballerina dancing on top of a 12-foot music box, in just three weeks’ time.

In Conclusion

In order to transform your event planning business into a million-dollar one, you need exposure, branding, and a niche. Sometimes that niche is something as simple as taking an event on with very little lead time and making magic happen. When you can do something no one else can – or no one else wants to – you can become the go-to person for that type of event and the go-to person can name his/her price.

(Social Coup LLC)