It’s all about who you know, right? That’s certainly true in the event industry. Just last week, I was looking for a caterer for an upcoming bridal shower—and then it hit me! I remembered the food at the last local bridal shower I attended, and immediately checked if they offered off-site catering; I knew the quality of both their food and service is excellent, and I knew they offered the brunch menu I wanted.

After a little research on the venue’s website, I discovered that they actually partner with a nearby catering company to provide food for all the events they host. And just like that, brunch is booked!

Because two companies formed a local alliance, they secured a client almost 12 months later. That’s the power of networking!

Why is networking important?

There’s no one-stop shopping for a wedding or huge corporate event. Think about how many different businesses a bride needs to secure: a venue, caterer, hair dresser, florist, seamstress, and entertainment.

That means the bride is visiting venues, calling florists, and emailing DJs. You have the perfect opportunity to bring added value to any bride’s special day and partner with local businesses to offer deals and packages—saving her time and money.

For example, if you’re a venue and you can recommend a local florist or catering company—or better yet, if you can create package deals with them—you’re making the bride’s life easier, which makes her more likely to book you. On top of that, you’re creating relationships with other businesses who can refer you to customers needing a venue.

Photo Credit: MEET on Chrystie

How can I start networking?

Find high-rated local businesses that will complement yours. If you’re a seamstress, partner with a local bridal shop and not a DJ. If you’re a florist, reach out to venues. Be sure to do your research first, though. Ask around and read their reviews online—your partners reflect on you, and you want that reflection to be a good one.

Attend local bridal expos, too. It gives you a chance to strut your stuff, and also connect with other local vendors and resources. Be careful not to waste their valuable sell time during the expo itself, so consider a brief introduction with a business card to start the process.

Finally, browse our Eventective listings to find good matches. Find other businesses near you and start networking! Don’t forget to read tips on creating effective packages, and add them to your listing easily and freely with any Eventective membership.

Conclusion

Your customers talk to each other. They share DIY ideas, exchange secrets on getting a few dollars off of the list price, and always have a strong opinion about food, in any context. What your customers say about you matters, and if you’re strengthening your local presence by partnering with other local businesses, your customers are going to talk about it. Do your future self a favor and start networking now, so you get more business later.

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