As the busy spring season winds down, many event professionals are finding a much-needed slowdown in their businesses. While a break is well-deserved (as is that beach vacation), the summer lull is the perfect time to get ahead and prepare for everything that fall and winter will bring.
So amidst travel plans and time spent with loved ones, it’s wise to carve out some time to work on your business—because you’ve likely been stuck in it for the first half of the year.
If you’re wondering where to focus your extra time and energy this summer, these areas are an excellent place to start!
Get ahead of the curve.
Take care of your future self by working ahead and reducing the load when busy season picks up. Wedding Venue Map’s Shannon Tarrant urges, “Get ahead of whatever you can! Pull those fall event files and start checking things off of the list. Order the rentals, check your inventory, and send the client any homework for info in advance. Use that slow time to lighten the load during the busy season.”
Freshen up your spaces.
There’s a good chance you were too busy for spring cleaning this year, so take advantage of the extra time for a good summer cleaning. “Get into your office space (whatever it looks like) and organize, paint a wall and throw out extra trash that doesn't need to be there,” suggests Jen Sulak of Weirdo Weddings. “Taking the time to actually assess your space gives you the feeling of a fresh start and READY to take on the world!”
Sulak also recommends taking this habit home, adding, “It is an amazing feeling to donate used items to people in need, contribute to organizations needing supplies and in turn, your home feels less cluttered, which also helps you feel internally less cluttered!”
Update your systems.
If your systems have been causing more headaches than they solve, now is a good time for a tune-up. Rock Paper Coin’s Katie Mast notes, “There is never a better time to move onto a better platform, cancel ones you don't use, or revamp those you love than during downtime. Schedule demos, hunt for the best promo codes, and take advantage of amazing offers like free onboarding, which will get you set up faster.”
While you’re at it, “take a day to deep dive into your invoices, contracts, proposals, and documents,” Mast encourages. “You might want to refresh your wording, add some new services or ensure you are sending the most updated versions, removing old ones.”
When business is booming, it’s easy to give more face-time to your clients than fellow industry professionals. But Keith Willard of Keith Willard Events urges event pros not to let their connections fade this summer.
“Network, network, network,” he affirms. “The pandemic dramatically reduced the opportunity to network. Knowing that I need to continue expanding my contacts, I would be very picky about what events I would attend, with the possibility of missing out on a really good opportunity. During the slow season, I will basically say yes to almost any networking event, building my list so that I have lots of options for any situation that may happen when things speed up.”
Focus on hiring.
The hiring process takes time, which is often a luxury during busy season. So if you’ve been thinking about bringing on a VA or a new member of your event team, use the summer lull to find the right fit before business picks up again.
“Many people tend to have less work in the summer, which may open an opportunity to find the right people,” explains Monika Kreinberg of Furever Us. “Everyone needs to have a balance in life and having others that can pitch in, earn, have fun, and help is a key to long-term sustainability and growth.”
Invest in education.
Continuing education is a cornerstone of professional growth, but it’s hard to fit in an online course or business book when you’re already stretched thin. Mast recommends filling the gaps in your summer schedule with education, speaking to the value it will provide in the future.
“Want to take over your social media? Learn how to use SEO? Hire a business coach and do some deep planning? This is the best time to maximize those few extra hours in your days and weekends to get some courses done and build them into your business,” she asserts. “Some of the best ways to optimize your summer downtime is strategizing for the future!”
As the days grow longer, allow yourself the rest and relaxation you need to recharge from the busy year you’ve had so far. But, in that, be mindful of how you can set yourself up for success on the other side of summer!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.