The event industry is constantly changing–new trends, looks, and ideas seem to pop up by the day. For businesses to keep up, entrepreneurs must adapt their offerings and ensure their target audience doesn’t get bored. The last thing we want is to be out of touch!
If you’ve wondered whether or not you should change your offerings, we gathered advice from a handful of wedding experts to give you the clarity you need to move forward. Here’s what they had to say:
Make a note of any changes.
If you’re itching to rethink your offerings, it’s likely because you’ve noticed a few changes in your company. Whether your motivation has dropped or something just doesn’t feel right, nobody knows your business better than you.
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Jaclyn Watson (see her live during Catersource + The Special Event) of Jaclyn Watson Events notes, “Each year you should be re-evaluating your company and how it is working and how much income you're gaining. In those re-evaluations, there may be a time where you need to re-think your offerings or even pivot in order to stay successful. Signs like not being able to keep employees or your competition under or overbidding you all the time. Another sign may be that you have stayed stagnant as a company and now are far behind any fellow colleagues.”
Think about your profits.
As business owners, profits are always top of mind. This remains true when it comes to rethinking our offerings. Are you being paid enough to continue this type of work?
“It’s time to rethink your packages when you find yourself having to over-serve your client without being compensated,” advises Sandy Brooks of Timeless Event Planning. “Don’t get me wrong, we always want to go above and beyond for our clients; however, when you find yourself doing this daily, it’s time to sit down and review.”
Brooks points out that you’ll want to consider the time you’re putting in versus the profit you’re pulling out. “Another sign to update your offerings is to compare how much money you are earning versus how many hours/weekends you are working. Before pivoting your offerings completely, I highly recommend taking some time to study your market and write down your end goal.”
Analyze the data.
If you’re thinking about jumping ship, you won’t want to do so without looking at your numbers first. Though your gut might tell you one thing, data will never lead you astray.
Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map shares, “The key is to track your stats in every way possible. Is your marketing investment driving traffic to your website, but it's not converting to a lead? Then your packages might be lacking. Does your website convert but then your appointments don't book with you? Invest the time in asking really good questions and learn more about what offerings they want to see from your company.”
Emerson Reese Creative’s Kelly Peck offers similar advice, adding, “My best tip is to look at all of your analytics and historical data. You could be using this through a CRM or a good old Google spreadsheet. Put some time on your calendar to look through and see what of your current offerings are you selling over and over again. As well as what particular price point seems to be hitting with your prospects.”
Go in with a plan.
Rethinking your offerings isn’t as easy as making the switch and getting excited. Instead, it’s about taking the necessary steps to ensure the change is a successful one.
“It’s so important to go in with a plan of action,” Brooks explains. “You need to study your market and see what works with your current packages and what needs to change. You need to map out to see how many bookings you need to earn that dream salary and if that is possible. You also need to understand that your inquiries will drop, but that’s only because you have either raised your prices or no longer offer a package that was not suiting your business.”
Focus on market research.
As you rethink your event offerings, remember to keep your ideal client in mind at all times. Is this something they’ll genuinely be interested in purchasing? By conducting market research, you’ll get an inside look into their preferences and expectations for this type of work.
As Tarrant recommends, “Before launching new offerings, use your network and customer base to gauge the interest. Create a focus group of planners and venues or of past customers to see their thoughts on the items and the price point.”
Give yourself time.
If you decide to update your offerings, accept that it won’t happen overnight. That’s why it’s essential to stick with it and give yourself adequate time to see success.
“If you’re putting together a new offer, make sure that you are running this offer for at least three months,” Peck says. “You need this minimum amount of time to be able to look back on the data and make sure that it’s the right fit for you and who you are selling to.”
Rethinking your offerings might feel intimidating, but at the end of the day, it could add an entirely new revenue stream to your business. Put in the time, look at the data, and you’re sure to create an offer your ideal clients can’t refuse!