with Cam Petty
Alright, friends. We know the past two years have been crazy and unpredictable for us all. Regardless of what you think about COVID-19, we in the events industry know it is very real and has deeply impacted our work and lives. While things seem to be settling again with conversations surrounding the virus, there have been a couple of ebbs and flows with it and events, we are hopeful that corporate events are making more of a comeback.
We saw it last fall with the Delta Covid variant, a quick decline of events in August but followed by a larger rise in events for September and October. Now in 2022 we had another decline in events in January and February due to the Omicron variant, but March has been slam-packed and April, May, and June are projecting to be even busier. We are so excited to get back to work and back to working with all our kinds of clientele.
While we know we can’t know what for sure to expect from the coming months, our team is committed to what we can control, serving our clients to the best of our ability, and respecting their safety and company guidelines. Covid transitioned a lot of corporate events to virtual-only platforms. As our clients feel safe and ready to go back to in-person events, we will be there to serve them and work with them in creating even better experiences than before.
We divide our projects into three different categories: social, wedding, and corporate. Weddings are weddings. Social event examples would be anniversaries, birthdays, bachelorette parties, engagements, etc. You can classify almost any event that isn’t a wedding or for/through a specific company as a social event. Since the start of Covid, our team has done a lot more social events.
Then there are corporate events. So many different kinds of corporate events! In this category, you see conferences, brand activations, product launches, pop-up shops, trade shows, etc. We have been fortunate enough to work with some really awesome brands for these types of events. Also, with corporate events being mostly virtual for the past two years, we have a feeling that some corporate clients will have some out-of-the-box ideas for future in-person events.
We’ve added some photos from some of our favorite corporate events and designs for you to see below.
Something we need to share with you is that getting into corporate events has increased our average order from $750 to $4000! Guys, that’s crazy. If you’re looking to make some more money in this industry and you’re not working with corporate clients, you know where to start.
When doing corporate events, there are some specific inventory items/types that you should have in order to give your clients what they need. Think of venue spaces and the different types of events and what pieces you would fill them with.
If it’s a conference event of some sort, do they need rentals for a check-in area? Maybe some tables and bars for nametags to be laid out or iPads to be stationed? What about the people working check-in? They may want to grab some chairs or barstools for those event assistants to sit at while checking others in.
Moving past the check-in, will they have a merch area needing tables, shelving, or backdrops? Perhaps vessels to keep pens, pins, or stickers? Would they want their event attendees to have an entry lounge area to hang out and get settled or to connect with other attendees? Do they want to include a photo area for “Instagramable” moments? A lot of times the answer is yes! They want to market the event more and make space for their guests to create memories.
Thinking about event speakers or presenters, do you want to set up a relaxing space for them? Similar to a green room, they might want to have a separate space and lounge for them to hang out and clear their mind or prepare before speaking to the guests. A key tip for the speaker room, try to stay away from any busy designs.
If you’re working with a client who intends to present something to their guests or attendees, ask if they have a stage. Then think about what all you would put on the stage? Do they need a podium? Or maybe a lounge for several speakers to sit and talk to the audience? If you are putting together a stage lounge, be mindful of the rental pieces you chose not just based on look but also how the seating will affect the presenters.
If you have presenters sitting on stage who are wearing a dress or skirt, pick pieces that will allow them to sit comfortably without accidentally showing too much. Also, try to pick pieces that support good posture in general. High backrests and firmer seat cushions are helpful for sitting up instead of leaning back. You presenters might be even more thankful that you thought of their posture if there are any close camera angles and they don’t want a double chin.
Even more so, talking about the type of furniture they would want for specific reasons would probably further impress your clients and assist in building trust with them. If you’re unsure about anything regarding the client’s event space, you can typically rely on the event coordinator to let you know what’s happening or may be needed.
“When you know your stuff, and you know the right things to say, you’re building that trust factor with your clients.”Cam Petty
When it comes to event design ideas, of course, clients may already have themed ideas but if they don’t, geography can be a fun approach to event design. Think about where you’re located. Is there anything your city or state is known for? Do you live close to a historic monument or piece of history that could be honored in your theme? These are fun things to think about and consider when looking at your rental pieces and seeing what you could put together for your client.
Here in Texas, it’s not uncommon to do a rodeo theme. In Flordia, people probably are thinking about the beach. You wouldn’t typically go to a conference in Miami that has a winter or desert theme, right? Be mindful of where you’re located, the weather, or any known things from your area that can relate to your inventory and you can include them in your design decks when working with clients.
When corporate clients are looking for rentals, or florals, or someone to help with their event design their first stop is almost always Google. With that being known, if you’re not already working on your SEO and you want to work with corporate clients, you need to start building that out. SEO marketing can be highly profitable! We build ours out by filling out meta descriptions and by using tons of keywords on our blogs, website homepage, and inventory pages for pieces more aligning with corporate client needs.
Blogging can be beneficial if you have the time and resources to stay consistent. Getting images and copy out on various social channels (including Pinterest) can help you out too! Partyslate is another avenue they may look for themes or floral so having an active account could also be beneficial for you and your business.
Not every client we have worked with is someone who found our website or stumbled across our Instagram or Pinterest, not at all. Our team has “hunted” for clients by looking at what potential clients are doing events in our area and finding ways to connect with them. SEO, Google, and blogging can do great things for your business but sometimes you have to just put in the work.
See if any of your desired clients go to any of the same networking events that you do, figure out what they look like, their name, and their position, then go to the event and make contact. Start the conversation by asking if there are any needs they have that your team could assist with before trying to make a huge sales pitch.
Another approach is to think of the venues that often host corporate events in your area and see how you can get connected with their conference or event coordinators. Likely, they will be the main point of contact for those corporate clients who ask, “do you know any good floral companies in the area?” or “we’ll need some lounge and stage pieces… do you have a company you work with to provide those rentals?”. Being a contact for those conference or event coordinators may be your way to get your foot in the door.
Ever heard of a DMC? DMC stands for Destination Management Company. Like a wedding planner for weddings, DMCs gather all vendors and timelines for corporate clients and their events.
Think of what you’re marketing – are you showing all your services to your desired clientele? If you haven’t had any corporate clients yet, you may ask yourself, “how do I market it if I haven’t done it yet?”. Styled shoots are always a fun way to grab content! We do it for weddings all the time so why not corporate! We also have a freebie you can get on our website that talks more about how to break into corporate events. You can get that by looking at the links listed below under the episode sneak peeks.
Here is a sneak peek of what this episode consists of:
[1:40] How We Increased Our Average Order From Hundreds To Thousands
[7:44] Out Of The Box Corporate Events
[12:32] Inventory You Need For Corporate Events
[16:55] How To Build Trust With Your Clients
[18:21] Themed Events According To Geography
[20:07] How To Market Yourself & Gain More Corporate Clients
[22:58] What Is A DMC?
Product or Affiliate Links
SEO For Creative Pros – Podcast Episode
How-To Break Into Corporate Events Freebie – RBA
Rental Pro Community – Facebook Group
Next week we will drop an episode about insurance for your rental company.
TJ White | Content Manager
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