Great – you’ve decided to create or improve your event planning portfolio. Now, I’m going to show you what you need to include so it looks like you’ve done this before.
With everything going digital, the portfolios people had 10 years ago aren’t enough to land clients anymore.
In fact, the portfolios people had 2 years ago (when most presentations were in person) aren’t even good enough.
Now it’s important to have your event planning portfolio translate to in-person meetings and online presentations, so it speaks for itself.
Top 10 Things to Include in Your Event Planning Portfolio
When it comes to branding, you want to be consistent, whether it’s your website, social media, OOH ads, business cards, swag, or anything else you use to promote your services.
Your event planning portfolio is no exception.
Make sure your portfolio includes your:
- High-quality logo
- Brand colors (around 3 colors is optimal)
- Contact information
2. Awards & Certifications
There’s no point winning an award if you aren’t going to share it.
The entire point of an award is to let the world know that you’re exceptional at what you do, so be sure and take this opportunity to share that fact.
While awards tell the world that you’re getting recognition, certifications legitimize and validate your abilities as an event planner, helping build trust.
Even though you can start your event business without any formal education, completing a course helps you book more events and grow a better business.
Even if you have been freelancing or working for an event planning company for years, you can learn how to actually set up and run your business – not just your events.
3. Client Testimonials
The best salesperson you have is a past client who is willing to give a testimonial, which helps you get new events booked.
To make it easy on your clients when asking them for a testimonial, give them the option to write or film their testimonial.
Often, it can be as easy as filming a short video from their home or office, writing a few paragraphs about the success of the event you planned or participating in a live social media interview.
Event planning portfolio or not, always be sure to ask your clients for a testimonial.
4. Time-lapse Videos
Who doesn’t love a good time-lapse video? They’re hypnotical, soothing, and informative.
The best part is that they are usually short, and with a person’s attention span being shorter than that of a goldfish (unfortunately, it’s true), at only 7 seconds, size matters.
The key benefits:
- It packs a lot of visual information into a short clip
- It’s still considered a novelty, so it will captivate people’s attention
- It takes time to create, showing you will “go over and above” expectations
- It documents an important event, showcasing your talents
5. Event Photos
Event photos are an absolute must! And I don’t mean stock images or photos you took of someone else’s event, I mean photos of events you planned.
Event photos put the “show” in the show and tell. Anyone can say they can create stunning and memorable events, but photos actually prove it.
But only if they are great photos.
Pro Tip: Always take way more pictures than you think you need because everyone knows you can take 20 pictures of the same thing, and you’ll only find one “perfect” one.
When it comes to photos for your event planning portfolio, you should:
- Include beautiful before and after photos
- Only use high-quality images
- Make sure you get a Photo Release Forms signed
- Be creative, and not just take “big picture” shots. Don’t just take photos (from far back) of the entire event, take close-up shots of the centerpieces, giveaways, food, and entryway.
- Pay attention to every single detail, even what’s going on in the background. If you’re taking “posed shots”, make sure any props you’re using are perfect. What do I mean by that? I once saw a photo (posted on a College website) of a group of students diligently working on a project…only the document they were pretending to read was upside down. Oops!
6. Team Bios
Being personable is critical when it comes to someone entrusting you with planning and running their event.
Whether it’s personal (like a wedding) or professional (like a grand opening), they’re trusting you with their special day.
An important part of building that trust is not only introducing yourself but your team as well. It’s vital that they know the people behind your company.
After all, your event planning portfolio isn’t just about highlighting your work, but the people who help you create the magic.
The bios can include:
- A professional, but fun photo
- Name and title
- A brief description of their background
- Professional designations
- Industry-related accomplishments
- A favorite quote
- What inspires and motivates them
7. Social Media Links
Love it or hate it, social media is important. It’s one of the first places people look when conducting research on a company.
It’s also a great platform for:
- Sharing event photos
- Posting behind-the-scenes footage
- Highlighting team member bios
- Cross collaboration via tagging
- Links to drive traffic to your website
- Links to your event planning portfolio
Plus, having clickable links to your social media accounts will increase the likelihood of people following you which is a win no matter what happens because even if you don’t land the client immediately, you will remain on their radar.
Remember, in business, you can almost always change a “no” into a “yes” with enough confidence.
8. Inspirational Pinterest Boards
Pinterest is a great place to display your diversity in event planning by creating albums based on event types (like weddings, birthdays, or grand openings) and by themes (like a fairytale, retro, or futuristic theme)
It doesn’t just display what you can do, but it also allows prospective clients to build their own albums off of yours to help you create “the perfect event” once they hire you.
9. Timeline Sample
With all the competition in the event industry, and almost everyone getting better and more beautiful websites and social media accounts, any “extras” you can add to your event planning portfolio is important.
One “extra” you can include are some samples of the “less than fun side” of eventing planning, like event timelines.
A little preview of what your prospective customer can expect to receive when they start working with you can put them at ease, bringing them one step closer to signing on the dotted line (AKA your contract — which is a MUST HAVE!)
If you have been featured in a magazine, newspaper, or any other form of media, highlight that fact.
The more mentions, the better.
Not only does this highlight what you can do, and the fact that others trust you, but that you are “next level” is amazing!
I’d love to know what you include in your event planning portfolio, or if there’s anything you think I am missing, let me know in the comments below.