10 Marketing Tips for Event Planners: How to Get More Clients

As an event planner, your priority should always be your clients. They’re not only your source of income but also the main source of your reputation, which plays a vital part in how many other potential clients hear and enquire about your services.

Growing your client database is often a significant focus of most marketing strategies for event planners, alongside other goals like establishing your brand image and becoming a known name in the industry. In this article, we share ten of the best marketing tips for event planners that want to get more clients, covering everything from digital advertising to successful networking.


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Know Your Niche

The most effective way to increase conversations with your marketing efforts is to make sure that you’re advertising to the right people. And in order to establish who the right people are, you’ll need to understand what your niche is as an event planner.

Every event planning business should have a unique selling point. After all, without one you’ll have no way to stand out from your competitors, which will seriously hinder your chances of attracting more clients.

Not only will your niche help you to identify a clear target audience, but it should also form the basis of most of the messaging in your advertising. You want clients and potential clients to link all of the content you share back to what makes your brand unique, so it’s really important to have this in mind when developing a marketing strategy.

If you’re struggling to figure out your niche, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I offer that my competitors don’t?

  • What makes my services more valuable than other event planners?

  • What’s been a key feature of my most successful events?

  • What category do my previous clients all fall into?

  • What specific kind of events do I plan?

You can use the answers from these to springboard your ideation to establish your niche.

Choose Social Media Wisely

Social media is an incredibly valuable tool to use in event planning advertising, but only if you hone your approach. There’s no use pouring lots of time and resources into social content that never gets seen by your target audience, so before you launch into creating a posting schedule and ramping up your follower count, you first need to choose your platform wisely.

Go back to the information you have on the kinds of clients you’re trying to reach, and establish which social media platforms they use the most. You can do this either by looking at demographic data for different platforms or by asking your current client base.

It’s much more effective to focus your efforts on one channel where the majority of your target clients spend their time, particularly if you’re only a small team. Once you’ve established this, you can then start deciding how frequently you’re going to post, the kind of content that will get the most engagement, and set any goals to give your social media marketing strategy more direction.

Some social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook also offer paid advertising, which is a great way to reach new clients.

Optimise Your Website with SEO

When it comes to being found by new clients looking for an event planner, you want to be sure that your brand is either the first name to be mentioned or the first to appear on a search engine results page. You can do this through search engine optimisation (SEO) which is a technical marketing approach that yields brilliant long-term results.

SEO involves helping a website to appear at the top of the search results for relevant keywords, increasing the quantity and quality of traffic that arrives on a site. If you’re looking to grow your client base then it’s a brilliant idea for event planning marketing, particularly as there are lots of different approaches you can take.

One way that SEO works is by ensuring that key phrases your potential clients are searching for are included on the landing pages of your website. By optimising your website content with relevant but niche phrases, your site will likely be one of the top results when these phrases are searched for, such as ‘luxury travel event planner’ or ‘how to organise a charity event’.

Another SEO approach might be to build links to your website from other publications, which not only increases traffic but also boosts your ranking on search engines by indicating that your site has good authority.

You can get a lot more technical with SEO, so it can be useful to bring a technical expert in if you really want to invest in this approach. It won’t produce instant results, but it’s a surefire way to grow your client base.

Produce Guest Content

Getting more clients as an event planner is all about building the kind of reputation that makes people think “Yes, they know what they’re doing, I want to work with them”. Establishing this kind of reputation comes from a variety of things, but one way you can contribute to this is by producing guest content for publications and accounts that potential clients are likely to be following.

Guest content might involve writing a blog post sharing ideas or advice for event planning on a website that shares a similar target audience. It might also be helping to produce a series of social media posts for a brand you know your clients engage with, or joining them on a live stream to offer insight into the events industry.

No matter how you contribute, creating guest content will get your event planning business’ name out there and associated with the idea that you’re an expert brand in the events sector. Make sure that your content includes a link back to your website or social media profile so that potential clients can easily find out more about what you do.

Share Your Previous Work

One of the best promotional strategies for event planners is to share your previous work to advertise the services that you offer. Making claims about your proficiency and listing the different things you can do is fine, but actually illustrating this with previous work is the best way to show potential clients what you’re really capable of.

It’s a good idea to have a section of your website dedicated to previous events, as this shows potential clients the breadth of your work. Images and videos are the best formats to illustrate this, as they give the most immersive experience to the viewer and are much more engaging than descriptive text.

You should also share photos or videos of past events on social media, which not only gives you more variety of content but is a great motivator for potential clients that just follow your accounts but haven’t actually made an inquiry.

It probably goes without saying, but always ask permission of whoever was responsible before sharing images of an event.



Gather Client Testimonials

Leading on from that point, sharing client testimonials is another fantastic event planner marketing technique. There’s no better endorsement of your brand than a previous client who was happy with your work, so instead of making claims yourself, use testimonials to do this for you.

Again, share these on both your website and social media to maximise reach. Make sure that you always follow up after an event by asking your clients to give a testimonial if they’re able, and consider offering an incentive to do so if you’re struggling to collect them.

Set up an Email Newsletter

Email marketing is an incredibly successful client conversion tool across a variety of industries, and event planning is no different. You might not instantly convert a customer if they just arrive on your website, but if you give them the option of keeping in touch via a regular newsletter, you can nurture this lead, build trust and keep your event planning business at the front of their mind.

An email newsletter needs to provide value to its subscribers if you want to keep them engaged, so think about your target clients and the kinds of topics they’re going to be interested in. Then think about what unique insight or advice you’re able to offer as an event planner, and write your email content about the intersection of these two things.

There’s a lot you can do with email marketing to make it more effective, such as personalising the content each subscriber receives based on what they interact with. The best way to get the most out of this approach is by using email marketing software, as this can automate a lot of the processes involved, save you time and give you valuable data to help refine your approach.

You should also consider how you’re going to get potential clients to subscribe to your mailing list in the first place. Consider offering a lead magnet in exchange for their contact information, or writing engaging calls to action that share what they’ll get by subscribing to your content.

Attend Industry Events

Industry events are not only a great place to network with other event planners, become part of the industry community and boost your business's reputation, but they can also be a good place to find and make connections with potential clients.

Exhibiting at events in the MICE industry is a fantastic way to meet potential clients in person and pitch your services directly to them. Don’t overly focus on trying to make sales on the day, but instead aim to gather contact details, lay the foundations for working relationships, and establish a positive reputation for your brand.

Volunteer

This isn’t an approach that will work for everyone, but one potential event advertising technique is to volunteer your services for a non-profit event. This could be a charity or cause that aligns with your brand values, or just be for an organisation that you personally want to support.

Whilst you won’t gain paying clients from volunteering as an event planner, you will demonstrate your services and get your name featured in the event’s publicity, which can be a great way to catch the attention of potential clients in attendance. It also paints your brand in a really positive light and is a great thing to share on your website and social media, although be sure to focus on the cause you’re supporting and not the fact that you offered to help for free.

Build Partnerships

Finally, if you’re trying to branch out into new types of client, building partnerships can be a great way to do this. Start by finding a brand with complimentary services ( a caterer, decoration provider, entertainment provider etc) whose target audience overlaps with yours and therefore might be interested in the services of an event planner as well.

You have a lot of freedom when it comes to partnership marketing, so you can really make the approach work for you. Whether you collaborate on a new service offering, produce guest content for each other’s platforms or offer discounts to each other's audiences in exchange for user data or insights, consider what your marketing goals are and then how you might work towards these with the help of a partner.

Summary

There are plenty of marketing ideas for event planners when it comes to gaining new clients, no matter your budget, the size of your team or your marketing experience. As long as you know your brand’s niche and your target clients inside out, you can develop a targeted strategy that pinpoints exactly what these customers are looking for and engage and intrigue them with the advertising content you share.

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