By Michelle Owens, WPICC of Mo & Co Events
Choosing to pursue a career as an events and wedding coordinator is one of the easiest decisions that I’ve ever made. The job and the career itself was never in question, I knew it was for me but the hurdles I faced prior to jumping in with two feet are not uncommon. We question the financial stability in likely beginning a life of self employment, loss of things like benefits and paid sick days. We contemplate taking the leap and if the risk will be worth the reward. However, there is only one way to truly find out if that reward is there, and that is giving the business your full attention.
Now that I’ve been fully invested in my business for the last five years, including two of them being heavily disturbed by COVID, there is still one challenge that we face daily as Event and Wedding Planners, especially in Canada. This is the seasonality reality. There are only so many Saturdays in the year, let alone just within the “high season” between May and October. This often gives us coordinators give or take around 20 dates to make our entire year’s earnings.
Here are a few suggestions on how to capitalize your earnings during your high and even low season within the events industry.
Offer small discounts, free-bees or add-ons for bookings on Fridays and Sundays
This doesn’t have to be a lot, this can be 10% or less off of a booking fee or possibly including an extra 1:1 consultation, or a card box!
This can be a great way to fill up those dates on the weekend during your high season.
Keep in mind the rehearsal dates for your Saturday weddings. It is important to you as a professional and to your clients that you are present there to develop a relationship and rapport with the wedding party, their family and friends. If you have a team of staff assisting you, it is often that the events industry is a second priority to seasonal assistant staff, therefore they may be occupied on Fridays or unable to work late nights on Sundays.
Expand your team
I started doing this right away at the end of my first year when my first inquiry came through for a date that I was already booked for. You, as the face of the business and the owner, cannot be in multiple places at once. Spend time with team members that show up for you while assisting and that you feel comfortable representing your name and your business.
Tip: For Month and Day of Coordination, try and allow the lead coordinator for the day-of to be involved if not leading the meetings and site visits prior to the event date, this is a
very intimate experience for the planner and the client. It takes away the hesitation from the client in having to meet someone new if they’ve spent so much time working on all the moving parts of their event with YOU, if you won’t be there to lead.
Think about expanding into other areas of event planning
A few options may include retreat logistics planning, for corporate, private and wellness retreats. These typically are in the “off-season” business and topic dependent.
Within Canada, most companies or private clients want to escape the winter, allowing for an off-site to take place during this time. If these are in fact during the Summer months, they’re typically during the work week, especially for corporate clients.
Advertise event logistics and coordination services to all of your current booked clients and inquiries
Think about it, if you’re scheduled for event management and coordination for a couple’s wedding one year from their booking date, they have so many personal events leading up to the wedding that they may need assistance with. These include engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, rehearsal dinners, etc. Offer your day-of services or even assistance sourcing any vendors along the way.
It is quite common for event professionals, especially within weddings, to “do this on the side” largely due to the seasonal nature of the industry. How will you know the full potential of your career as an events professional if you never truly give it your full attention to at least try? You may have to get creative within the services that you offer and types of events that you’re coordinating, but if you’re willing to put in the time and follow a few of these tips, that is where you can find that the risk is certainly worth the reward.
Michelle Owens found her passion and love for events over years of working in customer service, retail, hospitality and event coordination assistant positions. It wasn’t until she entered the corporate world that she realized she wanted something more; the creative freedom to plan and execute unique events all over the world, while meeting and working with great people in the meantime.
“My favourite part about weddings, parties, and celebrations is the people. I’m a total people person, and to be surrounded by such happy, wonderful and passionate individuals who are all in one place to celebrate wonderful moments- that is why I do what I do”