Keeping Your Event Planning Business Relevant During COVID-19
Mwai Yeboah is the proud owner of the luxury wedding and event planning business, Love, From Mwai. With over 15 years of event planning experience, Mwai helps culinary enthusiasts, fashion admirers, and adventure seekers plan experience-focused weddings that exceed their dreams and leave their guests in absolute awe! In addition to the countless awards she has received over the years, she’s also written and published her own book about wedding planning. Mwai is one of QC’s leading tutors for the Event & Wedding Planning, Luxury Wedding & Event Planning, Event Decor, and Destination Wedding Planning courses.
I probably don’t need to tell you just how challenging or unprecedented this year has been. But if there’s one thing event planning business owners know how to do, it’s tackle a challenge with grace and strength. (Not to mention, the most thorough emergency kit anyone has ever seen!) The best thing we can do to keep our businesses relevant and on-track is to do exactly as we would during any other challenge: find creative ways to turn an unexpected setback into a new opportunity.
This will allow us to lay down the foundation to position ourselves for a stronger, even more successful future. Read on for some of my top tips for navigating this challenging time with intention. Together, we can all come out even stronger on the other side!
1. An Organized Business House Makes for an Organized Event Planning Business.
The downtime COVID-19 has given us can be seen as a positive thing. If nothing else, it provides an ideal opportunity to get the administrative side of your business in order. Maximize this time to tackle all of the tasks you couldn’t get to when wedding and booking seasons were at their busiest. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Sort through and file away all of that paperwork that’s been sitting on your desk;
- Clean out both your physical and digital files;
- Get rid of items you no longer need;
- Attend to all of those lingering emails;
- Organize, clean, and elevate your office space so it feels more inspiring – and less distracting.
Whatever you choose to do, use this time to build a solid administrative foundation for your event planning business. This way, when the world opens back up, you’ll be ready. The more organized you are at that time, the better prepared you’ll be to jump right back into things without pause.
2. Develop Systems to Elevate Your Client Experience.
The more exceptional your client experience is, the more you can charge for your value as an industry expert. Not to mention, you’ll be even more successful if you ever decide to switch to a ‘quality-over-quantity’ model in the future. (Pro tip? This type of model will be ideal for making up for some of the income you might have lost this year as a result of the pandemic.)
Use your newfound downtime to develop smart systems that will help create an even more streamlined process for future clients. Need some ideas? Here you go!
- Create canned client emails for everything – from onboarding, to checking in on tasks.
- Develop an FAQ webpage or PDF that answers all of those surefire questions couples tend to ask you during the planning process. Having this already available means you can spare yourself time. No longer will you need to respond back to emails individually. Instead, you’ll have a link or brochure to point them to!
- Analyze areas of your business or services where things can be improved. Perhaps certain things have fallen through the cracks during previous weddings, or your client experience has been a little lackluster. This is a chance for you to get creative about elevated touch points or smart, systems-driven solutions that will increase your value.
- Design and order branded stationery if you don’t have it already. Sending your clients handwritten notes makes for an elevated, high-touch experience. Ultimately, this sort of touch works to increase your value in the eyes of discerning clientele. A couple great opportunities to send clients a handwritten note include welcoming them during onboarding, thanking them during offboarding, and/or sending anniversary wishes to past clients.
- Create a hidden page on your website that uses a contact form to collect testimonials. That way, you don’t have to collect them via email. Instead, you can simply share the webpage link with clients as part of your offboarding process. This will also allow you to ask them specific questions that encourage impactful testimonials! Your form fields can read things like:
- “What was your favorite part of the process?”
- “How did we make planning your wedding seamless?”
- “Would you have been able to plan this event on your own or are you satisfied with your investment?”
3. Publish Relevant, Optimized Blog Content to Keep Your Event Planning Business Brand Top-of-Mind.
Wedding planners and event experts aren’t the only ones with downtime right now. Our potential clients have idle time as well. This means they’re spending more time browsing social media and searching the internet for wedding inspiration for their postponed celebration.
Now is the perfect time to publish relevant, optimized content on your blog! Doing so will keep your event planning business top-of-mind with your audience. Think about things they’re searching for right now, such as:
- “COVID-safe wedding”
- “Microwedding inspiration”
- “When can we host a wedding again?”
- “Ideas for smaller weddings”
- “Microwedding design”
Write posts around those key phrases. By targeting trending keywords and phrases, you’ll increase your chances of potential clients finding your blog posts through search engines (such as Google).
Pro Tip: Remember to close every blog post with a strong, clear call-to-action. For instance, ask them to start browsing real-wedding inspiration on your site and link to your portfolio page. Encourage them to learn more about how YOU can help them through this time by linking to your services page. You can also ask them to reach out, and then link to your contact page. Once you’ve driven someone to your website through a blog post, the goal is then to keep them there or convert them into a client.
4. Practice Self-Care.
Your creativity is vital. It is what drives your ability to innovate, problem-solve, plan, and design incredible events. Keeping your creativity well nourished starts with self-care. If you’re burnt out, stressed, and constantly anxious, your creativity will likely suffer.
Use your downtime to focus on the things you can control, rather than the ones you can’t. Rest, recharge, and look for new, COVID-safe ways to do the things that inspire your creativity. You might not be able to go to the flower market, but you can take a walk around a new neighborhood and peek at gardens. You might not be able to attend parties, but you can throw a virtual party at home. Host a virtual get-together and try out a new creative cocktail, put together a pretty tablescape, etc.
The most important part? You can do these things without any guilt! Resting is not “lazy” or without purpose. It’s an investment that will refuel and re-energize you and your event planning business!
5. Elevate Your Event Planning Business By Taking a New Course.
Regardless of how experienced you are, or how many years you’ve been in the field, continued education is always vital. I consider it to be one of the most important things wedding and event pros can invest in throughout their career!
Now is the perfect time to take an online event planning course to better equip your brand for when things get back to normal. It will keep your mind occupied, spark your creativity, and ultimately increase your value. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded event experts (even if just virtually), which will do wonders for keeping you inspired!
I hope my tips are helpful, planners and pros! Remember: using your downtime intentionally is the best thing you can do to position yourself to come out stronger – and ready to plan even more incredible celebrations – on the other side of this storm.