This year has been a challenge for many organizations and industries, but event management and wedding planning have had to take steps to pivot in response to COVID-19. With so many restrictions on in-person gatherings, event planning professionals and wedding planners have retooled their schedules, shifted to other work, or gone back to school.
However, it is entirely possible to emerge from this year's challenges with a renewed business and even more event management and wedding planner training than you ever had before. If you were considering how to be an event manager before COVID-19, now is a great time to lay the groundwork for an excellent career when weddings and other large events ramp back up again.
Here are seven great ways to accelerate your business even as you cope with the year's challenges in this field.
Work on Business Development Through Networking
Event management and wedding planning in the Portland, Oregon area are all about who you know. You want to be the first person who comes to mind when local companies and couples are looking at their 2021 and 2022 calendars to get an event scheduled.
Whenever a professional networking Zoom happy hour is available, take the opportunity to introduce yourself, mention what you do, and explain why you love this industry. For the price of a few minutes of video conference time, you may become someone's go-to event planner in the future.
Deepen Your Expertise With an Event Management and Design Course
Portland Community College offers an Event Management and Design course entirely online, making it possible to keep working and moving forward in your career while also gaining a valuable line on your resume and a much broader understanding of the industry. Even if you've worked in the event world for a long time, you can also benefit from courses like the Wedding Planning training course, which is both affordable and flexible.
Plan Webinars and Virtual Conferences to Expand Your Expertise
Just because fewer in-person events don't mean you cannot volunteer your services and charge reasonable rates for event planning online! If you haven't launched or coordinated a webinar or virtual conference before, contact past clients to see if they are interested in this service and work with them to find a rate that works for you both. Your understanding of event management, combined with some research into the modern virtual conference software available, can help you pivot and learn a new set of event-related skills.
Consider New Niches Like Corporate Events and Catering
If you haven't focused on corporate events or catering before, Portland Community College can help you become even more marketable by offering these options to your clients. The Catering Professional course will help you dovetail the food elements of large events into your previous understanding of event management. In contrast, our Corporate Event Planner program prepares you for a credential that can help you show companies you know to handle their upcoming event needs.
Build Out Your Website, Portfolio, and Onboarding Paperwork
If you're between events to plan, there are still plenty of ways to build up your online presence. Blog about your experiences on your website so that more people looking for Portland Oregon based event planners can find you and learn about your style. Update your portfolio with testimonials and photos of events you designed or ran. You can also save yourself some time in the future by creating contract templates, explanations, and other paperwork with manageable fill-in-the-blank sections so that you have everything you need when you're signing up future clients.
Connect to Affected Venues, Caterers, and Photographers for Cross-Promotion
The event industry has been relying on each other while also dealing with the challenges during the pandemic. Now is a great time to make connections to as many Portland-area venues, caterers, photographers, and florists as you can since these vendors will often be talking to brides and corporate event contacts and may be able to recommend you. When you cross-promote your business and help other small businesses that have been hit hard this year, you benefit both yourself and your small business community!
Event planning is a lucrative career for self-starters, with median salaries around $50,000, with much more potential as your small business grows its client base and profile in the community. Despite the challenges, this field will increase by 8% by 2929. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even the hiccup of COVID-19 hasn't altered the event industry's long-term importance. To learn more about how Portland Community College can help you meet your hospitality industry goals, review our whole remote hospitality training catalog, and sign up today!