Corporate events are always a great opportunity to expand your portfolio and really take the reins of a company’s event. As with all clients, it is important to keep your corporate business happy in order to earn returning business, gain referrals and garner positive reviews.
With that said, it is not as simple as just showing up on the day of the event and putting on a great show. The planning process is just as key in client satisfaction--they will want somebody who is not only great at what they do, but also professional and reliable to take on their business.
Here are some of the must-dos in order to keep your corporate clients coming back for more:
1. Get to know their brand.
Regardless of the vision you have for an event, it is essential for you to really immerse yourself in the company’s brand. Get a feel for the colors, the logo, and the overall vibe that their company has because you will need to showcase it in your design. Just as weddings and social events capture the personality of the host(s), corporate events need to fit in with their brand. Spend some time in the initial stages to interview your clients on what their business’ values are, as well as the must-haves for their event.
2. Communicate openly.
As always, communication is key--however, it is especially important when you are working with busy professionals in the corporate world. Oftentimes, their time is not their own, so they will be looking for you to be quick and responsive when they need something from you. Establish communication expectations from the get-go--determine the best times of the week to get in touch, as well as the ideal mode of communication. This will save both sides the trouble of figuring out how to get ahold of the other down the line.
3. Provide referrals.
Running a business is time-consuming, and oftentimes executives just don’t have time to be researching event professionals. Ensure that you are a useful resource by providing referrals to assist with other aspects of the event. Don’t give them away until the ink is dry and you have officially been booked (it is part of your value, of course!), but come prepared with a list of referrals in your back pocket.
Your client will be grateful that they have some pre-qualified leads that will save them the time and headache of researching. With that said, make sure they are qualified referrals – their work will speak to your business’ standards, so you’ll want to bring on only the best of the best.
Corporate events can be a lot of fun and there’s nothing wrong with a chance to diversify your repertoire – stick to these practices and your corporate clients will be grateful to have you taking the work off of their plates!
Kim Sayatovic is the founder and chief creative officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans.