Picture this. You walk into a client’s office, present them a spectacular vision for an amazing event that you know will knock their audience’s socks off, and completely wow your client with your innovative ideas. But when the event finally comes along, the most amazing thing planned, is a roving magician who makes flowers appear from his wand.
The reality for most event planners, is that clients are often held back by visible and invisible forces, and end up repeating the same event they did last year – sticking to proven formulas, trying to avoid mistakes, rather than pushing the envelope and attempting to shake things up with something new.
Instead, they wait for others to test out “new ideas” such as gamification, then implement it in their events, once it’s a proven hit with the masses. Of course, by the time audiences are looking forward to something new, and the cycle continues.
There are a few reasons why your clients may be unwilling to take the leap, be creative, and take their events to the next level – and it’s your job to find out what these reasons are, so you can help them overcome their fears, and give their audiences the time of their lives. The most common of these reasons includes:
- Fear of making mistakes
- Unclear vision/ambition
There is a misconception that making your event “better”, also means making it “more expensive”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Good events can be done within a reasonable budget, what it needs is creative thinking and maximising your budget – spending it on ideas or technology that provides the bigger return on investment (ROI).
And while we’re on the subject of ROI, realise that if you can help your client justify their investment because of the returns they’ll receive from it, they may be able to justify a bigger event budget.
For example, if a modest investment in an event app will help them to gather event, product, and customer/audience data that’s worth a lot more to their marketing and product development departments, then it’ll be an investment worth putting money and effort into.
Fear of Making Mistakes
This will be especially prevalent in company cultures or societies where mistakes are frowned upon, more than success is celebrated. Most importantly, you need to let your client know that “change” doesn’t equate to “risk”.
If you’re suggesting an innovative idea, be prepared with examples of how it’s already succeeded with your other clients. You can do so with videos, photos, or client testimonials. And if you can back it up with facts and figures (for example, positive event feedback collected via a voting system or an event app), that’s even better.
By changing your client’s mind set and letting them know that the ideas you’re recommending are actually safer than simply going with “what we’ve done before” (which will surely bring lukewarm responses at best), you can get them excited about wanting to implement new and creative ideas that will pump up their event.
Finally, it’s common for clients to have an unclear vision of what their event objectives are. Sometimes, it’s because of a “let’s keep things the way they are” mindset that was passed down to them.
At other times, various aspects of their job may take up so much of their time, that they don’t have enough hours to spend on events. Here’s where your enthusiasm and vision can really help them. First, let them know why it’s essential to set measurable objectives for their event. Then, share your vision – and a roadmap for how to get there.
Open your client’s mind, get them excited about new ways of organising compelling events. You’ll win their confidence, and have a loyal client for life.