Blogging is a great way to promote your meeting and event planning business. It is a one of the best ways to get your message out, post by post. You can also announce events, get feedback on past events, and connect with clients and vendors.
Anyone who maintains a blog can tell you that it is not always easy to come up with regular, interesting posts. Many good blogs fall by the wayside for this very reason.
But the importance of blogs should not be ignored. A study from BlogHer, a women's blog network, found that 42 million women in the U.S. alone participate at least weekly in social media of some type. Although Facebook was first on the list, blogs are the second choice with 23 million women visiting blog sites regularly. They tend to spend more "quality" time reading blogs that are relevant to their job and industry.
For bloggers, that's a real opportunity to build a strong readership by developing and maintaining a blog that develops a loyal following.
If you decide to setup a blog for your meeting planning business, here are some tips that may be of help:
Building customer trust is key in any business undertaking and all the more so for meeting planners. Did you know that approximately 70% of revenue comes from established customers? Established customers trust your business. They are comfortable coming to you because of your shared history and track record.
Attracting new customers can be difficult. For one thing, consumers are more savvy than a decade ago. Increased knowledge combined with increased financial worries makes it difficult for new customers to take a risk on your services. That does not mean it is impossible to win their business, meeting planners just have to be more mindful of establishing customer trust.
Building a rapport with new customers takes time but is well worth the effort. New customers must have a way to contact you whenever a question arises. That may mean sharing your personal cell number and indulging in some hand holding.
Keep your communications clear and to the point. It is vital that both sides understand the demands of the upcoming event and maintain their focus. Too much information can be as big a handicap as too little. Sell the first event before you plan the second.
Part 2 of this blog will explore other factors in gaining and building customer trust.
Tags: Attracting New Customers, Blog, Building Trust, Business Meeting, Business Undertaking, Consumers, Customer Trust, Customers Trust, Decade, Financial Worries, Focus, Handicap, Meeting Planners, Personal Cell, Personal Number, Rapport, Risk
No meeting planner likes to hear those words, especially when it comes to a speaker. It means that there is a disaster in the making–unless she has made contingency plans. Here are some ways to make sure that your event has a speaker, and on time.
Make it part of your contract with a speaker that he or she will provide a replacement in the event of absence. Make sure you have all the pertinent information about the replacement’s travel plans, contact information, etc., as you would have for the original speaker.
Make an agreement with your client that if an important speaker gets grounded in another city, he can make himself available by webcast. Set this up in advance so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute, which almost ensures failure under these circumstances.
Another possibility may be a pre-recorded speech. Nothing is quite the same as a personal appearance, but if an airport is socked in from weather problems and a webcast gets rubber out for one reason or another, you have one more backup plan.
Last Minute Local
Every town has great speakers, even small towns with no Toastmaster club. There are two ways to approach this possibility: either get the local to deliver the other speaker’s words, or have them deliver their own.
There are no doubt many more ways to approach this problem that exceed the scope and depth of this humble blog. Do some mind-storming and be prepared.
Tags: Absence, Backup Plan, Blog, Circumstances, Contingency Plans, Contract Clauses, Disaster, Failure, Last Minute, Meeting Planner, No Doubt, Personal Appearance, Scope, Speakers, Speeches, Time Contract, Toastmaster Club, Two Ways, Weather Problems
There may be sometime in your life as a planner that you will get a call to plan a motivational meeting. The CEO of a corporation that has maybe had layoffs or a high employee turnover would like the bring up her workers’ morale for various reasons. You have to put a one-day meeting together.
You already have some team-building exercises that the Big Boss wants to include. You also have meals planned and some other activities, as well as motivation psychologists or speakers peppered throughout the meeting. This is all wonderful, but it still doesn’t pull in the emotional stragglers, the ones who may want to turn in their resignations in the next month or so.
The last blog was about booking entertainment for meetings, and you may have your entertainment for this kind of meeting right under your nose. A company talent show could get many more people involved who would not normally give a hoot in the holler. It will require a basic screening process (auditions) so that you don’t have any nasty surprises, but it would be well worth it when your client calls a few days after the event and says, “I think it’s working. Let’s do another one at the company picnic!”
Not only do you have appreciation, but you have another event coming up in a few months. What’s better than clients who like your work enough to find excuses to hire you again?
Tags: Auditions, Big Boss, Blog, Booking Entertainment, Ceo, Company Picnic, Few Days, High Employee Turnover, Holler, Hoot, Layoffs, Motivation, Nasty Surprises, Psychologists, Resignations, Right Under Your Nose, Speakers, Stragglers, Talent Show, Team Building Exercises
While this sounds like a chapter out of a football playbook, it sort of is and sort of isn’t. Like football, it describes the final chapter of an arbitrary time frame that we use to determine our actions and push for a winning game. However, it is being applied to our business in this blog. What are we going to do for the rest of a stressful year?
What We Do Best
As planners, what we do best is help others. Sure, it’s a business, but it’s one that can help others from losing their marbles trying to book their own events. What may change about that in the fourth quarter is that some of them may want to save money on events by planning some of it themselves. You can be prepared by having a short list of things that they can do that won’t be too difficult but can lop off at least a little bit of your bill. Consider this another service in your collection of offerings. (more…)
Tags: Arbitrary Time, Blog, Clientele, Exotic Travel, Financial Scene, Football Playbook, Fourth Quarter, Game, Hideaways, Little Bit, Marbles, Money, Offerings, Planners, Professional Life, Sounds, Time Frame, Travel Packages, Vacations