Let's keep one thing in mind. Clients want their events to be successful. Sometimes, tight budgets and even tighter timeframes influence event planner selection decisions heavily and drive them towards selecting the lowest cost provider. It's not surprising that an active discussion on LinkedIn about commoditization n the events industry generated over 40 comments in 8 days.
Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever for event planners to communicate their value effectively and differentiate themselves from the competition.
- Clearly articulate what is unique about your services.
Clearly identify how what you offer differs from your competitors. When clients can't perceive the differences, selection decisions will tend to be based on price.
- Include client testimonials in your proposals and marketing.
Always collect comments from participants and request a testimonial from the CEO. Clients do value the reassurance that other clients have been satisfied with your work so it is important to have lots of testimonials on hand.
- Include press clippings from newspapers and well-respected magazines.
The more you can position yourself as an expert, the easier it will be for the client to perceive your value.
- Share relevant blog posts when you submit the proposal.
- Include a targeted client list.
Try to select clients from the same industry who are not direct competitors. For example, if you work overseas, you may want to list some of the foreign clients with which you have worked from the prospective client's industry.
- Share specific case examples.
Never divulge confidential information but you can give a few short examples of similar programs you've designed and executed and the results.
- Outline the specific steps you take to ensure quality.
If you can be very specific without divulging proprietary information, this may tip the scale in your favor.
- Attach a dollar value to concessions, upgrades and other cost savings.
Perhaps the price of your services are higher than those of the competitor but, if you have strong relationships with venues and other suppliers, the savings you negotiate may offset this difference.
- Focus on results.
This is a tough one as sometimes clients want to "just do it" and focus on creative rather than the impact on the business. Slowing down the process and quantifying the results generated by your events can be valuable data when you bid on future business.
- Capture and share the experience.
A picture is worth a thousand words so capture the experience in photos and videos and get the releases from the client, participants and the venue that you need to share them (e.g. videos through YouTube, photos through Pinterest, Flickr or Instagram.
For more marketing tips for event planners, also consult Top 10 Things to Do When Business Slows Down, Event Planning Challenges: Protecting Your Intellectual Property and Re-visiting Business Development for Event Planners on Cvent Event Blog.
Photo Credit: snigl3t