Business, From the Experts, Your Event Career
The 4 Best Networking Tips for Planners
Regina Osgood is the owner and creative director of Meant2Be events, a top Arizona wedding planning firm that manages over 250 weddings a year.
What so many people forget to do in our industry is balance the tasks they love about planning with the tasks that are necessary to run the business. Sure, there are days where you get to go to all the fancy tastings and fun décor meeting, but frankly almost 70% of my day is spent on business tasks and not weddings at all! But that is why, more than a decade later and across state lines, I am where I am in this industry!
So let’s take one of those tasks and dive in. Making these tasks productive as well as fun will make the time you spend “working your business” much more satisfying! Networking is one of the most critical aspects to your success. But you can also spin your wheels at cocktail parties and waste hours of your time with little to no results. Capitalizing on networking can make it worthwhile and can even turn it into one of the more fun aspects of your business management.
Share your expertise and ideas. Share information. We all have our tricks of the trade. This isn’t about sharing your “secret sauce,” it’s about raising the bar around you so that your success can be shared to others and in the future reciprocated to you! You can really learn something from everyone—even if that’s learning what NOT to do!
If no one knows what you’re doing, it’s like it never happened. Maintain regular and consistent contact with people you want to stay in touch with. Communicate via email, blogging, social networking, and of course, in person. Both myself and my #2 are sitting on the boards of the networking groups we belong to.
Go where the people you want to meet hang out both online and offline. Interact with people and build rapport. For us, we define a networking goal before we go in… like pick up 2 new business cards from people you do not know, or end the night with a lunch appointment set with a new contact.
Connections open doors, but relationships close deals. Networking is most valuable when long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are formed. Relationships take time to build. Think of it like dating…you don’t go from the blind date to marriage overnight. That kind of trust and understanding takes time!
In the end, meeting new people can be business-altering! Turn this business task into a money maker and enjoy every minute of it as well!