One of the best perks of the events business is doing what you know how to do best and receiving the right rewards. As an event planner, you’ll definitely get to plan events for a wide variety of clients, ranging from low profile to middle and to the almost elusive high-profile clients that often present larger budgets with bigger ideas. The other day at an event industry discussion forum, a number of event planning correspondents complained bitterly about the elusiveness of ever attracting top clients a.k.a “The big fishes”. A very salient point that was stressed about the problem was the issue of being a relatively unknown new player to the industry and thus for that reason lack the credentials to actually attract the so called high profile clients. While this reason may be partly true. However it isn’t wholly the only factor that hinders the attraction of high end clients for event planners especially those who still trying to carve a niche for themselves in the industry.
NB: The majority of professionals in the events industry don’t get to start off working with high-profile clients. For such majority, So how do you grab the attention of high-profile clients much later on?
For those event planners who really love the challenge of working with these sort of clients and are itching to re-brand their business and step up their game to become an attraction to high profile clients in no time.
Below are the proposed strategies you would want to execute to find such an opportunity:
1. Acquire more training and get certified professionally as an event planner.
The events industry is one that ensures you get to move up the ladder as a professional through the typical hands-on experience, and a lot of planners do get to enjoy such steady rise in their career over the years. However, in the case of high-profile clients, you’ve to keep raising the bar to attract them, because they’re only looking for the best of the best. And one sure way to stand taller than the others is by acquiring more skills through event training program opportunities.
Research into what type of learning suits you (either in-class or online) and then go for it!
Having done this, not only will you be armed with the requisite skills to create awesome events, but you’ll also be able to showcase your completed training certifications to high-profile clients as proof that you can tackle any situation.
2. Create an amazing portfolio of your work.
By now you’re already done with your latest training certification, and you can’t just wait to start building your list of high-profile clientele! Well, the major take about these type of clients is that they would always request to see examples of the extraordinary events you’ve planned in the past before pulling out a cheque book. So with the thoughts they would be spending so extravagantly on a planner, they’re going to be meticulous about details – therefore as a planner whose intention is to wow…you should have a killer portfolio that shows just how deftly skilled you are at specifically planning such luxury events.
Currently all your portfolio jobs may be lower-budget, but how do you turn that around? To do this, you can implement a DIY to convert such into events showcases that will dazzle a high-profile client.
How? Simply find a photographer to do a styled shoot, of course! Styled shoots are a very effective medium for event planners to showcase their best work in a visual way – and also try reaching out to some willing vendors who will donate their services in return for the exposure benefits they will get from the shoot. As complicated as this may sound, you could actually attempt it and see that it works. Quality and style including decadence are the qualities high profile clients want to see in your work– after all it is the only way they can measure that you have the high standards claimed by you. So if you want them to believe in your capabilities of even exceeding their expectations, you should provide a professional portfolio of your work to be taken very seriously. Without that, becoming event professional to be reckoned with may remain elusive to you.
3. Keep building upon the experience from relevant opportunities.
While it may take some time before you eventually land your first high-end client. Never neglect the days of humble beginnings as you’ll also need such practical experiences under your belt. So as you keep those high-profile opportunities in mind, ensure you don’t pass off the opportunity to book budget clients and smaller events in order to hone your skills. Such important skills as time management, problem-solving, and personal skills are usually gained much from these experiences. A day will certainly arrive, that in addition to your certification and fabulous portfolio, you’ll be more than ready for the challenge of those big clients when they eventually come calling.
4. Follow high-profile organizations on social media and at industry events.
You dont have to be fully ready first in bringing in lists of high profile clients before you can actually monitor or follow their activities. This strategy usually helps to put your name out there! It is common knowledge that most leads emanates from word-of-mouth referrals, and they are difficult to get when you’re not yet booking big-name clients. But don’t worry! Just do your homework by seeking and following a majority of these corporate clients on social networks especially LinkedIn, and reach out for networking gigs by looking for where business owners, politicians, public leaders, and even celebrities hang out, and keep your finger on the pulse of those places. Social gatherings, annual general meetings, golf clubs and other exclusive social clubs,…etc are some of the common hangouts to check out.
Another great opportunity to get your name into their consciousness is by volunteering for events such as fund raisers and lunchoens, that way you’ll be giving back, honing your skills, and potentially meeting high-end clients! And don’t forget to always have your business cards handy, and as well be ready to a quick 30secs pitch of your services.
5. Build your brand
Once you’ve been able to establish your stock as an event planner for high end clients. The next task is to begin to cultivate your brand. While working with lower-budget clients, you must have noticed they were picky about style – they’re just looking for a planner who could make their dreams come true within their limited budget.
However, high-profile clients such as business owners and celebrities are quite the opposite as they specially want more specific ideas for their own planning. They usually get caught by that event planner who brings his own unique style, as they want such styles to become extensions of their own ideas, whatever the occassion may be, your style and brand, therefore, will set you apart. It may become a decisive factor for clients with a large budge to spend on their events and it is that exact creativity that has become your exclusive signature that they’ll want to see shine through in their events.
Once you’ve arrived at this point, you must use every single opportunity to present it to clients, and incorporate it at every level of the business, including your website, promo materials, and even social media presence. Ultimately, this becomes the high-profile experience you offer to your client – not just a high-profile event!
6. Create attractive packages
There is the common saying that, “you are what you attract”. Therefore, becoming an event planner for high-end clients requires same level of intentional seriousness in your business, as your prices must reflect it. Once you’ve raised your prices to reflect your offers, you have to start thinking about packaging your services. The clients you are targeting have the means at their disposal to make all their wishes come alive. Usually they show you they are very picky from what they want. In other words, if you’re to command the attention of such clients, you must create packages that are incredibly attractive as well as customizable to match their desired tastes.
Unlike clients at the lower cadre who want to stick to a budget, high-profile clients seek superior quality, and are willing to match it with your asking price. Charging a higher fee provides you with more funds to maintain your brand, and you even get to adapt such prices based on the luxury that the client wants. For as long as the prices are within reason, these sort of clients are the ones that will scrutinize your services if your prices are too low – but in the reverse case, they won’t flinch to the price.
Finally in handling high end clients, always maintain some level of flexibility in the services that you offer. An example of such could be providing accommodation and travel for the itinerary of guests at your client’s event. That is the sort of impression that a high end client expects from a wholesome event experience. Demonstrating such apt attention to details is what will likely attract and retain wealthy clients to your services.