In the world of events, the people you know can truly transform your business. From vendor referrals to mastermind groups, a strong network is the key to pushing your business from good to great. The question, however, lies in how to maintain and nurture your industry relationships in order to create mutually beneficial connections.
One of the best (and easiest!) ways to build rapport with creative partners is simply to be present at the industry’s happenings.
Whether it means attending every networking event you can or sending out a small gifts to all of your local peers around the holidays, the aim is to keep yourself in the forefront of their minds.
Be an active participant in social media groups as well--this can keep you connected with your buddies even when you do not have the time to attend every event.
To put it simply, a vendor’s responsiveness speaks volumes to their professionalism. Whether it’s working with clients or creative partners, a timely response is always valued.
Think about all of the times that you have not been able to get hold of someone--wasn’t it frustrating? Whether it sounds like an emergency or not, do your best to respond to all emails and phone calls within the day. Your industry buddies will appreciate being a top priority.
This should go without saying, but always treat others the way you would like to be treated. Generosity is prevalent within the events industry in particular, but there is just no alternative to being a good person.
Somebody who is the best at their craft but lacks kindness will not be a strong contender for vendor referrals. Personality is important!
In addition, remember that vendor referrals are a big deal, so always say thank you if you book a client on someone else’s suggestion. Then, look for clients that you can send over them to share the wealth.
4. An extra special something
People love fun surprises, so look for little ways that you can share something special and show them that you’re thinking about them. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated – a simple birthday card with a small gift card can do wonders.
In the summer, we like to send Popsicle-grams to our friends in the industry to help them cool down in the heat. It’s a fitting time of year and it’s a unique surprise, so they’ll remember it and tell their friends.
There are plenty of ways to build long-lasting relationships within the industry, but keep in mind that it’s important that it comes across as organic and genuine. Be yourself and get creative--that is all you need to do!
More from Kevin Dennis:
Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, Calif. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.