Isn’t it exciting when your marketing campaigns produce results?

New bookings plus successful events equal plenty of income. When all is well, that’s how effective marketing and great service work together to help your event planning business prosper. That’s not always the way things go, though, is it?

Let’s look at one of the primary reasons things might be going wrong. Suppose the person responsible for creating marketing ideas for your event planning business hits on a winning campaign. Bookings are coming out of the woodwork, particularly from corporate clients with multiple events each year, and your future looks rosy. The expertise you’ve gained planning special events is finally paying off.

And then you hit a snag. There are almost no repeat bookings after the first cycle of events. You are bringing new business in the front door but never hearing from customers again once you’ve coordinated their first event.

That initial response to your marketing may carry your firm for a short time, thanks to advance bookings. When those bookings begin to dry up, however, you’re back to chasing customers rather than servicing established clients who have learned to trust your event planning expertise.

What could be the problem? It’s most likely a disconnect between your marketing and your company’s ability to provide what’s being promised. If this scenario is beginning to sound familiar, it’s time to take a break from planning that next marketing campaign and do some detective work.

Three Ways To Fail in Marketing

Listed below are three ways that event planning companies fail to deliver what they promise in their marketing:

  1. Failing to maintain a well-trained workforce committed to the same level of service being advertised.
  2. Failing to communicate clearly what is included in special packages, discounts or other promotions to clients.
  3. Failing to have adequate quality control built in at every level of event planning.

There’s really nothing worse, is there, than hearing how displeased your clients are after an event your company has planned? In this industry, we plan everything down to the last minute detail if we’re worth our salt, and yet there are still firms that specialize in event planning services that don’t recognize when they aren’t delivering what’s being advertised to the customer.

You may be wondering how that’s possible, since event services are normally spelled out in a contract signed by the client. It could simply be a matter of semantics.

Let me put it in ‘lady-speak’, after all what woman doesn’t love shoes?…

Think of it this way – if you saw an advertisement for “free” shoes from your favorite shoe store, you would probably run, not walk, to take advantage of the offer.

But what if you arrived at the store only to be told that “free” doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost anything for the shoes. Instead it means that one of the shoes is free and you pay half the normal price of a pair for the second one. A fifty percent discount is wonderful, but not when your expectation is “free” shoes.

Let’s spell out some potential scenarios in which your company’s marketing and event planning services may not be delivering the same message.

  1. Within your branding is the promise that your company will provide “expert” supervision of catering, bartending and entertainment during special events. If bookings pick up suddenly, do you have an adequate number of people you can trust to keep things under control? It only takes one hastily promoted event manager unable to think on her (or his) feet to give you a black eye with clients.
  2. When launching new promotions, who is responsible to ensure you have the vendors in place to provide what’s being offered? Trolley service to deliver guests from one venue to the next at an all day event is a great idea, but how far in advance are those trolleys being booked by other event planners? Remember, don’t promise something in a promotion until you’ve made absolutely sure you can deliver it.
  3. One more common marketing faux pas for companies who plan events is to offer vaguely defined “premium” or “deluxe” services without fully defining how that differs from what you normally offer.

If you’ve been planning special events for very long, your overall marketing campaigns may be excellent, clearly spelling out the terms of your promotions, providing a consistent message through great branding and offering an attractive pricing structure. But is your company prepared when it comes time to deliver on the promises being made? If your answer wasn’t an emphatic “yes!” take steps immediately to identify the gaps. Don’t continue to let repeat business slip away. With your eye on the entire picture of event planning services, it is possible to deliver exactly what your marketing promises. Now, I’d love to hear from you. What marketing promises do you make that you follow through on and which ones need improvement? Feel free to share as much detail as you want! Thanks again for reading and sharing, I love hearing from you each week.

P.S. If you haven’t already, get on over to to get your FREE Event Planning tips today.

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