As one of the most in-demand professions in the business industry, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that event planners handle a lot of duties, such as meeting with clients to discuss the event, requesting bids from venues, and coordinating with several services like food as well as transportation. Most of these tasks entail that they have to speak with a person—for example, the owner of an events venue or a representative from a catering service. However, before they can do this, they must first have contacts that they can access in order to successfully plan and carry out events. This is where networking comes in.
As an event planner, it is inevitable that you will work with other professionals to do your job. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a networking guide for you:
Stay connected with your current contacts
You probably already have existing contacts from past events you’ve handled. This could be venue coordinators, corporate catering service representatives, and business souvenir suppliers. Now that you’ve done business with them, keep in contact. This will improve your business relationship and you’ll always stay relevant, allowing them to refer you to others if need be.
One way to do this is to send them a ‘thank you’ email after meetings so you stay fresh in their mind. Another is to greet them by sending them a card on their birthday or at the holidays and express appreciation for having worked with them. Lastly, you can invite them for coffee and catch up on each other’s business ventures. By doing this, it will help you maintain your current contacts and strengthen your partnerships for the future.
Attend networking events in the industry
A straightforward way to meet people and make connections is through attending networking events. You’ll find professionals in the same industry here that you can work with, such as fellow event organizers, suppliers, corporate caterers, and venue owners.
Special Events Magazine lists some networking events for planners this year like the Global Business Travel Association Convention, IMEX America, and the Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals 2022 Annual Conference. During these events, introduce yourself to other event professionals and ask about their own careers or service. Remember to have your business cards on hand and ask for their contact number as well, so that you can stay connected after the event.
Having worked in the industry, you’re more than likely very well versed in the industry as a whole. This may mean knowing how to look for the best business event venues or convincing suppliers to work with you. Whatever it may be, it is this valuable knowledge that can help fellow professionals in the events industry as well. Believe it or not, this serves as a great way to network. LHH suggests that one way of maximizing networking connections is to share what you know and offer value to other people. This can be done on social media or through professional networking sites by posting about your working process, a day in your life as an event planner, or unique tips and hacks you’ve discovered.
By doing this, it attracts and engages other events professionals into contacting you, and it’s a surefire way to kick off a business relationship. Just make sure you do this consistently, for instance, start by posting one event planner tip every Monday afternoon. And maintain the habit.
Join an event networking platform
Professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn and Meetup already exist but a platform that caters to the events industry may be more beneficial to you. The event networking app Grip, for example, brings together all types of events professionals under one platform. It creates events that connect them with each other and it regularly hosts hundreds of events monthly for those in the events industry to meet each other. Compared to more general networking platforms, using an app tailored to the events industry like Grip will be more convenient for you to make connections.
Volunteer your skills in event planning
Being an event planner doesn’t have to be strictly for formal business only. You can volunteer your skills elsewhere such as charities, fundraising events, and local nonprofits. This showcases your skills outside your usual circle, granting you possibilities for new connections. Also, people who have bore witness to your expertise may refer you to their contacts looking for a corporate event planner in the future.
As an event planner, networking will bring benefits to your job by making it easier. By sharing your knowledge, joining a networking platform, volunteering your skills, attending events, and maintaining connections, you can start your networking journey today and it can help you attain your career goals as well.