Now that there’s been an abrupt pause in the event industry, it can be difficult to move from our normal, everyday responsibilities and figure out new ways to occupy our time. However, I’m sure many planners can agree that there are always those small tasks that ultimately get put on the back burner due to new business, proposals and of course, managing events!
This week, I pulled together some ideas to keep you all feeling in a somewhat ‘routine’. Let’s call it an event planner ‘spring cleaning’. I do want to say that I recognize many planners are in furlough and may not be working or getting paid at this time. There are ideas below that can be put into action whether you’re working or not! Anyone who knows me knows that I value time greatly; having extra time can be a blessing. It’s all about perspective. You may not be able to control much in the next month, but you can control how you utilize your time. Why not set yourself up for success now? Eventually, those event doors WILL open and people will be eager to begin planning again. Put yourself in a position to receive as much of that business as possible. More importantly, get busy no matter what the fate of your career is, because busy hands make a sound mind - and that’s something we all need right now.
Here’s a few things you can do this week to keep yourself busy and move the needle forward:
Build out social media posts: If you run a smaller event planning company or if you are in charge of social media and events at your restaurant, this is a great idea! Sometimes, social media posting and engagement can be very time consuming (and if rushed and not done properly, can be a waste of time). Organize recent photos and build posts to be published at a later date. Or, you can build them offline and have a stash of content to help you through the summer.
Call your current clients: For those of us who have clients that have pushed back their event dates, are considering canceling or are just plain stressed - be there for them! Even if it’s just an ear to listen. Through listening, we can find ways to help them. Don’t depend on clients to know exactly what it is they need from you. It is our duty as planners to listen, anticipate needs and offer solutions to those needs.
Reach out to old clients: Raise your hand if you have clients that you have not followed up with yet for utilizing your services? I’m holding my own hand up right now. Not only can you use this time to show gratitude to your previous customers, but even offer up a survey in order to learn more about your services and how you can improve. Again, we have time to listen, so let’s use it to make us better planners (and if reaching out to old clients happens to drum up more business - it’s an added bonus!).
Read a sales or self-help book: If you’re in event sales, but not working right now, this is a GREAT option to keep you sharp! As a sales professional, a sales book can help you in your career and life now and in the future. Expand your mind and find out how you can come back in fighting shape for summer and holiday sales. Right now, I’m reading Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. It’s about what happens when what we want in our life and career changes. When that happens, it explains how success is determined by how we react to ‘changing courses’. I highly recommend it for these times!
Clean up collateral and contracts: Take a fine-toothed comb to those materials you’re sending to your clients and see where you can make useful edits. Updating photos, offerings and solidifying contract jargon are just some ideas, but we all have holes in our materials that we’ve been waiting to ‘patch up’, so to speak.
Get inspired for new food, drink, menu ideas: For many, the time spent in quarantine has been used for creativity. Use this time to create and get inspired! During my days in catering, we always stressed how important it was to keep offerings up-to-date and fresh. However, once wedding season hit, it became difficult to make time for the creative side of the business. Hop on Pinterest or Party Slate and see what is being offered and how you can bring new ideas to the table!
Write those greeting cards: Behind on writing thank you cards, congratulations cards, etc.? Not only is there time to do this now, but people are so much more excited to get mail these days. I know I am! Write cards to your clients, your co-workers, your team, your family, friends, etc. Not much of a writer? Draw a picture. Anything to make someone know you’re thinking of them.
Which of the above ideas inspires you the most? Have any of you been putting my suggestions into play already? I’d love to hear what ways you’ve been occupying your time during the quarantine. Feel free to share on our blog or Instagram! As always, if you’d like to receive our weekly newsletter, please subscribe to www.shesaidcelebrate.com today!