5 tips to bag that first project

October 24, 2017
Imagine this. You have newly ventured out as an independent event planner. You have applied every technique in the book to attract potential clients and have just gotten off the phone after having bagged a personal appointment with one such prospective client.
As you are reveling in the excitement, reality starts creeping in and you start getting anxious on preparing for this big meet. What can you do to increase the possibility of actually bagging this project?  
Worry not for here are few quick tips that will stack the odds in your favour:  
  • Client Orientation: Even before meeting the client, harbour the intention that you want to deliver the event THE CLIENT wants. To get better insights into the client, read up on them if that’s possible (as would be the case of the corporate client). Also prepare a list of questions that will allow the client to share their thoughts, ideas and expectations clearly. Encourage them to share any references if they have. For instance, while discussing potential ideas for a summer event at a mall, we kept throwing questions at the mall owner on what he is expecting from the event. Eventually we could draw out that he wanted a carnival themed event which he had recently seen in a popular Hindi movie. Once we understood his need, it became very easy to plan the next steps. After listening to client ALWAYS make it a point to share what you have understood and interpreted from that conversation. This demonstrates you care (which is a trait everyone loves and looks out for) and is also practical as it will help you save time by getting on the same page as your client.  
  • Casting a Vision: Having understood the client need, go back to the drawing board to flesh out a full-fledged event flow replete with reference images. If you have prior experience of working on events, you could use reference images from previous events to showcase what you can do to cater to their need. This will also help in building your credibility with the potential client as the visual reference is proof of the quality of work you provide. In case you don’t have prior experience, you can use online images or create your own images (like a visual merchandiser would). Most people are visual and sharing reference images is a great way of casting a vision to the client where they can “see” the event unfolding before them.  
  • Offer Fresh Ideas: From multiple conversations with corporates, soon to be married couples and many potential customers, what emerges as a resounding reason to hire a first-timer is their ability to bring fresh ideas to the table. No one likes a copy-paste theme for their event. Hence a winning factor will be your ability to suggest fresh, never-seen before ideas to your potential client. It could be in terms of the theme or decor or entertainment or simply one WOW factor that makes their event an unforgettable affair! 
  •  Create a list of experienced and credible vendors: Off set your inexperience by collaborating with vendors who have reasonably more experience and credibility in the market place. Carrying a list of these vendors along with their credentials and achievement highlights can create instant trust with the potential client. So ensure every time you visit any event yourself, watch out for the elements that are great at the event. If you think the food at a particular event is spectacular, get to know the caterers and exchange business cards. Share that you would like to have them as a preferred vendor and fix up a time to meet later to discuss potential collaboration.  
  • Work Your Personality: Ultimately people do business with the people they like. Ensure you present a pleasant, agreeable, enthusiastic, sincere and likeable personality. Many a times what will win over a client in favour of a first-timer is the latter’s determination & sincerity to deliver a great job. The hunger & commitment to leave no stone unturned to execute the perfect event is a very attractive pull for any client. So ensure that you take your charming & committed self in the discussion room with the potential client. 
Try out these techniques the next time you are ‘prepping’ for a business meeting. It’s very likely your phone will ring confirming that you have landed the big job!!!