How to Stir Up Income When The Event Industry Takes a Hit

April 22, 2020  |  by:

In the event industry, when things go wrong, our first instinct is to roll up our sleeves and make it work. And with that in mind, Dre and Andy from the Solopreneur Society are back to share their tips on drumming up revenue in lean times.  

I’ve already mentioned Dre and Andy, and their fantastic Stimulus Plan in this article, 3 Formulas To Help Clients Position Online Events. Take a look at their site and let them drop some marketing knowledge on you.

And yes, while ThymeBase is all about event planning software, and the event industry as a whole, I like to detour to work with people who are simply great at what they do. 

The Solopreneur Society and Why I Love Them

The Solopreneur Society Website Logo

Now, I don’t expect you to take advice from total randoms. So allow me to share a little background on who these two experts are. 

The Solopreneur Society

Well, they’re both named Andrea. Sort of; I know them as Dre and Andy. Dre is an expert in digital design and brand strategy. And Andy uses her marketing communications strategy skills to help small and mid-sized businesses and nonprofits. So, you see. Marketing, Branding, Strategy. A perfect storm.

And if there’s one thing that event planners get the importance of, it’s branding. Also design. And marketing. Okay, this is just a solid match, right?

And like last time, I wanted to add a disclaimer of sorts. I’ve mentioned Dre and Andy’s Stimulus Plan program. I get absolutely no percentage or anything for sharing their offerings. In fact, I sought out Dre and suggested she let me share her info. I believe in the value. And I’ve known of them for ages.

So let’s get to it.

Ideas To Help Your Existing Clients

Retainers Instead of Cancellations

Now we heard similar ideas from Desiree May of Leave It To May Events in Delaware. In my interview with Desiree about client relationships during the COVID-19 Era, she recommended something more than merely postponing or canceling the event. 

Instead, Desiree recommended you “work out a Plan B option or provide a credit towards another event with your client.” Desiree suggests that instead of a refund, allow the payment for event planning to roll over. 

The Solopreneur Society offers a related idea but also radically different, and kinda exciting. For those clients hesitant to drop a single large number of an event, perhaps a monthly retainer might fit their comfort zone a little better.

The Solopreneur Society shared a template to get you started:

Given everything that’s going on, I’m offering my clients a flexible new working arrangement to accommodate your rapidly changing needs which includes: priority, on-call help when you need it, a fixed, flat monthly rate so you can more easily budget. Would this be helpful?

So, to explain a little more. Where committing to $3000 isn’t possible in this time of uncertainty, perhaps a client with a 2021 wedding can commit to a monthly rate. This allows you to get to work, and they get the peace of mind of knowing their event planning is on track.

Go Virtual With The Event Planning

Turn the in-person work you usually do into virtual support. And sure this won’t necessarily apply to event planners, but I’ve seen planners and other event professionals like take their work online. 

Jenn, the owner of makeup studio, The Makeup Curio, has taken her work online. But where she previously was hands-on, now she teaches one-on-one makeup classes to her clients. 

Be Proactively Generous

If you’re an event pro worried about cancellations, you can proactively reach out to your clients and get them excited to work with you, rather than cancel. 

Again, Dre and Andy provide an excellent templated approach to this.

  • You’ve still got me reserved for your future [event].
  • As a way to make this and extra win-win for you, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to [bonus you’re throwing in]. (i.e., Let’s say you’re a photographer, you could say, “I’ll also arrive a night prior and photograph the rehearsal dinner, free of charge.”
  • And as a final bonus add-on, you’ll also get [2nd bonus you’re throwing in] (i.e., an additional 50 edited photos of your choosing), free of charge.
  • All you have to do is keep your booking with me on credit, which helps me organize my own schedule and allocate my time properly. In exchange, you’ll get these three bonuses.

Revisit What They Left on The Table

Dre and Andy recommend circling back and offer your previous clients something they formerly passed.

For example, if you’re a photographer, you might suggest to a recent client that they select [x] more photographers from their past event. Or if you’re a wedding planner, you can ask them they’d perhaps like to extend their contract to include a little bit more, say, honeymoon planning.

Pivoting Is Inherent In The Event Industry

If anyone knows how to take a crisis and turn it into an opportunity to wow, it’s you. Event professionals across the entire event industry have the skills and strength to not only survive but grow. 

Thanks to Dre and Andy for sharing their innovative tips. I hope, at the very least, you’ll find some inspiration and new ideas to work on your business even when things are incomprehensibly weird. And in the meanwhile, ThymeBase is totally free to all event planners during these crazy coronavirus times. Feel free to get in touch and share your story too.

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