Moving to a new city is one of the most stressful things you’ll do in life and trying to stay motivated and positive when trying to find new event clients can often feel impossible.
People don’t know you; they don’t know that you volunteered for 5 years with the same non-profit organization, that you have amazing event design skills, or that you helped your event clients increase their sales.
As we know, in event planning, it’s not always what you know but who you know. And starting over in a new city can be scary and fear can often hold us back from volunteering at a new organization or putting ourselves out there to meet new clients.
Despite our biggest hopes, clients aren’t going to fall in our lap when we move to a new city. You need to get out there and hustle.
Here’s what Jennifer said about her move to Austin…
“It wasn’t an easy decision to move since I had clients and my business was gaining momentum, but we wanted to be closer to family. I knew I could plan events but I wasn’t sure where to start getting new clients when we moved and I was feeling a little self-conscious around the more experienced planners I was meeting.
it kind of sucked, actually!
But I made the decision to meet 5 new people every week and tell them about my event services, and that small mind shift made all the difference.”
Start Before You’re Ready
Spending too much time worrying about who to speak to, where to spend your time, and what type of events you want to plan only keeps you stuck.
5 Ways to Find New Event Clients
Instead, if you’re ready to get out there and show off your event skills, meet new people, and build your event business, here are 5 ways to find new clients.
- Identify Your Perfect Client
Knowing exactly who your clients are makes it’s a lot easier to find them and to know where to look for them too.
After going through the Perfect Client Exercise in our How to Be an Event Planner course, Amanda from SilverFox Events realized that the people she was attracting weren’t who she wanted to work with.
In fact, they weren’t even close even though she initially thought they’d be a good fit.
Once finishing the Perfect Client Exercise, she was able to pivot and get laser focused on the right people and organizations. By doing this, she went from zero clients in January to 4 months later having 3 concerts for 200-400 attendees, 3 large community events and a 2-day children’s festival.
Getting crystal clear and narrowing down the focus on your ideal client helps you attract clients.
ppssstt…knowing your client isn’t just about knowing your niche. It’s one step in the process, but just because you’re planning weddings or corporate events, doesn’t make all brides or all CEOs your perfect client.
- Create a Potential Client List
Once you have narrowed your target audience, to highly qualified prospects, create a list of potential clients that you’d like to work with.
Whether you’re going to reach out directly or ask for a referral, having a list of potential clients helps you get started and stay focused.
To create your list, start with a list of people you know, an Internet search, ask for referrals, introduce yourself to your neighbors, attend community events including fairs and expos, and/or join local clubs.
Without creating a plan, it leaves you wondering who to reach out to and delays your progress.
- Build Partnerships
Teaming up with local businesses and vendors that offer complimentary services helps you meet the right people.
Building strong relationships is the lifeblood for any independent event planner or event business and the stronger your relationships are, the more people will refer you.
- Offer to Help
Word-of-mouth is one of the best (and sometimes the fastest) ways to show people your skills and enthusiasm for what you do.
Volunteer in your new community and align yourself with companies and organizations that allow you to introduce yourself to a cross-section of people.
I recently had an experience with some insurance companies that didn’t follow up. We got 5 quotes for a specialized insurance policy and, much to my surprise, only 1 of them followed up regularly. Not just once, but once a week! Guess which company we chose to do business with?
Following up makes your clients or potential clients feel special and they’ll see you as a reliable person to do business with.
When you want to find new event clients in a new city, following-up helps people remember you, it allows clients to be heard and to ask questions, and it shows people what kind of service they can expect from you.
The bottom line is event businesses are not built overnight. It takes time and persistence. Just make sure you have (and follow) a strategy to find new events clients in your new city.
Now, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
What’s one step you can take this week to find new clients in your new city?
Thank you so much for being part of our community and adding your insights and perspective.
Have an eventful day,