It’s a challenge almost every event and meeting planner faces as one year ticks toward another. As existing and potential clients prepare to shut down for the holidays, how can you capture their attention and win enough business to start next year with a bang?
Remember, for many companies, the new year means new budgets. Sometimes, a quick connection early in the new year (or before Christmas) can yield high rewards. Here are 10 tips to remember:
1. Reach out but keep it brief.
A quick phone call with season’s greetings followed up with a short email with a catchy title and eye-grabbing graphics can do the trick. The phone call lets clients know the email is coming so it doesn’t get lost in the pile.
2. Share opportunities for savings.
At this time of year, event planners typically get offers from resorts, hotels, event venues and airlines. Bundle them in a digest, summarize the hottest offers and invite clients to connect with you to take advantage of them.
3. Set up brief conference calls.
Do this early in the new year to discuss clients’ needs.
4. Be gifty.
Send or drop off a small package to every client with whom you have done business during the year, but arrange for it to arrive in the new year. It should include a compelling offer. A package received early in the new year will have more visibility than something received the week before Christmas.
5. Create a short but high impact video with highlights of events for the past year and share it on YouTube.
Video is under-used, but it has a high impact, so start adding video to your marketing mix. For your year-end video, include a montage of what’s ahead for the next year, highlighting any new programs, services or destinations. Share the video in all social media challenges and email marketing pieces.
6. Be visible.
Share articles where you have been quoted or your business has been highlighted on social media. Spotlight a mixture of new articles and “replays.”
7. Release a new blog post about trends.
Trend pieces always get a lot of traction this time of year.
8. Replay popular blog posts.
Share those that had the highest traction during the year on social media, especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Include a compelling offer to encourage people to contact you.
9. Use your website.
Your website is a great place to highlight what’s new for next year.
10. Reach out to suppliers.
Make sure to ask them to keep an eye out for opportunities to use your services.
Bonus: As you design your marketing strategy for next year, remember to include a mix of online and off-line strategies and consider guerrilla marketing and pop-up events to grab attention.
Do these 10 work for you? Would you suggest others? Please share your experiences in the comment box below.