Post-Event Tips For Event Planners: From Reports To Referrals

May 1, 2020  |  by:

Once the lights go down on the event, the event planner’s work is not entirely done. These Post-Event tips show that there is more you can do to turn the recap into business growth.

But before we get into the post-event tips themselves, I wanted to acknowledge that differences exist between wedding planners and those who do corporate or other types of events. These differences extend to post-event activities, but at the same time, both have similar opportunities. I’ll try and keep my post-event tips somewhat generic, and you, dear reader, can take from it what you will.  

And sure, some of these ideas will be geared toward beginner event planners, but I’ll be pepper in some tips even experienced planners might not have considered.

post-event tips empty seats

#1: Build Relationships During Dessert

The post-event period actually begins right after dinner. So our post-event tips will too.

I’ve spoken to venues about event planners, and it’s worth mentioning ad infinitum that they appreciate communication. And while you as the event planner might assume you can do this right before you check out at the end of the night, the venue’s coordinator might be gone already. 

After dinner, the venue staff can function on auto-pilot, and the venue coordinator sometimes leaves, passing the baton to the front-of-house manager. So, when dessert is served is an excellent time to seek out your point of contact at the venue and do a final check-in. It will go a long way to building trust and future referrals. 

Also, around this time is when event planners can make sure any vendors have been paid or are comfortable with their payment schedules. And here’s an extra little post-event tip, you can ask if they need help loading out. If yes, you can help find the assistance, but chances are they won’t need it. But the act of asking will be appreciated.

There’s not much to do, but it’s a trust-building exercise. But you can also collect any receipts at the same time.

Oh, and if any vendors need to be tipped, making sure that the client is aware of this will make you a favorite. I’ve heard from vendors that inexperienced clients often don’t know that tipping may be expected, and they’re too polite to mention it. 

#2: The Post-Event Report And More

Okay, any corporate planner already knows this, but just in case, I’ll cover the basics. And if you’re a wedding planner, read on for some ideas too. 

The standard post-event report should include:

  • Budget
  • Attendee numbers
  • Event costs
  • Revenue
  • Attendee polling
  • Attendee data

I’ll assume you’ve got that stuff covered. But here are the tips you might not be doing. Reports are a way to show your work. It’s an opportunity to showcase how awesome you are. And wedding planners can do this too.

Give your client your images of delighted attendees, and videos of people loving the food. Along with a dry report, visuals recapture the excitement for your client. 

#3: Vendor Follow Up

A simple follow up email with vendors is a no-brainer. Of course, you’ll want to say thanks and just shore up the relationship (and referral network), but the real post-event tip is this. Ask them for their thoughts and feedback. 

Every vendor and supplier takes each event as seriously as you. If your follow up acknowledges their expertise, they’ll feel more appreciated. And we all like to work again with those who appreciate us.

#4: Track Spend With Vendors

Our post-event tips include some chores too. Sorry. Don’t forget to write down the exact spend per vendor and track it over time. Many planners use this data in negotiations in future events. 

If you know you booked a vendor $20,000 in 2019, you can use the information when bargaining a concession for your client. Of course, you don’t want to abuse this. Other planners also track their spending with vendors to make sure that they’re spreading their referrals across their whole network.

#5: Share The Portfolio-Worthy Wins

A makeup artist I spoke to recently mentioned that she lost out on building her portfolio because she didn’t get the photographer’s details. I’ve heard similar from other vendors, including catering, and even bridal dress designers. 

As an event planner, you’ll build goodwill if you track down a few good photographs. Share the photos with every vendor involved, even the ones involved only pre-event.

But that’s only part of the post-event tip. If you share the social media details of each vendor with the others, you can lift each other up through sharing and tagging on Instagram. You’d be surprised how many vendors feel left out of the portfolio pieces and online sharing.

#6: Video Or It Didn’t Happen

I visited a wedding planner’s website and watched a fantastic highlight of a recent wedding. The vows, the kiss, and dancing. It tugged at the heartstrings. And it demonstrated the emotional power of the experience she crafted. 

Get the video and create a highlight reel of each specific event. Depending on your marketing, sometimes one event’s highlight reel is more impactful than a showcase of multiple events. Whether corporate or bridal, the journey of an event from start to the pinnacle is excellent viewing!

#7: Bookkeeping While Everything Is Fresh

Sure, ThymeBase is all about the event planning software, but our CEO has a master’s in accounting, and we think good bookkeeping is good business.

Getting expenses and other financials down while the details are fresh in your mind saves time. You won’t waste energy chasing down details weeks or months down the line. And tax season will be a breeze. 

#8: Get Testimonials

There isn’t a clear cut best time to ask a client for a testimonial. Wedding planners don’t want to bug their brides on the honeymoon, while corporate planners don’t want to wait too long. But whatever you feel works, be adamant about testimonials and reviews. 

Don’t forget Google My Business reviews either. They’re an influential ranking factor on Google’s search engine results.

I struggle to ask for reviews, and many people do too. Automating the request makes it easier if you find yourself putting this off.

If you include images from the event or a short video, you’ll increase your chances of motivating the client to make an effort. Getting over the client’s inertia can be a challenge, and by including the visual proof of an incredible experience, you might just overcome it. 

#9: Leverage Your Client’s Social Media

If you package up imagery and video, especially for social media sharing and present that to your clients, you increase the chances of viral online referrals. 

See, your client is busy and distracted. So present them with ready-to-go social media posts, sized for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This will help them take the step of sharing it, tagging you, and even getting your brand out there. Plus, they’ll probably write a little testimonial with the post too!

#10: The Long Referral

One wedding planner I spoke to told me she sends follow-ups to her clients on their first anniversary as well as other milestones, like kids. It’s great, but it’s not all an event planner can do. Staying in touch six months or two years down the line and asking for referrals is fine. 

I recommend reminding past clients of your exceptional work on their behalf. And there’s no need to be shy in asking for warm introductions to people who might benefit from working with you. Play the long game, and your referrals will make marketing easy.

Post Event Tips Are All About The Follow-Up

No event planner needs to be told about the importance of following up with clients. Nor vendors either. But there are benefits to using the following to grow your business, asking for referrals, and staying present in clients’ minds. 

I mean, why not? Every other business out there does it. Your clients won’t mind any more than you do when someone you appreciate stays in touch.

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