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How to Stand Out Right Now

It’s difficult to know what is the best way to attract business right now during this pandemic. Events are at a standstill and it’s likely that inquiries are too. What can we do to continue building relationships and increasing exposure? I’m seeing that generosity is the winning factor for many catering companies right now. Here are a few strategies for creating a memorable impression in the industry.

Shout Out Your Vendor Partners on Social Media

The events industry is hard hit and many of your vendor partners are working overtime to accommodate clients’ postponements and cancellations. Those local heroes need to be commended. Create a series of social media posts pointing out the small businesses that are going above and beyond. Not only does this bring some sunshine to their weary day, but also lets the public know that event businesses are still plugging away behind the scenes despite events being on hold.

Reach Out to Venues and Planners to Help

Venues and event planners are some of the many magicians during this crisis. They are moving around dates and finding vendor availability using pivot tables and flow charts. In spite of their magic, they are doing an incredible amount of problem solving. If you can help them solve any problems, they will love you forever. It’s one less thing that they need to think about. It’s one less thing contributing to their decision fatigue.

This is a great time to reach out to your venue and planner partners and extend help. Let them know that you realize that in rescheduling events that other catering companies may not be available. Share a list of your available dates through spring 2020. And, let them know that you’re happy to meet their clients’ needs. Even if it’s not a match for them or their clients, they’ll remember your offer of generosity in upcoming months and years.

Share Love with Your Community

Find ways to help cheer others up. This might be in the form of sending handwritten notes to your vendor community, or hosting an online happy hour. Building community will leave a lasting impression on people. You’ll be ‘the guy who brought others together’. Visibility shouldn’t stop just because business is slow. A small email check-in can be just what helps lead to the referral a few months away. Reach out and say hello to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

These days, standing out is about being a good friend, a good listener, and a generous giver. Find ways to keep your industry relationships alive and the good karma will come back to you in time.

Michelle Loretta

Founder | Sage Wedding Pros

Michelle Loretta is a business consultant and financial strategist for wedding and event professionals. As founder of Sage Wedding Pros she blends her past as an accountant for Deloitte, a sales and marketing manager for DDLA, a merchandiser for Coach, and a stationery entrepreneur to strengthen wedding businesses worldwide. Sage Wedding Pros is the creator of the hiring toolbox for wedding professionals: The People Plan. Michelle has been asked to speak at a number of industry conferences, including NACE Experience, Biz Bash Live, and The Special Event.