A lot of you may have read this title and initially thought, “Homework? During busy event season?”
While I sympathize entirely, summer is one of the most beneficial times to rethink your business strategy and hit the reset button on your industry education. At this point in the year, it’s fair to assume that you have a clear idea of what you’ve accomplished thus far, as well as what you plan to achieve in the remaining months.
This is where we’ve begun to see the fruits of our New Year’s resolutions’ labor, and it’s an excellent opportunity to pull inspiration and knowledge from other industry pros (or even some fiction for self-care).
Highly recommended books
We’ve lucked out with the surge in popularity of audiobooks, so squeezing in some time while on the road or in the air is more convenient than ever. I can’t speak for everyone, but the new era of podcasts has been instrumental in helping me to focus on audio storytelling as an alternative to blocking off time to sit with a book. Listening while on the way to a client meeting or big event is much easier than only allowing yourself an hour to read on a Sunday after a busy workweek.
- “Blue Ocean Shift” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne--This is the follow-up book to one of the most inspiring business books I’ve ever read: “Blue Ocean Strategy.” We talk about this strategy quite a bit, and it can quite literally change the way you do business. It’s always helpful to see what your company could look like through a different lens.
- “She Means Business” by Carrie Green--Carrie Green has taken the phrase “female entrepreneur” and made it her own with the Female Entrepreneur Society. As someone who prides herself on empowering other female entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals and become their own CEO, I think this is an essential read. It could be the confidence boost you need to kick-start your inspiration.
- “Expert Secrets” by Russell Brunson--Regardless of where you stand in the industry and what your particular niche is, this story about a man who made his first million when he was in college working out of his basement is utterly fascinating. Beyond merely making money and seeing financial success for your company, this could be great for those who struggle with client retention or growing a business.
Apps to consider
It’s no secret that most event professionals are in the midst of juggling weekend weddings, employee schedules, and more. That being said, all of these things could be made much easier with the introduction of new apps and programs to streamline your tasks. Given the current era of tech literacy, it’s not nearly as intimidating as you might think to bring in a new app this late in the year.
- Evernote--This is my No. 1 app, which helps me keep everything that I need access to across every device. I can make notes, keep lists, attach clippings, insert web pages, and handle anything else I might need to while on the go. Sometimes I use it to collect inspiration or put together a to-do list in a pinch. I have checklists on there, ideas and even shopping lists! This app is incredibly helpful to keep scatterbrained work thoughts in order.
- PDF Filler--Have you ever been away traveling with no access to a printer, but you urgently need to fill in a PDF form and send it back with your signature on it? PDF Filler is the perfect fix, and it’s saved me countless times. It conveniently allows you to upload your PDF and sign it online just as you would if you were in your office. All you need to do is upload your signature and fill out the document--and the rest is easy.
- Canva--If you want to have amazing, cohesive images for your marketing, social media, emails or proposals, then this is the tool you need. Trust me, I am no graphic designer as-is, but with Canva, I can upload my image and make it look fabulous without the hassle of extensive Photoshopping. All the usual things you would need are all housed here--from Instagram-post templates to banner headers and more--all pre-made for you.
These recommendations are only scratching the surface, but it’s essential to understand that a few quick fixes to your internal processes or some time spent continuing your education can make a huge difference!
Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With seven locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.