Operations

How to Increase Profit with Complete Event Planning

Jim Luff
Posted on June 28, 2013
Having a good rental company with a large inventory of event items is crucial to success.

Having a good rental company with a large inventory of event items is crucial to success.

Having a good rental company with a large inventory of event items is crucial to success.
Having a good rental company with a large inventory of event items is crucial to success.

Many of the people we deal with consider calling us to be a chore. They are usually in the middle of planning something big. This can include weddings, funerals, quinceaneras, corporate retreats, team-building trips or other similar events.

As soon as they get off the phone they are on to the next vendor to arrange more services. In many cases, the person would love to have someone else do all the legwork. You have the ability to seize the opportunity to increase your profits while making this phone call the client’s last — if you provide the right event planning services. Here’s how you can do it.

Value Added Service
Many of our clients probably believe they cannot afford to hire an event planner so they choose to go it alone and make multiple calls. In many cases, they are so busy planning and executing the event on the “day of,” that they can’t even enjoy the fruits of their labors. While we don’t advocate your chauffeur being in charge of the actual event on the day of, you already have a built-in assistant on-the-clock so you might as well use his time well. You will need at least one person in your organization to be dedicated to each event, coordinating everything with a timeline and making sure everyone involved with the event knows their roles and the precise timing of their part(s).

By taking these tasks off the shoulders of the client, the value of your transportation service just went up. Event planning is not for everyone, and if you think this is not what you signed on for when you started your transportation company, you should stop reading here. But if you are ready to jump out of the box and expand your scope to improve your services and revenues, keep reading.

Event planners must cover all aspects of an event including personal needs of the guests.
Event planners must cover all aspects of an event including personal needs of the guests.

Getting Started
In most new endeavors you must start by marketing what you are doing. In this case, the potential customers already are lining up at your door. They just don’t know all the services you offer. Be prepared to “up-sell” your event planning services. Create various flyers for different types of events. For instance, you can partner up with a rental hall to promote each other. You can hand a bride a flyer or brochure that has photos of the rental hall (with your limousine parked outside the front door) and a list of amenities offered by the hall. You can have individual items such as, “add deejay,” for a specified dollar amount. Once you have put together a complete event, you can use the information you learned to repeat the same “event” while improving it along the way.

Making Connections
Before you are ready to jump in, it is important to develop working relationships with vendors that provide event services. This can include everything from deejays to caterers. You will want to forge a primary relationship with one vendor but always have at least two backup vendors as well. If your primary deejay is busy on a particular date and your client has requested a deejay the same day, you must have a back-up that is just as good as your primary. While making connections, closely evaluate the products or services they offer. Your name is on the line here. Don’t recommend and hire a deejay you have never seen perform. If the vendor does poorly, you will hear about it. Get involved with your local Chamber of Commerce as a source of vendors you can do business with. Attend bridal shows to meet an assortment of deejays, caterers, cake bakers, furniture rental companies and other similar providers. Join bridal associations in your area, even if you don’t plan to focus on weddings. You will find the same people here who handle events.

Event planners must be able to provide a stage with sound and lighting to accommodate a small event or a large event.
Event planners must be able to provide a stage with sound and lighting to accommodate a small event or a large event.

Package It Up
Every event begins with a budget. It might contain separate line items such as flowers, deejay, photographer or it might just be a dollar figure such as $10,000. It is possible that you could put together an entire package to match the needs of the client and present one price. The cost of you doing all the legwork should be figured into this. An example of a team-building package could include bus service for the day starting with Starbucks coffee and breakfast snacks served on the bus. The day would consist of visiting a movie studio in Hollywood followed by lunch at a famous restaurant, a guided tour of landmarks or houses of the stars, and return back home. The possibilities are endless. In this scenario, you would negotiate a group rate with the movie studio and a set menu or buffet with the restaurant and pay both upfront while marking up the cost of everything. Never disclose individual component prices. Present the package as one single price or you can break it down to price per guest.

Event Planning Partners

  • Audio/visual equipment rental company
  • Sound system/lighting rentals
  • Party/equipment rental company
  • Electrical power generators
  • Portable lighting rentals
  • Tuxedo/bridal rental shops
  • Express printer/signage
  • Meeting space/hotels/halls
  • Caterer/baker
  • Private security
  • Deejay/band
  • Temporary workforce
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Temporary fencing
  • Portable restrooms/wash stations
  • Bar/bartender rentals
  • Travel agent
  • Walkie-talkie rentals

Related Topics: building your clientele, client markets, customer service, How To, Jim Luff, meetings and conventions, retail markets, special events

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Article

How To Get Clients To See Value In Your Rates

NOV. LCT: We fear our own prices when comparing ourselves to TNCs, but we don’t compete with them any more than Marriott does with a Motel 6. Learn how to justify your rates without guilt.

News

2018's Luxury Travel Trends

Among the highlights for next year is a focus on far-flung destinations along with international trips of two weeks or more.

Article

The Art Of Sales

NOV. LCT: In the battle to obtain new clients and retain loyal ones, only those who know the best ways to reach, connect with, and educate them will survive.

Article

How To Handle Conflicts Of Interest

NOV. LCT: Forming relationships with your customers is a vital part of retaining them. But how do you ensure you and your employees never cross the line of professionalism?