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The Ultimate Guide to Landing Corporate Event Planning Clients

You can’t run a corporate event planning business without clients. Whether you're starting out or looking to expand your clientele, this guide will help you find, persuade, and land your next big accounts. With the...

You can’t run a corporate event planning business without clients. Whether you're starting out or looking to expand your clientele, this guide will help you find, persuade, and land your next big accounts. With the event planning industry expected to grow significantly in the coming years, now is the perfect time to position yourself for success.

Getting into corporate event planning

Corporate event planning is a lucrative field with ample opportunities for growth. Employment growth for meeting, convention, and corporate event planning is projected to rise by 10.4% by 2026, surpassing the national average for all other industries. Whether you choose to freelance, join an event agency, or work as an internal events coordinator, each option has its pros and cons.

Starting your own event planning business offers the flexibility to set your own schedule and become location independent. However, it also means taking responsibility for sales and marketing efforts as you build your client roster. To ensure success in this competitive industry, you'll need a few essential tools in your corporate event planner's toolkit:

  1. Event planning portfolio: Create a dedicated website showcasing images from previous events, client testimonials, and direct contact information.
  2. Business plan: Even a one-page outline will suffice. Include your goals, market research, sales plan, and tax entity.
  3. Fee structure: Research and determine the pricing for your services to be able to provide quick quotes when clients inquire.

How much do corporate event planners charge?

The average corporate event planner salary can vary significantly, ranging from $29k to $98k. As a new entrant, it's important to remain competitive in your pricing. However, as you gain more experience and expertise, don't hesitate to increase your rates every few years.

Now, let's dive into the steps you need to follow to attract and land corporate event planning clients.

Step 1: Learn how to attract corporate event planning leads

To attract leads, you need to do thorough research, create a goal, and implement a plan of action. Start by visualizing your ideal corporate client, considering factors such as their age, interests, and preferred event types. Utilize competitor portfolios, search engines, and surveys with past clients to gather insights into your target market.

Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, it's time to build a sales system that resonates with them. Establish a lead funnel, guiding potential clients from first contact to sale. Focus on 1-3 main customer paths to ensure consistency and generate a steady stream of leads.

Don't underestimate the power of your network. Inform everyone you know, both online and in person, about your availability and desire to take on new projects. Leverage email blasts, social media, and other outreach methods to reach a wider audience.

Consistent outreach is key. Engage in cold emailing, participate in social media groups, and create valuable content for your target audience. A little effort every day goes a long way in increasing your visibility and attracting potential clients.

Step 2: Learn how to market yourself & network as a corporate event planner

While social media outreach and email campaigns are effective, there are additional marketing strategies you can employ to reach corporate clients.

Consider the following marketing ideas tailored for corporate event planners:

1. Limit yourself to quality, not quantity

Target well-researched and vetted prospects to increase your chances of landing corporate event planning clients. Create a dream customer profile by determining the types of events the company hosts, their event frequency, and event marketing focus. Focus on companies with a higher number of employees and revenue, as they are more likely to invest in event planning services.

2. Put in some face time

In-person meetings have proven to be significantly more successful than email contact. Attend open client mixers and industry-related events to network with potential clients. Consider hosting your own introductory event, showcasing your skills and providing an opportunity for potential clients to meet you.

3. Set up Google Alerts on target companies

Stay updated on target companies by setting up Google Alerts. This way, you'll receive notifications whenever a relevant piece of news or update about them gets published online. Use this information to reach out and congratulate them, building familiarity and rapport.

4. Write tailored event planning proposals

Craft a compelling event planning service proposal that demonstrates your understanding of their needs. Tailor your proposal based on their event history and propose ideas that can help them achieve their goals. Invest time in creating attention-grabbing subject lines for your proposal emails, keeping them casual, concise, and personalized.

5. Establish a customer referral program

Tap into the power of B2B referrals by developing a strong referral rewards program. Incentivize existing clients to refer your services to their network. Offer rewards such as discounts, gift cards, or cash incentives. Implement referral analytics software to track the success of your program and make necessary adjustments.

6. Get private testimonials or endorsements from peers

Expand your network and build relationships with individuals who interact with your ideal clients. Attend industry-related events where your prospects' peers are present. Request testimonials or endorsements from these influencers, showcasing their positive perception of your services.

7. Master the power of suggestion

Use the power of suggestion in your communication to subconsciously influence your prospects' behavior. Craft your messages to steer them towards the desired outcome, persuading them to take the next steps and work with you.

Step 3: Getting your first client as a corporate event planner

Once you've attracted potential clients and they have reached out to you, it's crucial to respond promptly and professionally. Be prepared to answer their questions and provide any additional information they may require. It's advisable to have a general event planning contract ready to streamline the process and secure clients quickly.

With these steps and strategies, you have the tools to build a successful corporate event planning business. Remember to dedicate yourself to consistent action, and over time, you'll establish a strong network that will sustain your career for years to come.

Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist Guide: How to Create an Event Planning Checklist

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