7 tips for the fresh event entrepreneur
Fresh starts can be fun, but challenging. Somehow, as we get older, we tend to lose some of the power that always kept us exploring as children. But changes may occur in life and passions must be followed. And if you find yourself in front of a fresh new start as an event planner here are some tips we gathered from our #eventprofs friends.
Love what you do
I know that this sounds ideal (maybe almost utopic) but this should be a universal rule. In life, you should always take the path that makes you happy because, as you will discover, the path itself is more important than the destination. This rule is even more important for event planners: your job is to create meaningful events that bring joy and is hard to do this if you hate your job. There will be many weekends away from your loved ones and many long days (and short nights). It will be almost impossible to succeed in this field if you don’t really love what you do.
Market research is important
Enthusiasm is essential, but it’s not enough. If you want to make it (in the long term) you should always be informed; like my grandpa used to say…you shouldn’t be the smartest person in the room, but the most informed one. This piece of advice seems to suit the event management scene, one where a misplanned action can have extreme effects on fresh professionals. Research to see when is the best time to schedule your event (maybe there already are some famed events in the period you first selected, so you should reschedule it) or maybe there is a lot of interest for a subject but no conferences in your city on that subject; keep your eyes (and mind) open and you will see both the opportunities and the threats that can affect your business.
Don’t stay behind
In the event management scene, the attendee’s experience is the only thing that really counts. If you don’t create blissful moments your event management business won’t last. See what guests tend to appreciate, but also what ruins their mood. Innovate. One thing that we all hate, and I’m sure that you will agree with me, is queueing; so use a cashless payment system. Use NFC for interactive screens and access credentials. We all like tech innovations: involve your sponsors and use AR for brand activations.
Cash flow counts (a lot!)
Money: a delicate yet crucial subject. I wrote a while ago an article about how a smart access management tool can help you with your cash flow. Besides using a tool that doesn’t block your cash until after the event it’s also incredibly important to save money for “darker days”; or unexpected opportunities.
Promote your business
I think that we all have heard that “if you are good enough clients will come”. But let’s face it, bills come much faster. And although marketing is not your first priority it shouldn’t be ignored as it can make or break your business. The good news is that you don’t need to invest o fortune in your marketing strategy. We’ve written about Twitter, Long Tail Keywords, Snapchat vs Instagram, Email marketing. Read our articles and learn how to promote your business with a decent investment.
Take baby steps
Most of us want to grow our businesses into giants that will change the world, but unnatural growth can sabotage us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t aim for more, but you must be honest with yourself. If you just planned you first one day conference, coordinating a small crew, maybe a 5-day music festival is a little big for your next assignment. Take it step by step and one day you will be able to organize any kind of event.
Learn from others
There are experienced event planners out there eager to teach you the “do’s and don’ts”. And although it’s hard to learn from anything else but your own mistakes, it’s always good to have someone you can ask what to do when things get rough. Having a mentor is a great way to start a business because you can add some experience right from the start.
Use your curiosity and try to learn from the best, see what they are doing. Go to their events, feel what every attendee feels, and use that information to create unforgettable experiences at your own events.
It’s not easy to be an event professional, that’s obvious. Planning and setting up an event will force you to challenge tasks that seem almost Sisyphean. But the end result is so uplifting, full of emotion, and will make you realize that bringing joy into people’s lives in priceless.