Did you know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics basically describes event planners as relationship builders more than event coordinators? It’s true. Event professionals have to possess interpersonal skills needed to “establish and maintain positive relationships,” namely with clients, event guests, and vendor partners.
Sure, you’re also a detail-oriented master experience developer, and so much more goes into running your business. But ultimately, BLS isn’t wrong. You’re in the people business. And forming, cultivating, and growing strategic relationships should be your superpower.
Keep reading to uncover what strategic relationships you should be forming as an event professional who’s looking to grow and be successful.
1. Community Relationships
Some of the first strategic relationships you’ll look to form are within your backyard. Look to your community for leaders, influencers, and decision-makers who directly support the success of your community. These people might be charitable organization leaders, Chamber of Commerce connections, or even business neighbors in your office building. Make sure those around you know who you are by name and will come to you with local challenges, new opportunities, and community initiatives.
2. Target Audience Relationships
The more relationships you’re able to build within your target audience group, the sooner the word will get out among that group that you’re a valuable resource. Don’t always be selling, either. Be available to offer value, solve problems, and connect in an authentic way. When those key target prospects learn to trust you and your event planning brand, they’ll start to come to you more often. And they’ll tell everyone about how valuable you are to their business.
3. Colleagues and Professional Relationships
Reach across the aisle and connect with other professionals who may not ever need to hire you as an event professional. Just because they aren’t in your wheelhouse of direct prospects doesn’t mean they won’t refer others to you. And as you cultivate relationships with these other professionals in other industry segments, new market opportunities might open up, as will collaboration partnerships that could be huge for your brand.
4. Mentor and Leadership Relationships
The events industry is one of the most dynamic in terms of trends, guest preferences, and changing preferences. The only way you, as an event pro, can be successful is by remaining dynamic yourself. Continued learning and ongoing education is the best way to ensure you’re always at the top of your game. And forming strategic relationships with those who are more knowledgeable or experienced than you is key. Find influential leaders to connect with and potential mentors who can provide you with new perspectives and insights.
5. Direct Competitor Relationships
There is a misconception, especially within the events industry, that you’re working against your professional event competitors. There may have been a time in years past when this was once true. But in 2023, event planners are finding even greater success and growth when they partner with each other. Look to find other event professionals in your area and connect to build a better event market for both of you. Together you can accomplish bigger things, including events and each other’s businesses.
So, what strategic relationships are you building right now? Consider adding these key partnerships to your goal list. And meet them all when you attend The Event Planner Expo 2023! Contact us now to learn more about available exhibitor space this October!