January is an important month in the event planning industry: after celebrating the arrival of a fresh new year, everyone begins looking ahead to the events they’ve got on the horizon.  

Just as retailers prepare months in advance for the craziness of Black Friday (and more recently, Cyber Monday), event professionals should begin preparing now for the craziness of White January.

Wait – What’s White January Again?

Once the holiday parties and New Year’s celebrations are complete, party planners begin looking to the future: last year our friends at Eventective discovered that Wedding requests went up 249% while party planning requests jumped up 233% in the month of January. So what does this mean for you? That it’s absolutely crucial that you’re well prepared for the onslaught with your best digital game face by the time January rolls around, and we’re giving you our top tips to make sure you’re ready for action.

Graphic Courtesy of Eventective

Update Your Info

We’ve mentioned before how incredibly important it is to have accurate up-to-date information on your website and/or online listing, but now it’s crunch time: whether you have some amazing new images you’ve been meaning to upload or a new pricing model you haven’t had time to put into action, now’s the time to do it.

Be Active on Social

When event planners come looking for inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest during White January – and they will – make it easy for them to find you.  January is a slow month for events, which means you should have plenty of time to write that blog post you’ve been putting off since September.  The next time you have a chunk of time to work with, collect your visual assets and decide what is worth posting – and on which social network you want to post it – then set up a schedule for yourself in advance so all you have to do when the time comes is click the upload button.  Also, be sure to implement the use of hashtags to help potential planners find you: a New England based florist, for example, could utilize a hashtag like #newenglandflorals or #newenglandflorist to make sure they’re being seen by the right people.

Offer a Promotional Discount

In order to maximize the advantages of White January, consider offering a discount on your services in exchange for referrals.  Offering a 10% discount in exchange for a referral is a great way to encourage event planners to share your services with their colleagues, friends, and family.  For an even more effective strategy, consider offering 10% off to both the referrer and the referee to maximize your appeal.

Reconnect with Your Community

Word of mouth is one of your most important assets, and there’s no better place to start than your own neighborhood.  Look for events in your area that offer opportunities for light networking and relationship building. Avoid being overly sales driven, and instead think of these events as a way of building your brand.  The more people you meet and the bigger your network grows, the more likely it is that your name will come up as an option for upcoming events.

The Takeaways

White January is coming – fast. Start preparing now in order to take advantage of the high volume of events that will be planned in the first month of the year with the following steps:

  1. Make sure all of your business information is accurate and up to date
  2. Be active on social networks so you’re easier to find
  3. Consider a promotional discount to encourage referrals
  4. Reconnect with your community to spread the word about your services.