Event Planning 101: Preparing for Life After Coronavirus
If you’re an event planner, chances are your entire working life is on hold right now. Venues across the country have closed their doors, and even if they were still open, Boris has put the brakes on any of us actually leaving our homes for anything but the bare necessities.
We know things look pretty bleak, and we’re not going to tell you to stay positive and keep your chin up – because frankly, sometimes that just isn’t helpful. What we are going to do is provide you with a guide to getting ready for what comes next. Life after coronavirus.
This post is designed to help you stay motivated during this period of uncertainty and make sure you’re in the best position possible to tackle the event sector head on when the PM gives the go ahead.
Do your research
Now is the perfect time for you to take stock of your business and do a little assessment of how things are going. As a starting point, ask yourself things like:
- What’s gone well for you in the past?
- What hasn’t worked?
- What are other people doing?
- What could you be doing better?
You might feel as though you have a handle on your progress, success and failures, but how often do you actually have time to sit back and assess what’s going on?
Beyond this, research new venues, suppliers and companies that you might have heard of and have been meaning to look into but simply haven’t been able to find the time. And reach out to them. Ask how they’re being affected by the current situation and what their plan is – if they have one yet – for what comes next.
Stay active on social media
For better or worse, social media is one of the main ways we all stay connected – and during this crisis, it really seems to be bringing the country together. With your unexpected free hours, there’s no better time to pay attention to your social channels and make sure you’re staying connected.
While the temptation might be there to just go off the grid until this all blows over, now more than ever you need to stay current and in people’s minds. We’re not suggesting you need to post every day, or even that your posts have to have that much substance, but keep in contact with your followers.
You could use this time to showcase past events, remind followers about the different types of services you offer and even offer tips and advice for those looking to plan an event when the UK returns to normal. Whatever you’re posting about, just make sure you’re posting and staying in touch with followers, so that they know the minute you’re free to help them get their events booked in.
Keep up relationships with suppliers
Listen, pretty much everyone is being affected by what’s happening in the world right now. And while you might not be able to buy from your suppliers, there’s no reason to suddenly cut ties with them altogether – you’re going to need each other when this mess is over.
From venues, caterers and DJs to photographers and lighting suppliers, keep in touch – and if you can, help each other out. If you’re in a position to stock up on certain event supplies or even throw some business in the direction of one of your suppliers, don’t underestimate the impact this could have. For a small or independent business, this could make all the difference.
If you’re not already doing so, follow them on social media. This will give them some much-needed support during a difficult time, and will ensure you know once they’re ready to start doing business again. We all know the power of a Facebook shout out or an Instagram follow Friday, so even if you’re not able to buy from a supplier right now, there are still ways you can help their business.
Look ahead to future dates
We understand that you’ll have reservations about when you can start getting bookings back in the diary. What started off as a few weeks of isolation is looking more likely to be months. So, while it probably doesn’t make sense to be planning any summer-related events, you can start looking ahead to Christmas and 2021.
As an event planner, you’re already well versed in filling up your diary a couple of years in advance – so make the most of this doen time to do just that. Whether you’re a wedding planner who’s just starting out or more of a corporate events planner, one thing’s for sure: when this is all over, you’re going to be busy.
People are going to want to book the wedding they’ve been putting off indefinitely or get a date in the diary for that team conference that they’ve never gotten round to – and you need to be ready. Get your diary out, map out your availability for the latter part of 2020 and the months that follow and make sure you’re ready to go when the bookings start coming in.
We know it’s a scary time for so many reasons right now. In terms of business, you might feel completely useless and like there’s nothing you can be doing. But there’s always something. Conversations to be had,. Plans to be made. So if you can, make the most of this unexpected time. And more importantly, stay home, stay safe and we hope to see you all on the other side.